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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 July 16, 2019

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

What to have for dinner tonight?

Which route to take to work?

How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

For example:

If the problem is “always late to work”…

  • Why am I late to work?
    I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
  • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
    I feel so tired in the morning.
  • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
    I slept late the night before, that’s why.
  • Why did I sleep late?
    I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
  • Why did I drink coffee?
    Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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3. Simplify Things

As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

5. Think Laterally

Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

The Bottom Line

There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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