It's a new year, is it time for a new career? With a new year comes many professionals making resolutions to climb the corporate ladder. Start by cultivating healthy, career-strengthening habits.
A habit is a pattern of behavior, and when something negative is repeated over and over again, it not only impacts your attitude and behavior, but your relationships and overall health, too. While people may think making and/or breaking a habit is a lengthy process, some research insists it can be done in 7 days or in 7 consecutive attempts. Now is the time to commit to yourself and your career development, and leave these 8 bad habits behind in 2022:
Being late: As the expression goes, if you’re on time, you’re late. And actually being late will not only hurt your credibility, but hurt your relationships, too. When you stroll in late, even if it’s just a few minutes, you’re telling those in the room they don’t matter to you.
Not holding others accountable: You can’t do this unless you first hold yourself accountable to doing what you say you’re going to do. After you do that,translate it to your teammates or direct reports. If someone says they’re going to do something, and they don’t, hold them accountable. It’s a common trait amongst the most successful and productive teams.
Pushing everything to the next day: If you’re moving something to the next day…day after day, stop and think about why. Is it because you’re not giving yourself enough time to complete it? Is it simply too overwhelming of a project? Do you just not enjoy the work it entails? Sometimes breaking it up into smaller tasks or thinking about the bigger impact this project will have on the company will help get you started and motivated to finish.
Not maximizing weeknights and weekends: Are you spending Sunday night worried about Monday morning –what’s known by everyone as the “Sunday Scaries”? The main cause of anxiety is not being prepared. To shift your mindset and enjoy your evenings and Sundays, set time aside on Friday before you end your workday to map out your week ahead.
Create a to-do list broken out by each day of the week and write out what you need to achieve each day. Include any meetings you have and whatever you need to do to prepare for it, or what you want to touch on during the meeting – and this includes one-on-one’s with your manager or staff. Look at what’s coming two weeks or one month in advance and create a backwards timeline of what you need done by when, and include those deadlines in your weekly agenda.
Take it a step further to look at what you achieved at the end of each workday and rearrange the next day, factoring in whatever you didn’t get to. This takes 10 minutes. By going into the night or weekends prepared for the day and week ahead, you will spend time enjoying the present rather than negatively worrying about the future.
Comparing yourself to others: There are two potential outcomes of comparing yourself to others – it drives and motivates some and causes depression and self-doubt for others. If it fuels you, use it. If it deters you, stop! If something good happens to someone else, be happy for them and realize that was not meant for you…but if you work hard and stick to being your authentic self, your moment and time will come to shine.
Assuming: This gets so many people in trouble and is the easiest way to turn nothing into something. In her infamous TED talk, Dr. Brene Brown talked about the story we tell ourselves. From one interaction, we make an assumption of what the other person we interact with is thinking about us…and we dwell on it for days – rather than just having a conversation with the person and telling them how you’re feeling. On the flip side, never assume someone understood you – have them clarify with you so you know you’re on the same page and can avoid wasted time.
Ruminating over something that went wrong: Can’t get over something bad that happened? Are you replaying it over and over again in your head? Is it distracting you at work or at home? While it’s easier said than done, for your mental health and well-being, you have to move on. Consider what is making you feel the way you do - write it down and read through the list. Is there anything that can be clarified or overcome with a conversation?Someone once said that when you have that feeling after something didn’t go the way you planned, it means growth and development. You have the emotional intelligence to feel that something wasn’t communicated or done correctly, and it negatively impacted someone or something. That is growth. Next is creating an action plan on how to address it and then move on.
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