Shirley's Articles / Personal Effectiveness

Get Into Good Habits At Work

If you’re anything like me and many others, you have a lot of distractions during the course of your working day. With so many distractions at work, it can be hard to get on with what you need to get done. Sometimes we get into some bad habits, such as over-checking your email and checking our Facebook. Then you realise your real work is backing up. Does this sound like you too?

It’s really important to recognise when you start becoming unfocused, so you can initiate some good habits in the workplace – habits that promote, and not hinder, your success at work.

Let’s face it, work should be a place of productivity and achievement. You can make your life much less stressful by making good work habits the norm, not the exception. By making yourself a shining example, your good habits could even help you stand out for a promotion. Here are four great strategies you can use to help you develop good habits at work. Like most things that are good for you, it will take commitment, but the pay off is almost immediate:

  1. Unless it’s essential, cut off access to personal social media – yes, all of it! There is no bigger problem in the workplace than overuse of social media outlets. Stay focused on work.
  2. When your energy wanes, don’t talk – walk. Moving around will get your body and mind re-energised while talking can often drain you of energy. So take a walk even if it’s only to the pantry to make a cuppa. You’ll get fresh faces and perhaps some good ideas and you’ll go back to work refreshed.
  3. Check your email as often as you need to and no more. Email checking really depends on your job, but if you don’t need to have your email program open constantly, close it down so you can focus. It can be a huge distraction. When you really concentrate solely on the tasks at hand you’ll be so much more productive. Then check your email when you are at an appropriate break.
  4. Recognise when you are most productive, and commit that time to yourself and your work. Turn off your phone, close your door and turn off email. I know for me this is early morning, so whatever works for you find your most productive hours and commit to getting great work done then.

Like I said earlier, it’s going to take commitment to build these good habits into your everyday routines. And just like most things that are good for you, it will take real commitment, but the pay off is almost immediate. You’ll start to feel better, more focused, more productive, and you’ll get a great sense of achievement when you start ticking things off your list.

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Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

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