Tips to break away from limiting habits that we have become too comfortable to recognise.
Staying ahead of the curve is at the front of most people’s mind; be it your dad buying the latest 3D television set, or your sister desperately trying to predict what will grace this season’s catwalks. But, today, our professional lives are probably where we are at our most eager to impress and stand out amongst our peers.
We all have bad habits, some which we are more willing to admit to than others. However at work we seem to struggle to even recognise bad habits, instead accepting or dismissing them as customary practice. Whether it’s because we don’t have the freedom to suggest new ideas or aren’t sure of where suggestions can be made, that ‘curve’ has drifted further and further away from our reachable grasp, leaving us (and, in some cases, our businesses) to play catch-up.
We are in the midst of a complete overhaul to the way in which we live and work, thanks largely due to the exponential growth in new technology, meaning that these habits no longer have a place in our lives if we are to succeed and grow.
Three points which I think will help you to break away from limiting habits that we have become too comfortable to recognise, include:
Form your own opinions
Whether it’s your colleagues, your boss, or your boss’ boss who is trying to influence you and your decisions by very obviously stating their viewpoint on a particular topic, always be aware that you can (and in most cases should) form your own opinions. You will not only receive respect for making your own mind up, but you will open up a new way of thinking to others, particularly those less keen on opposing those more senior to them.
Don’t be afraid to try something different
Archaic methods and processes exist in almost every company that’s ten years or older. There is always room for updating and improving a particular area of your job and the wider business. If you can think of another way of doing a particular task then give it a go. More and more frequently I’m seeing people adopt different approaches to the way in which they work, especially when it comes to hosting meetings. Using video conferencing is a huge step for some companies, but many are already reaping the rewards because they gave it a try and adapted the method to suit their individual needs.
Be more flexible
As Dolly resolutely informed us in the 80s, working nine to five was the way to make a living. That rigid structure no longer stands today. Flexible working is key to success in a global economy, allowing you to host meetings at 7pm from the comfort of your own home, or come to work later in the day in order to avoid rush hour. By being more flexible, you aren’t restricting yourself to achieve your business objectives in such a short time frame.
As mentioned, in order to get ahead in your career you have to be adaptable, open to change, flexible and above all, brave enough to try something different. Unfortunately these aren’t traits that we can all claim to possess - bad habits aren’t easily changed, they require breaking and kicking if you’re to transform and ultimately improve the way in which you work. But it can, and is, being achieved by plenty of people across businesses of all sizes, so don’t let your bad habits hold you back.
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