Professional Work Habits You Can Master This Year

Good workplace habits are essential if you’re passionate about career success. Positive habits increase your productivity and job satisfaction, and foster better relationships with your managers and coworkers.

Get organized.

Prioritize, stay on track, and monitor your progress by:

  • Doing your MITs first. These are your most important tasks. Take care of them first thing in the morning. That way, no matter what else you accomplish, they will be completed.
  • Keeping a record of your success. If you have a clear record of your accomplishments, you can refer back to them and see the progress you’re making. Also, write down all your SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound- goals and find a way to quantify each one into a specific daily action.

Commit to lifelong learning.

Continuous ranks at the top of the list of key workplace habits. Continue to expose yourself to new knowledge and experiences on a regular basis.

  • Start by identifying and focusing on one specific skill you want to master. Learn everything you can about it. Create an action plan and take at least one step each day to reach your goal.
  • Set aside time to read. Successful people apply daily reading to anything they set out to do. Bring a book with you wherever you go, and read it when you have downtime. Your books don’t necessarily have to be relevant to your industry; you can learn from people who are very different from you and apply their policies or programs to your own field of work.

Take care of number one.

Make healthy decisions. Unless you take care of yourself, you can’t possibly excel at work.

  • Write down everything you do on a daily basis that is beneficial to your health. Then, list any harmful – or even potentially harmful – habits. Pick one from each column. Create a plan to increase one healthy habit and eliminate or decrease a single unhealthy one. Take time each week to evaluate your progress. And yes, even baby steps count!
  • Eat well, sleep well and exercise well. Strive for a healthy diet – and don’t skip meals. Make sleep a priority. Incorporate exercise into your daily schedule, even if it’s just 10 minutes periodically during the day. Studies have shown that daily exercise leads to a higher quality of sleep, increased memory, better concentration, and a mental sharpness that you won’t achieve if you’re sedentary.

Keep your eye on the prize.

To complement your SMART goals, use the Pareto principle to make decisions: Let 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. Once you’re able to identify the 20 percent of efforts that are making the most impact, you can focus on them and proactively ignore the rest.

  • Schedule a weekly and monthly review. Set aside specific time to review everything on your to-do list and prevent procrastination. What are your personal obligations? Priority projects? How much time do you have? This review will keep you from feeling overwhelmed and help you course correct any tasks or commitments that are not producing results.

The career counselors at TRC Professional Solutions can help you develop the right work habits to accelerate your career progress, starting today. Contact us so we can tell you more.