Office Habits You Need to Quit
Bad work habits – we’ve all got them! Whether you’re a seasoned veteran in your career or a brand new grad just entering the workforce, it doesn’t take long before we begin to pick up habits in the office. Every now and then, it’s good to take a step back and realize what bad work habits you need to change – pronto! Not only do these things not serve your job, they do not serve you.
Here are the bad work habits you should probably ditch.
BAD WORK HABITS TO DITCH
#1: SKIPPING BREAKS AND LUNCHES
Chances are, no one cares that you’re hungry and haven’t eaten. But YOU should. Taking breaks and getting your lunch in should be your number one priority – no matter what pressing issue is going on in the office. Once you get into the habit of skipping lunches and working with no breaks – it’ll stick. And trust me, it’s not a healthy habit! Pressed for time with back-to-back meetings? At least give yourself 20-30 minutes to eat and take a quick break. Block the time off in your calendar or make a clear statement that you need to eat. And no, it doesn’t look “bad” on you, if you express that you need to refuel. (Only a crazy person would tell you that you shouldn’t be eating!). I get it there are those days when you just do not have time or are on a deadline, but take 5 minutes walk around the office and refuel.
Sometimes, it’s the easiest tasks we procrastinate on, and other times, it’s the ones we dread the most. Either way, eat the frog and get to it. Procrastination leads to build up, which leaves you at the end of the week with a ton on your plate with only a limited amount of time to get it done (overwhelmed, much?). Optimize every minute you’ve got open at work – whether it’s getting out that quick hold in your team’s calendar or planning next quarter’s budget, just do it. I also plug in my wireless headphones so I can drown out distractions.
Music. Podcasts. White Noise. Its so nice to just put them in and focus.
#3: AVOIDING THE INBOX AND PUTTING OFF EMAILS
Let’s be honest: most of time, most of the email we receive are a waste of time. They’re either irrelevant, just an FYI, or it literally has no purpose to it whatsoever. Every now and then though, you’ll get a piece of gold that you simply can’t ignore. Rather than stock-piling all of your previous emails, dedicate 15-20 minute twice a day to sort through your inbox. File away, delete, or do as needed – just don’t let it linger in your inbox. Chances are, you’re more likely to have something get lost in email, when you’ve got a shit ton of junk lingering in your inbox.
#4: BUYING THE “FAST” LUNCH
Probably one of the BIGGEST contenders of worst work habits –the fast, unhealthy lunch.You’re busy – I know, but the ton of money that gets wasted on buying an unhealthy lunch is INSANE. Get into the habit of meal prepping or even just start packing your lunch for work. Not sure where to start? Check out our ultimate guide on meal prep for beginners – it’ll definitely help!
#5: STAYING IN A JOB THAT YOU KNOW ISN’T RIGHT FOR YOU
Finding it hard to go to work everyday because you hate your job? Simple rule of thumb: if you’ve stuck it out for a year, and your internal compass is STILL hating it, chances are it’s not going to get much better.
I wholeheartedly believe that It’s always important to stay in a role for a good amount of time so you have a chance to grow with the learning curve, gain experience, and understand all aspects of the role. BUT – if things don’t seem to be improving then perhaps it’s time to start expanding your horizons. Take some time to reflect and think about what it is that you’d rather be doing. What didn’t you like about this role? What did you like about this role (if anything)? Jot it down, and start seeing what’s out there, either within your company or externally. I am not advocating jumping when things get tough, but if you hate what you do and where you do it everyday, everyone would be better off if you found something else.
#6: PICKING UP THE WORK THAT NO ONE ELSE WANTS TO DO
There’s always that one person. You know, the one that happily puts up their hand to do the (lack of a better word) bitch work, because everyone else is too busy?( Hello, that’s me!)
Don’t always be that person! Sure – it’s important to be a team player and pick up the slack when needed, but – it is ALL about balance. If you always seem to be the one doing the grunt work at the office, then time to say no. You did your part, and now it’s time to pass the baton onto someone else. EVERYONE is busy, and EVERYONE has excuses. #notyourproblemanymore
Good manners and being polite go a long way, but – there’s a time and a place in the professional world. Let me phrase that differently: there’s no need to be rude, mean, and impolite – but do not feel like you need to apologize for every little thing. Especially, when it’s not your fault.
Example A: You’re on a call. You and another person start speaking at the same time. You apologize and stop speaking so the other individual can talk. Should you apologize in this case? No. Its ok. You have every right to speak as the other person.
Example B: You walk into your boss’ office to chat about something. You immediately apologize for interrupting them before you even know if you did. Why?
Example C: You “accidentally” spill a drink of water on Linda Loudmouth at the water cooler station. Should you apologize? Probably yes.
Point is – apologizing for unmerited reasons indirectly puts you at fault for something you didn’t even do. There’s a time and place; know when you should, but more importantly know when you shouldn’t. And remember, you will no be everyone’s cup of tea and that is ok.
What habit are you guilty of? Or which ones do you think people need to quit?