Sometimes we derail ourselves without even realizing it. So, this is a reality checklist for you to see if you have been unknowingly sabotaging your career and professional growth:

1) Being late: Being late to work regularly or to meetings can taint your reputation for professionalism. Take a few minutes the night before or during the day to plan for the day ahead and prepare accordingly. It’s more important than you think!

2) Avoiding meetings:  We can fall under the radar by repeatedly avoiding meetings and discussions. Don’t make it a habit as it ultimately impacts your role and growth opportunity in your department.

3) Not backing up or saving work: Being overwhelmed and rushed, we can forget to backup and save our work. As a habit, that increases the likelihood of losing valuable data and do-overs time and again. Make it a new habit to save, save, save!

4) Not cleaning out the inbox: Emails have become our primary form of correspondence. Not filing or clearing out our inboxes regularly can create a backlog of 1000s of emails and we may end up missing or not responding to the important emails. Start this week by creating folders, priority levels and automatic rules to file emails and help you get sorted!

5) Internet browsing: As our attention wanders at work, it’s easy to just click on an Internet browser and start searching. Or sometimes we are mid-search and a new link grabs our attention and before you know it, 15 minutes has flown by. Break this bad habit by having a self-imposed timer for browsing. You can always save new links for viewing later instead of clicking on them in the moment.

6) Snacking at work: Substitute your sugar or salt fix during the workday with healthy snacks. With a little bit of planning and research, it’s easy to find a variety of healthy snacks that are not overloaded with carbs, sugars and salt.

7) Social Media trap: Just like the Internet, we can easily get caught up in our social media feeds. Turn off notifications during the workday or when you have important things to get done. Choose certain times of the day to spend catching up with social media.

8) Emotional shopping: When stress rises and we have no time to leave our desks, we turn to Macy’s or for our emotional lift. Whether it’s making a quick purchase on a sale item, or putting in a bid for an unbelieve price on a designer product, the relief shopping provides is expensive and short-lived. Try to relieve stress at your desk by journaling a few lines, taking a few deep breaths or making a quick call to a loved one instead.

9) Sending calls to voicemail: A bad habit that comes with having caller ID is not answering calls. Our ability to be responsive can nip issues in the bud and take things off of our list instead of always adding to it. If you have the time, answer the phone instead of just sending it to voicemail. In the long run, it makes you better able to handle unexpected and unwanted situations.


What’s your bad habit and how did you overcome it?  Look forward to seeing your comments!


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