Whether you work at a startup, a Fortune 500, or run your own business, building positive professional habits can impact your overall career success.
It’s estimated that at least 40% of what we do each day is governed by our existing habits. Once we have ingrained these habits in our daily lives, our brains will need minimal effort to complete them. That means that putting in the effort to build positive work habits now can move you towards your professional goals and help you conserve energy you would have otherwise spent working to achieve the same effect.
Here are nine habits you can cultivate to excel and make yourself stand out at work.
9 Simple Habits to Help You Stand Out in the Workplace
From being more productive in your day to mastering the art of meetings, here are nine positive work habits to set you up for a successful career
1. Prioritize Your Time
When it comes to building a successful career, time is your most precious resource. Time management should always be a top priority because you can’t achieve any results without dedicating the proper amount of time to them.
Invest in time management education or training to bring the highest return on your scarcest resource. Using time-tracking software, such as Timely or Clockify, is an excellent way to stay on top of projects and get more done. Once you’ve learned to track the time you spend on work responsibilities, don’t be surprised when your coworkers start coming to you for time management advice.
2. Be Disciplined With Deadlines
You never want to earn a reputation as the team member who misses work deadlines because other people rely on you to get things done when you say you will.
To hit your deadlines, you must first set them in the correct timeframe. Be sure you’re strategic about setting the proper deadlines for each goal you have rather than making up a random time on the spot. Set start lines for yourself as well so you don’t procrastinate.
3. Follow Proper Meeting Etiquette
A team meeting can either drastically advance your organization or suck valuable time away from you and your team. Learn and follow proper meeting etiquette to make the most of every meeting you attend.
If you’re not the facilitator of your meetings, politely recommend meeting etiquette tips for everyone involved. Your team members will be grateful for your focus, brevity, and clear objectives during the meetings you attend together. By helping establish focus and attention to detail in a group setting, you will stand out from others on your team.
4. Take Care of Yourself
While some busy professionals may be willing to sacrifice their well-being in order to get ahead, doing so can actually hurt your career by leading you to experience burnout and illness. This is why the most successful people know the importance of cultivating healthy habits in their lives.
Learn to prioritize your sleep, nutrition, fitness, and stress management. Work with a talented coach to optimize these areas of your life. By taking proper care of yourself, you will not only improve your overall health and energy, you’ll increase your productivity and focus as an employee.
5. Give and Receive Constructive Feedback
In any organization or professional relationship, both giving and receiving constructive feedback can drastically impact your organization’s success. However, giving feedback in the right way can be tricky, which is why it’s important to learn proper feedback etiquette.
6. Hold Yourself Accountable
Accountability in the workplace helps everyone achieve more, trust one another, and increase their productivity. By modeling self-accountability, you can inspire others to hold themselves accountable to their goals and performance. Take ownership of what you’re responsible for and enforce consequences when you fail to meet deadlines. Use checklists or daily scorecards to keep yourself on track.
By embodying self-accountability, you can cultivate a work culture of positive change, which makes everyone around you a winner.
7. Improve Your Communications Skills
Lackluster communication skills can contribute to friction at work in many ways — missed deadlines, misunderstandings, etc. To prevent this friction, be sure you are always improving your communication skills.
Verbal communication is the first front of effective communications and is a prerequisite for any leader. Leaders need superb verbal communication skills to help employees solve conflicts, unite people behind a clear message, give memorable presentations, and sell products and services.
Brush up on your written communication skills as well. Because many people communicate over email and messenger apps these days, it’s essential your messages aren’t lost in translation, especially when you are delegating or outsourcing work responsibilities.
Receiving communication adequately is vital, too. Learn to read effectively and learn to engage in active listening to develop a better understanding of your team’s needs.
8. Avoid Procrastination
Humans are wired for laziness, which means we all have a tendency to procrastinate. Fortunately, you can procrastinate by becoming mindful of why you may be motivated to procrastinate. Understanding your own personal procrastination triggers can help you beat procrastination the next time you feel tempted to push work off.
9. Use Habit-Tracking Technology
Forming good, new habits takes time and old habits die hard. For this reason, you must put clear tactics in place that help you mold your old habits into new, productive ones.
Don’t just wing this process either. By using a habit tracker, such as the Arootah Habit Accountability Tracker (H.A.T.), you can become more mindful of current habits, stay on track when creating new ones, and monitor your progress as you implement them into your life.
The Bottom Line
By building effective professional habits, you can start to create a snowball effect in your performance at work that will ultimately help you stand apart from the crowd. The key to success is to start small with your habits and build them up over time for long-lasting positive change.
If you’ve previously tried and failed to adopt new habits, don’t be too hard on yourself! Changing your subconscious programming takes an immense amount of effort, but the rewards are well worth it. Download our Habit Accountability Tracker for an easy way to keep track of and transform your daily habits. OR if you need additional support to get to where you’d like to be professionally, you may consider working with a career coach.