What do Jay-Z, Mark Zuckerberg, Stephen King and NBA’s recent heartthrob Jeremy Lin have in common?
Yup, legendary success — a direct result of their pristine work ethic.
- Jay-Z wrote raps relentlessly, burning through rhyming dictionaries at a young age
- In order to infuse his work ethic into his company culture, Zuckerberg hosts “Hackathons” at his Facebook kingdom, where engineers code into the wee hours of the night
- King never takes a break from his writing routine: 10 pages every single day, according to reports
- And, all of this Lin(sanity) continues because Lin stayed dedicated even after those Knicks reps initially passed on him
Conditioning yourself to get in the habit of realistic day-to-day goals (like King’s daily writing) is bound to pay off. We’re creatures of habits. Taking steps to quit poor daily habits at work is a great step to self-conditioning yourself for legendary success.
We spoke with a few experts on workplace efficiency who point to some studies that help us understand the most common, objectionable work habits today:
1. Surfing the Web
Managers say they could really do without employees’ inappropriate use of the Internet, according to Matthew Randall, Executive Director of the Center for Professional Excellence at York College of PA, who cites the school’s latest professionalism survey.
“Roughly 87 percent of the 400-plus managers we surveyed” said Web surfing a huge problem, he said.
It’s tough, I know, a Reddit break here and there makes for a much faster work day. But it’s a slippery slope that could slide you right down to a dangerous procrastination zone.
2. Texting Too Often
We’re probably all guilty of it — it only takes a second right?
But “80 percent of managers cite seeing text messages at inappropriate times” as one of the worst habits, Randall says.
Whatever you do, don’t text during meetings. “What this subliminally tells employers is that an employee cannot manage a schedule,” Randall says. Of course, emergencies are an exception. But “if someone is always checking their phone, they cannot be attentive in the room.”
3. Showing Up Late
Cruising in late makes you look bad — especially compared to someone who, without fail, is at his desk with coffee ready to go right at the start of the workday. If you want to do one worse, get in the habit of missing deadlines. Tardiness, in general, is a dangerous pattern.
“Even missing minor deadlines gives someone a reputation that they are unreliable and can’t get things done on time,” Randall says. “Sometimes perception really is reality.”
4. Failing to Respond to Emails
In order to work smart, prioritize your emails; but never let emails slide. If it will take two minutes to respond, get it out of the way. If it takes longer, make sure you make a note in your calendar to respond.
“Depending on the culture of your company and job, at a minimum, you should be clearing your emails on a daily basis,” says Kathryn Ullrich, executive search consultant at Kathryn Ullrich Associates.
If you’re too busy for an emailed task, don’t leave them hanging! Ullrich suggests sending a quick note like: “I’m busy today but I’ll look into these numbers and get back to you by Friday with the information you need.” Make a note to follow up.
5. Passing Work to Others
Have you ever worked with someone who tries to unload some of their work onto your shoulders? He might sound something like this, says Ullrich: “What do you think we should do for this next marketing campaign? When do you think we should send it? What should we say in the messaging?”
Don’t be that guy.
Instead, Ullrich says a better way to go about it is to “put together a straw-man draft and use it to solicit input or buy-in: “Here’s what I am planning. Does it fit with your schedule/needs?”
Avoid these five signs that your work ethic may be less than admirable… and watch your career take off!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at CareerBliss!
About the Author: Ritika Trikha is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. When Ritika’s not writing, she’s obsessing over social media (and listening to Jay Z!). Follow Ritika on Twitter!