Mark Weinstein, the author of Habitually Great: Master Your Habits, Own Your Destiny talks about the ways our bad work habits limit us.
What are some of the bad work habits that can hold people back in tough times?
There are many, and in these challenging times, they are often exacerbated. Right now, people and organisations are spending too much time feeling distressed, about their careers, the economy, their leadership, everything. The distress habit perpetuates a negative focus that preempts critical thinking or actions that focus on a brighter future. It leads executives to make emotional, impulsive decisions. Making hasty cutbacks in IT infrastructure for short-term savings right now is one example; such cuts may perpetuate the decline of a company that would otherwise have been poised to emerge as a leader in the recovery.
How does one go about breaking bad work habits?
Any time you feel negative, when you are being reactive, triggered, fearful, manipulative or controlling, a limiting habit is vying for control. Breaking bad habits requires patience and cognitive awareness. As my book makes clear, there is no 30-second magic bullet to breaking habits. You must be determined, patient and intentional.
How often have you seen your New Year's resolutions wither on the vine? New Year's resolutions are born from inspiration, not discipline. Their aim is virtuous: to change, break or create a habit. The pathway to their fulfillment runs straight into the walls of your limiting habits, in spite of your inspired in-the-moment commitment and clarity of intent.
Here's why: Inspiration does not lead to sustained action. But discipline leads to inspiration. Think back to a time or a success that has felt really good. You were inspired! But your discipline led to your inspiration, and that is the beauty of the equation. The first step in breaking a bad habit is to identify the actions you want to take and then, with your discipline habit, schedule the actions and follow through; no distractions allowed!
What is the single best good habit to develop if one wants a more fulfilling career?
The teamwork habit is the key to happiness and fulfillment. Every day, you participate in teams, in your personal relationships and with co-workers, vendors, customers and staff. Teamwork catapults your aspirations and accelerates the achievements and joyful circumstances you desire. The foundation of teamwork is trust, starting with trusting that people you know are capable, smart, effective human beings, just like you. Recognise the strengths of others, and acknowledge and ask for assistance in the areas where you are uncertain or weak, as well as the areas where you can just use some help. Build great teams and you will climb the highest peaks, individually and with your teammates.