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8 Bad Work Habits You Probably Have That Make Work Unbearable

8 Bad Work Habits You Probably Have That Make Work Unbearable

Are you one of the 70% who are dissatisfied with their current job situation? There could be many reasons that make work unbearable. These can include factors from a tyrannical boss, long hours, unpleasant colleagues to a low salary. But have you ever thought of turning the spotlight on yourself? Maybe you have some bad work habits that are making the whole work experience totally negative.

Any bad habits you may have are going to impact how you work, your assessment, and most importantly what your colleagues think of you. Read on and discover what these might be.

1.You are moody and temperamental

Your colleagues never know with any certainty how you are going to react to greetings, proposals, invitationsv and phone calls. Your changeable mood means that you are probably bringing domestic problems into the workplace. Do you sulk or refuse to greet colleagues with a smile? Are you irritable and bad-tempered? If so, it may be time to separate your personal problems from those of the workplace.

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2.You have stopped caring

Remember when you first came to the job and you were enthusiastic? Can you recall answering at the interview what you could bring to the job?  If you no longer care what happens in the company and have built a little fortress round your desk, then it may be time to re-evaluate what you are doing in this job.

3.You are always negative

It was Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott who invented the word ‘negaholic’. If you fall into this category, it means that you are using phrases like these too often:

  • ‘This is not in my job description’
  • ‘That’s not my problem’
  • ‘This may be a stupid question, but…..’
  • ‘I will try to meet that deadline but….’.
  • ‘I don’t have time to discuss this right now’
  • ‘He’s a lazy jerk’
  • ‘I hate my job’
  • ‘The management in this company sucks’

 Negative people in the workplace are usually regarded as being toxic or cancerous by management. Sooner or later, they will be eliminated.

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4.You are often late

Being unpunctual usually means that someone else has to hold the fort until you arrive. Meetings may be delayed, callers are put on hold, and colleagues are kept waiting. This has negative consequences for everybody. Try being punctual for a whole week and see what happens. You might notice a thaw in the atmosphere.

5.You are lazy

‘Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction’ – Anne Frank

Work is tough, so you want to do the minimum. You are convinced that too much work can be toxic. You see loads of colleagues stressed out, so you feel perfectly justified.

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The only problem is that your laziness will affect your co-workers’ productivity, and this will boomerang on you, sooner or later. If you are part of a team, laziness will be dealt with decisively and you may well be punished or even demoted.

6.You rarely show gratitude

Gratitude seems to be in short supply at work. This was the finding in a survey of 2,000 Americans at work, carried out by the John Templeton Foundation. A feeling of gratitude not only leads to a happier workplace but actually can have a positive impact on workers’ physical and mental health.

Ideally, you should be able to show your appreciation by simply saying “thank you”. Similarly, you expect your work and efforts to be acknowledged in some way. This can range from the tiny day to day trivialities to the job performance assessment. Just think that everyone craves praise, attention and appreciation. Gratitude is infectious, so it will be returned to you. You will notice a better atmosphere when people are more grateful and positive.

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7. You are cynical

‘Cynicism is full of naïve disappointments’ – Mason Cooley

Perhaps you had a negative experience when you approached your line manager with an issue. That issue was not resolved and led to it festering. You were disappointed, and now you are embittered. Since then, your cynicism has grown and you are sceptical of the value of change. You view customer care as a pain in the neck. Your attitude is that the company has not been loyal to you, so why should you bother? Your cynical attitude is like a cancer growing out of control.

8.You are too noisy

A lack of self awareness leads to noisy behavior, which disturbs your co-workers. You are totally oblivious of (or could not care less about):

  • Talking in a very loud voice on the phone
  • Heavy sighing
  • Moving your chair noisily
  • Banging box files on the desk
  • Foot kicking
  • Pen tapping
  • Slamming the phone down
  • Eating at your desk noisily

Instead of waiting for icy glares and nasty comments, why not try to quiet down? Just tackle one problem every week.

So, how did you do?  Perhaps there are one or several areas that you need to work on in order to make your work bearable again for you and your colleagues.

Featured photo credit: Meeting/USDA gov via Flickr

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on May 23, 2019

Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

Ditch Work Life Balance and Embrace Work Life Harmony

How do you usually go about your day?

Do you wake up in the morning, get ready for work, and then spend the whole day looking forward to being at home and unwinding?

We often hear about work life balance – having a good balance between work and personal time. Whilst this may sound like a smart idea, it can also imply that we should dedicate at least half of our time to work–and sacrifice time for our “personal life”.

To me, that seems…off balance. Because, the truth is, it’s nearly impossible to split your time equally between the two. And, you may end up stressing out if you’re not able to meet that expectation of balance.

Instead, why not think of having work life harmony instead?

With this mindset, you can actually integrate work into your life in a way that feels more complete. This way, you don’t need to view work and having personal time as separate.

So, how do you achieve work life harmony?

Work Life Harmony Explained

The difference between work life balance and work life harmony is pretty simple. With the former, there is an implication that you have to sacrifice your “life” for work. But, this is the worst way to go about things! How can you truly be at peace in life if you dread 8 hours of your day?

Work life harmony on the other hand, allows your work to be a part of your life. This means that you can choose to be happy both at home, and at work! Work no longer needs to be seen as the ‘bad’ or un-fun activity.

Having work life harmony also ensures you’re truly present in whatever place you find yourself.

Just take a look at Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon for example.

He uses a non traditional approach to work by making time for breakfast every morning with his family, doesn’t set his alarm before going to bed, schedules surprisingly few meetings, and still puts aside a few minutes every day to wash his own dishes.

He believes that all his staff should stop trying to achieve a ‘balance’ in their work and personal lives as that implies a trade off. Instead, he envisions a more holistic relationship between the two.

As the world’s richest man, he must be doing something right!

Rethink Time Management

Now, when we think of striking a balance, we usually associate it with time, don’t we? How much time are we spending at work versus how much time are we spending in our personal lives?Are we taking enough time to be with our loved ones, to do meaningful activities with others or even for ourselves, or are we just dedicating all our time to work?

This is the so-called-balance that many struggle with.

With work life harmony, we learn to rethink time management. By re-assessing how you manage your time, you’ll have a lot more of it. It’s incredible how much time can get wasted over the period of a day–especially when you’re not accurately tracking it.

Unfortunately, unless you’re consciously making an effort, your brain is not always the best at making accurate judgement calls when it comes to prioritizing. It tends to have a bias towards short term benefits and short term costs.

As there are often many more options our brains link to short term benefit; when you’re trying to focus on a task that gives you a long term benefit, that task usually becomes low priority. This is otherwise known as Priority Chaos.

In order to overcome this and be in better control of your time, identify the tasks that need the most focus to get accomplished. If it’s a big task, then it’s good to break it down into smaller bite-sized actions that will provide you with a clearer short term benefit.

When setting up tasks, give yourself a time limit. The brain has a bias towards short term benefits, and your attention span is limited, so if your tasks are going to take ages to complete, you’ll end up losing focus… and wasting time.

Once you have all your tasks written down, it’s time to prioritize them. Since you have a time limit, your focus should be on the top priority tasks. By doing this, you will already be able to get more done in less time at work!

Have Passion for What You Do

Managing your time is important in achieving that work life harmony. But, perhaps of greater importance, is loving what you do in life. One of the most effective ways to achieve a work life harmony is to really enjoy, or find a purpose, in what you do for a living. Even though everyone isn’t always lucky enough to find a position that pays them for pursuing their passion, you can strive to find meaning in what you are already doing, or pursue something new entirely!

For example, say you work at an office that sells paper. While many people wouldn’t consider this a world changing pursuit, I beg to differ. Think of all the individuals in the world that rely on paper. From creative types to quantum physics experts, your role at your workplace brings incredible value to many many people all over the world. You will have, without a doubt, helped bring a new idea into existence. Several new ideas to be precise.

So have a think about what you’re doing now. Is it something that allows you to embrace your passion?

Or perhaps you might not even know what it is that you love or enjoy doing. Why not explore and reflect on what gives you joy and contentment? Is there an area or industry that you could see yourself exploring to experience that fulfillment?

Can you find a deeper purpose in what you’re already doing?

When you’re able to find meaning in your work, you’re that much closer to achieving work life harmony.

Don’t Be Intimidated By Obstacles and Limitations

Creating work life harmony is also about understanding yourself–which includes your limitations and past obstacles–as this allows you to become more resilient.

If you never had to experience struggles, challenges or setbacks, then you would never be forced to adapt and mature. So in theory, having to face obstacles in life is actually quite necessary.

Most of us think of setbacks and obstacles as negative. Though, if you’re able to maintain an optimistic attitude, you’ll almost always have a higher chance of success of overcoming those obstacles to reach your eventual goal.

Your attitude towards setbacks will define the outcome of whether you rise from the challenge or remain stuck in it. So, in order to achieve work life harmony, it’s important to have a resilient attitude as challenges will always come your way–especially when you strive to integrate work into your life, and not a separate or dominant part of life.

Delegate When You Need To

Of course, when you want to increase productivity and minimize the time or effort spent, a great way to do so is to delegate!

If you spend a lot of time doing tasks on your own that could be delegated to others (whether at work or at home) you’re losing a lot of precious free time that could otherwise be spent elsewhere.

At the end of the day, we all have a limited amount of time. So we should all be striving to create a harmonious work and living situation where we can find meaning in all that we do.

While an overall goal may be meaningful, not all of the milestones or tasks needed to get there may be meaningful. That’s because we have our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Not every task is going to be enjoyable or easy to complete. That’s where delegation comes in.

Delegation simply allows you to leverage time from an external source, thus giving you opportunities to increase your own quality of time. Keep in mind that delegation should be done with deliberate attention, otherwise you may end up over relying on others.

If you find that you’re running into the problem of over delegating, then it may be time to re-evaluate your motivation for doing whatever it is that you’re doing.

Embrace the Circle and Become Happier and More Productive

Living in harmony is about feeling good about the ways in which you spend your time, despite how busy you may be.Your switch from work mode to a more personal mode should be effortless. It’s about integrating your personal life and the things you love into your busy work life!

It all begins with the shift in perspective. Understanding what your passions are, and learning to be resilient, before taking a different approach to the way you manage your time and everyday tasks.

These are steps that you can start taking to move away from balance to harmony. 

Featured photo credit: Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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