Everyone has their own peculiar habits, both in personal life and in work. Habits help us create a routine and stay on track with any activity we’re involved in. It’s habits that make us do things a certain way, such as getting up at the same time every morning or always taking the same route. In this article, we’ll take a look at good working habits and skills that will help anyone excel at work.
Why do you need work habits?
Habits are helpful not only in personal life but in work as well. It is especially at work that we need discipline. Habits help form a consistent lifestyle that’s beneficial both for professional and personal well-being. People who have good fixed work habits excel at work. They are more proactive, productive and perform much better than those who don’t have healthy habits. When you have habits, you don’t have to worry about making yourself do certain tasks, cause you’re going to do them anyway. That’s the power of habits.
Let’s take a look at 11 work habits that everyone needs to master if they want to perform better at work.
1․ Sense of responsibility
Having a sense of responsibility is beneficial in any sphere, but even more at work. It is important that you take responsibility for your actions in any situation. In the workplace this can mean being punctual, submitting work on time, answering emails and messages on time, keeping a promise, and much more.
Being responsible in the workplace means not only finishing work on time but also following company guidelines and policy. If you think you are not a responsible person, no worries. It is a quality you can develop. Start by doing one responsible thing every day and confront any situation with that in mind.
Punctuality at work is mostly associated with getting to work on time. While it is true, punctuality is more than that. It is not only starting work on time but also finishing it on time. It is also all the other things you do at work, including answering emails, planning your work on time, showing up at meetings on time, etc.
It is even better to be a bit more than just punctual, that is a bit earlier than punctual. If you think you are not punctual, start by arriving at work 10 minutes earlier and build up your sense of punctuality from there.
3․ Time Management
Time is money, everyone knows that. That’s why you need to be very careful with how you spend your time. At work, every minute is important, especially if it is spent on work itself. It is generally accepted that work time is company time and employees should spend every second of it to the benefit of the company. It does make sense but is not so easy and feasible. Employees are people and they cannot spend every second of work hours glued to their computers doing work only. However, they can work on their time management skills and manage their time efficiently, instead of overdoing it.
Good time management means prioritizing important work, devoting enough time to it, avoiding distractions, and using your time efficiently.
If you think you can’t improve your time management skills on your own, it is a good idea to use time tracking tools. With time trackers you see where every second goes, how much of it is spent on work, and how productive you are.
4․ Allocate more time than you think you’ll need
When working on a project, you know how much time it will take you approximately. You allocate time, based on your previous experience with similar projects. However, to ensure that you manage the whole thing on time, it is a good idea to have extra time. That way you will have time to go over your work, revise and edit if necessary and submit it on time.
5․ Ask questions
Asking questions is not a sign that you don’t know something, it is a sign that you want to learn about it.
Even if you are a pro at what you do, it is always a good idea to ask questions where necessary.
Remember, it is better to ask and know for sure than just assume and make a mistake.
Asking questions is also a sign of being interested and wanting to learn more. In fact, managers love it when employees show eagerness and enthusiasm to learn more. If you think you need more information required for your work, or about the company, or anything else important to you really, go ahead and ask. If there’s a discussion or a new project that leaves you baffled, it is ok to ask again, until it all becomes clear to you.
6․ Don’t stop learning
Learning should be lifelong. People who are masters at their profession never stop learning. So should you, if you want to become better at yours.
Sometimes, when we work in the same place for a long time, we get comfortable and accustomed to a point where we stop learning anything new or we do it very slowly.
That’s when we find ourselves in stagnation. It may not always feel like so, but that’s where it becomes risky.
Whether you are a pro or a beginner, never stop learning. Always follow the trends in your field, try something new, succeed or fail. You don’t imagine how much you can be capable of when you are constantly learning.
Plus, you can learn anything, from new hobbies to new sports. Your brain will be thankful too.
7․ Accept feedback and learn from it
It is important that you learn to accept feedback and constructive criticism. You are going to get them at work anyway, so why not use them to your benefit.
You may not notice the slight details of your work that may need to be changed, but someone else will. Be prepared that colleagues and managers may see and point them out. Even if you disagree with them cause you like your own work, try to take a minute and separate yourself from your work and look at it from a third perspective.
No wonder why two heads are better than one. One may see something the other one can’t.
Also, try to learn from constructive feedback and use it in future cases.
8․ Be mindful of how you communicate
Succeeding at work calls for good communication skills. You need to know what to say, how to say and when to say it. First of all, you need to be friendly and open-minded. That way people will be more eager to have a conversation with you. You also need to show empathy and interest when you’re talking to someone. Watch people’s body language and try to adapt your conversation according to it. Learning to read body language is another skill but you’ll get better at it with practice.
The best way to become better at communication is to practice it. So go ahead and talk to coworkers.
9․ Help others
Always be willing to help others. Imagine how great you feel when you desperately need help and out of nowhere somebody helps you. You should always keep that in mind and be that help. Being helpful at work is a sign of caring and empathy. Your coworkers will appreciate and trust you when they know you’re there for them. However, pay attention to not cross the level from help to exploitation. Some people may take advantage of your help and ask you for more, sometimes even for things that don’t go into your responsibilities.
10․ Don’t talk behind anybody’s back
Work should be the last place to gossip at. In fact, it shouldn’t be even the last, it shouldn’t be at all. Gossipping is not a good idea in any place in general. Sometimes you may see people discussing someone else, even in the workplace. You should be careful to not participate, as gossip is not only unprofessional but it can also be harmful to you in your career.
No matter how you think of someone or their life choices, it’s always best to avoid discussing them at work.
11․ Keep work and personal life apart
It is a good idea to keep work and personal life separate. That includes relationships, conversations, friends, and alike. You can have friends from work, but friendship with coworkers is always different. You can go out after work, spend time with each other, but at the end of the day, you shouldn’t forget that you are still coworkers.
In the same way, it is not a good idea to bring up personal life at work. You may have had coworkers who start complaining/rambling about personal problems or whatever is going on in their life. And nobody really likes to listen to their complaints. It’s because work is not the right place for that.
If you find yourself oversharing, remember that you’re at work and just stop there.
If you think you need a boost in your professional image, working on your work habits is a great idea. Start by analyzing your own behavior and think of what you could work on. Is it your communication skills, your time management, punctuality or else?
You can start with the basic habits mentioned in this video and work your way up from there.
I hope you were able to find and choose useful habits that you’d like to develop yourself.