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Published on January 29, 2020

9 Exceptional Work Habits To Be More Efficient

9 Exceptional Work Habits To Be More Efficient

A work habit is any attitudinal, ethical, behavioral, or practical tendencies you apply in achieving peak performance in your business or workplace. Good work habits establish a solid foundation for peak performance, efficiency, trust, effective communication, regular attendance, compliance, time management, punctuality, and collaboration.

Have you ever extended your job functions and duties to assist your colleagues in a bid to achieve team efficiency and productivity? If yes, you possess good work habits.

But that’s not all. Successful people understand they need to display exceptional work habits to stand out. Here are 7 of such habits with two bonus-tips on setting priorities:

1. Prioritize Your MIT

Your MIT here means your ‘Most Important Tasks’.

It’s not enough to have a to-do list; you need to establish your Most Important Tasks.

The concept behind prioritizing your MIT is predicated on the fact that some activities are more crucial than others. Therefore, checking off the items on your to-do list might not be enough, as you may end up completing both important and less important tasks.

So what’s your best approach?

Spend some minutes in picking 1 to 3 MITs- the tasks you need to complete before the day ends no matter what.

You can then channel your energy on what matters with a renewed focus, as you know they must be completed.

Here’s what Laura Earnest, a productivity blogger, said about the significance of establishing your MITs as a work habit:[1]

“Productive people focus on the most important activities. They also ensure the means of getting those tasks done are the most effective. I believe they possess the capabilities of discerning the most important tasks and are apt in delegating the less important.”

2. Limit Social Media Use

With emails, notifications from social media platforms, and several minor to-dos, you can easily get distracted while trying to engage in productive work.

Our Editor-in-chief of Lifehack.org, Anna Chui, talked about the work habits that help her get ahead in life and business. Here’s what she said about limiting social media use:

“I limit my social media and IM usage so I can stay focused on what’s important to me. I turn off all WhatsApp group notifications and check them only before work, during lunchtime, and after work. I also turn off all social media notifications, so I don’t get distracted in the middle of my work. I go on social media only after work and limit time to less than 30 min per day.”

Limiting social media usage is a good work habit that can impact how you manage your time and what you make out of it.

3. Be Open to Feedback

The feedback system is a tool to optimize your efficiency in the workplace. When you receive positive or negative feedback from your superordinate, don’t take it personally. The goal of feedback is to make you more productive.

Here’s what Elijah Falode, a Top-rated content writer on Upwork, said on how he manages feedback from clients:

“I understand the significance of both public and private feedback on my reputation and work. To deliver a quality job, I spend more time to understand my client’s requirement, and then I ask questions. Once the client request for revision, I quickly work on it and ensure the client’s requirement has been met, and he or she is satisfied. Each feedback helps me to improve on the job.”

4. Exercise Daily

You may ask me what exercise has got to do with work habits. The truth is they are correlated. Your physical disposition affects personal productivity. This is why exercise will rank high on the list of exceptional work habits.

Several studies have pointed out that physical exercise is one of the essential work habits you need if you want to be healthier and live a happier life. Exercise will help you achieve quality sleep, optimized memory, mental alertness, and better concentration. You can’t accomplish this with a sedentary lifestyle. It will even impact your financial life.

According to the Journal of Labor Research, those who exercise daily were discovered to earn about nine percent on the average than those who live a sedentary life.[2]

5. Make Healthy Choices

If you continuously make some unhealthy choices, the truth is it will not only impact your mind and body negatively, but it will also affect your professional success. Therefore, making healthy choices is a crucial work habit.

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Here is how to make informed choices:

  • Write down those daily activities that add value to your health to assess your lifestyles.
  • List those habits that you think are hazardous to your health.
  • Select one of the healthy habits and devise a plan to increase it. For instance, if you read for 30 minutes daily, increase it to 60 minutes daily.
  • Pick one of the unhealthy choices and plan how to decrease it. For instance, if you are always tempted to taking soda by 4 pm every day to boost your energy, switch to taking herbal tea or water.
  • Select one of the bad work habits and substitute them with good work habits. For instance, if you browse social media immediately, you wake up in the morning, replace that habit with a yoga exercise or early morning meditation.
  • Evaluate your achievement every weekend. If you are not making progress, find out what’s the issue and adjust, so you don’t repeat the same mistake.

6. Engage in Reflective Practice

Reflection is a habit of reflecting on your ideas, thoughts, and actions in a bid to engage in a life-long learning process. It is also paying rapt attention to the values that inform your daily habits. Reflective practice helps you in cultivating vital skills and evaluating your effectiveness instead of going with the flow. It enables you to find out the motives behind your actions and curate a better approach in doing them subsequently.

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston. She spends most of her time studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and authenticity. She recommended you:

“Talk to yourself like someone you respect, with tough love and honesty.”

Meanwhile, most people are limited by the outcomes of that endeavor. Radical honesty demands standing in your resolution. This act of honesty will also enable you to make the right decisions, communicate better, and learn.[3]

Create a work habit by dedicating some time to ask the following questions:

  • Am I organized? Do I recall things?
  • Am I focused or get easily distracted? Do I need to reinforce a work habit/
  • Which of my skills stands out?
  • What are the challenges facing?
  • What distractions or tasks may impact my profession or career?
  • What impact am I making?
  • What makes me happy?
  • How do I want to improve every aspect of my life?

Reflective practice is a work habit that can help you achieve happiness in your personal and professional life.[4]

7. Find Time To Recharge

Your energy carries the same level of importance as your time. It does not make sense having enough time with no energy to remain productive.

Yes! It’s good to prioritize and also apply some productivity tactics. But you also need to learn how to take care of yourself.

Highly effective leaders find time to recharge. This means they get sufficient sleep each night. They also exercise and eat healthily.

If you are finding it difficult to concentrate on the job, evaluate your work habits. Jeff Bezos said of getting good sleep:

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“I prioritize it. I think better and have more energy.”

Bezos advocates for eight hours of good sleep. He said,[5]

“If you shortchange good sleep, you may win some additional productive hours, but that productivity will remain an illusion. Quality matters than quantity when it comes to decisions and interactions.”

8. Employ the Eisenhower Matrix to Track Long-Term Priorities

Sometimes, while trying to be productive, you focus on the short term. However, Peter Drucker, the renowned management legend, affirmed that:

“There is nothing as useless as efficiently performing activities that deserve no attention at all.”

The Eisenhower Matrix, utilized by Dwilight Eisenhower in making informed decisions while he was a general, was popularized in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People written by Stephen Covey. This matrix assists you in determining the tasks you should work on and those you should ignore.

Do you want to create your Eisenhower Matrix now?

Here’s how to go about it:[6]

    Are you working on urgent tasks that are not important? Devise the means of delegating, automating, or eliminating those tasks.

    Are you engaged in activities that are not important and urgent? Then ignore those tasks!

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    The Eisenhower Matrix simplifies the establishment of priorities.

    9. Utilize the 80/20 rule

    You need to focus on the most significant tasks. The 80/20 principle is an excellent approach to prioritize your tasks.

    Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist, discovered the principle. It is popularly known as the Pareto principle. According to this principle,

    “80% of your results emanate from 20% of your efforts.”

    To develop a good work habit, you need to discover the most rewarding 20% of your activities. Then, devise the means of reducing the 80% of your schedule. This will create more time for you to focus on the most impactful activities.

    Final Thoughts

    Highly exceptional people may seem like robots. Sometimes, they have only learned how to prioritize their tasks, surmount challenges, and overcome procrastination.

    Good work habits are crucial to achieving optimal performance in every aspect of your life. A client gives you a 5-star for quality performance, but he or she does not rate others the same way.

    Managers and business colleagues will love to collaborate with you when you possess exceptional work habits.

    Productive work habits will make you stand out in your business and workplace. Clients will value you for your efficiency and hard work

    Exceptional people are not brilliant than the rest of the world — they have only developed work habits that make them stand out from the rest of the world.

    Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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    Last Updated on October 6, 2020

    9 Steps to Disconnect from Social Media and Connect With Life Again

    9 Steps to Disconnect from Social Media and Connect With Life Again

    The world has never been more connected. No matter where in the world you are, you can send a message to anyone in another part of the world as long as you both have internet connection. In fact, Aussies living in the Outback will soon have access to the internet comparable to their city-dwelling counterparts. The internet not only breaks distance barriers, but also social barriers. A regular person, like you or me, can now tweet our favorite authors, athletes, and other famous personalities! Sometimes, they even respond.

    But sometimes, you may get lost in your online life that you forget to live your real life. You may focus on being more connected only to end up being disconnected with the real world. How is social media ruining your life? Watch this video to find out:

    Sometimes, you need to take a step back, disconnect from social media and connect with life once again. Here are nine ways you do so:

    1. Eliminate Gadgets for One Hour Before Sleep and After Wake Up

    You should spend the first hour of your day setting your own plans and agenda. You should be proactive in setting the direction of your day, not reactive. This way, you can determine how you want your whole day to go, not simply reacting to how other people want you to spend your day. During the first hour of your day, you can pray, meditate, connect with yourself, set your to-dos, and set your goals.

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    You should also spend the last hour of your day preparing to rest–your body and your mind. If you check your social media profile before going to bed, your mind will not get the rest it deserves as you will fill your mind with your friends’ updates on their news feeds, which do not necessarily make your life any better in any way or give you rest.

    2. Turn Off All Your Push Notifications

    It does not only save your battery life, it also saves you from a lot of distractions. Turn off all your push notifications from email, chat, and social media applications. In case of really urgent matters, people will give you a call.

    Success is about momentum. How can you gain momentum when notifications keep distracting you?

    3. Keep your phone in a drawer while you’re working.

    Sometimes, merely seeing your phone can distract you whether or not your notifications have been turned off. So, why not take the extra mile and completely hide it away from your sight given you can still hear urgent phone calls?

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    Again, it’s all about building momentum.

    4. Use Only One Device for Checking Social Media

    Facebook on your desktop, on your laptop, on your smartphone, and, now, even on your Apple Watch? That’s great! For Facebook that is. But, not for your focus and productivity. The more devices you have that can log in to your social media profiles, the more distractions you have to avoid.

    Of course, you still have to be connected online. But, use only one device to do so. This will help you condition your mind (and discipline yourself) that your gadgets are your tools for doing more important things than aimlessly scrolling down your news feed.

    5. Give Yourself 30 Minutes to Stay Connected

    Yes, you still have to log in! Being connected through social media is really a must in this technology-driven world. But, set a time limit for it. Otherwise, you will only waste hours each day. Give yourself thirty minutes (an hour at most) each day to respond to text messages, check notifications, accept friend requests, and respond to comments. I know you still want to. Unless, of course, you’re a social media manager. That’s a different story.

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    In case you cannot discipline yourself to stop logging in to social media, you can use browser extensions like StayFocusd for Google Chrome to limit the time you spend on them.

    6. Allot One Hour of Your Day to Respond to Emails

    In this increasingly online world, email still remains the most personal way of online communication. This is where the most important engagements still happen online. Other social media like Friendster and Multiply have come and gone, but email still remains. That’s why you can spend another hour each day checking and responding to your emails.

    7. Subscribe to Your Favorite Websites via RSS or Email

    Most of us rely on social media as well to get updates on our favorite blogs and website. But, social media are full of distractions. Instead, be proactive in getting updates as well. Subscribe via RSS or email to make sure that the only updates you receive are the updates you really want to receive.

    Don’t have an RSS reader? Try Feedly. Using RSS readers may be a bit confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will save you from a lot of distractions. But, it can also get addicting. So schedule catching up on your RSS reader as well!

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    8. Use Third Party Applications to Post on Social Media

    In case you really need to post updates, use third party applications such as Hootsuite and Buffer. That way, you can avoid logging in to your social media accounts and getting distracted by your news feed and notifications. Because once you’ve logged in, it’s difficult to log out! You don’t fight temptation, you avoid it!

    9. Live a Real Life

    Most importantly, live a real life, interact with real people, and be awesome in the real world! Don’t stress yourself making your profile wonderful. Live an awesome life and it will automatically follow!

    Do exciting stuff. Write a book. Plan a trip. Whatever. Just be awesome!

    Most importantly, live a life that matters and you don’t have to get your satisfaction and fulfillment from likes and shares ever again!

    How About You?

    What do you do to disconnect from social media and connect with your life once again?

    Featured photo credit: Singularity University NL: Man versus Machine – Biology versus Technology by Sebastiaan ter Burg via imcreator.com

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