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7 Tips to Break Bad Work Habits

Bad habits don’t just interrupt your everyday life; they also impact your work day and prevent you from accomplishing goals and tasks. Embracing good habits in the workplace is the best way to feel accomplished, successful and productive.

If you currently struggle with one or a few bad habits such as web browsing, gossiping or never answering the phone, now is the time to break them. Once you break bad ones, you can begin to form good habits. Who knows? You may even discover that you enjoy your day more.

Use these seven tips to break bad work habits and make room for the good.

1. Identify bad habits
The first step to ridding the work day of bad habits is knowing what they are. For some, it is easy to identify bad habits, and for others, it can be difficult because you are comfortable with your routine. When you are comfortable, bad habits seem like a normal part of your day. The key is to be self-aware for a few days by repeatedly asking yourself is this a good and productive use of time. As you start to identify time-wasters, keep track of them on a list.

2. Understand your bad habit
Next, you need to fully understand the habit, when it occurs and what triggers it. Journal your actions for an entire day so you can pinpoint what happened just before your bad habit took over, who was in the room, how did you feel and what occurs afterward.

3. Brainstorm substitutes
Once you know what your bad habits are and why they happen, you can begin to brainstorm positive habits that can replace the bad ones. For instance, if you never answer your phone, the positive replacement is always to answer the phone. If you take too many breaks, the positive alternative could be to schedule two breaks a day.

4. Find an accountability partner
Depending on how tense or stressful minimizing bad habits is, recruiting an accountability partner can be helpful. Ask your accountability partner to check in daily or weekly about your progress. This is also who should call when you struggle or have a difficult day changing your routine.

Old Habits and New Habits Directions

5. Get rid of the clutter
When it comes to bad habits, clutter can be too much stuff or too many of the wrong types of people in your life. Are there certain co-workers that spend too much time in the break room gossiping and distract you from the day? Separate yourself from these individuals by taking breaks at different times. When you remove the trigger, it is easier to overcome bad habits.

6. Embrace affirmations
Affirmations are statements that you read aloud every day declaring your goals. Studies show that affirmations train your brain to make better decisions that make your goal a reality.

7. Track your success
On average, it takes more than two months to form new habits.  Track your success on a calendar, in a journal, or on a chart on your wall. By tracking how far you have come, it is harder to make a choice that reverts you back to the beginning of your journey.

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