Once upon a time, I used to believe coming up with big New Year’s resolutions. I’d commit myself to being fluent in French, shrinking my Chick-fil-A obsession, or spending more time for self-care. But eventually, I’ve I realized that I’m not great with following through with my audacious promises.
So, after several failed years to resolute myself, I kept my goals a little simpler.
In 2019, I’m focusing on balancing my work-life and making it as anxiety-free as possible. To do this, I looked at the bad habits I’ve developed throughout my career so far and how might they are holding me back or making my workdays harder than they need to be,
Check out what work habits I’ll be avoiding this year and see if it will inspire you to do the same.
1. Skipping the “Monday-Mehs”
After spending a (mostly) worry-free weekend, it’s hard to walk into the office without feeling the “Monday-Mehs” by experiencing sluggishness and the inability to start the day on the right foot. More often than not, I’ve spent the first part of my day going through emails, catching up with coworkers, or scrolling through social media. This is because I didn’t define the goals for the week.
To have an all-around more productive workweek, I’m going to stand up against the “Morning-Mehs” by gathering my bearing and making a to-do list for myself every Friday. That way, when I sit down at my desk after a fun weekend, I can pick up right where I left off.
2. Being Too Lazy to Learn
I know that learning is the key to being innovative, but I get a little complacent after I’ve been in a role for too long. Yet, just because I know how to accomplish tasks in my role doesn’t mean that I’ve learned everything I possibly can to be an expert.
If I feel myself coasting in the new year, I’ll seek ways to grow and expand my horizon. This might mean taking an online course, attending a workshop, or learning the latest trends in my industry. If I feel bold, I might even ask my supervisor or trusted mentor for feedback on how I can improve.
3. Avoiding Company Activities
I’m an ambivert by default (having qualities of both introverts and extroverts). Which is why it’s even more shocking when people find out I tend to go to great length to avoid unnecessary, and sometimes awkward, social interactions. Make no mistake, I like the people I work with but after a long day at work, I’d rather unwind by being with my wife and dog.
Wanting to spend time with my family is not bad by any stretch but using that time as an excuse to miss out on every company party or happy hour is not acceptable, especially since I will probably miss out on some great relationship building opportunities. I may not say yes to every social event, but I will do my best to take part more often.
4. Skipping Lunch Meals & Breaks
It’s easy for me to skip lunch during your workday, especially when you have a lot on your plate (work, not food). Yet, unless I’m facing a tight deadline or amid a creative breakthrough, it’s inexcusable for me to not spare at least fifteen minutes for a lunch break. And let’s face it, if a full workday is at least eight hours; you need a decent meal to keep your energy levels up.
However, even if I eat lunch, another bad habit I’m avoiding is eating at my desk and skipping the actual break part of your lunch. Your mind also needs to take breaks away from your screen and desk for it to be its most productive when working.
5. Beating yourself up over mishaps
I tend to be a perfectionist and love when everything falls into place. Yet, that rarely ever happens. I will make mistakes throughout the year and I’ll find out that a brilliant idea I came up with will not pan out. Fortunately, no one is perfect and the best way to move on is to move on from your mistake and take responsibility for your failure.
6. Pushing through Unproductive Spells
In the past when I was in an unproductive spell, I’d often chain myself to my desk hoping this feeling will magically pass, and I’ll be able to accomplish my tasks in no time. Forcing myself to stay at my desk is great in theory but, in reality, my brain doesn’t operate that way and I tend to do more harm than good.
Moving forward when I get into these situations, I will leave my desk and take a few minutes to refresh myself–whether it is taking a lap around the office, grabbing coffee, or getting some fresh air. I’ve recently learned that if I remove myself from my environment, even for a couple minutes, I’m able to return to my desk feeling re-energized and having a clear mind.
Hopefully, this list inspires you to improve the bad habits in your own professional career. I recognize that my faults won’t disappear right away in 2019. It will take constant awareness to recognize my liabilities and being disciplined to carry out my plan. And even if I’m successful some time, I’ll still be making improvements in my professional career–which is more than I can say about my Chick-fil-A addiction.