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  • 15 Ways You’re Sabotaging Yourself at Work

    shutterstock_197900150You don’t want to be “that guy” (or “that girl”) at work. You know the one. They’re super nice and great to be around, but you definitely don’t want to be stuck working on a project with them. Somehow they’ve been here for years and haven’t gotten fired, despite how unprofessional they can be.

    However, you might be like them without even realizing it. Here are 15 ways you’re sabotaging yourself at work:

    1. You’re Always Late

    Being late has a much bigger impact than you might have expected. Yes, things come up. You might have car issues or an emergency you need to take care of. But those are only excusable once in a while. You might think no one notices you sneaking in five minutes late, but they definitely do. Restructure your morning routine to guarantee you’re getting there in plenty of time.

    1. You Let Technology Distract You

    You need to use your computer to get your work done. The internet, however, holds a plethora of things waiting to draw your attention away from what you need to get done. Your cell phone is also in your pocket or on your desk, filled with apps and people to text.

    Technology is a serious distraction in the workplace. Find ways to resist temptation, like leaving your cell phone in a drawer or another out-of-sight location if you don’t need it for work.

    1. You Complain Too Much

    Complaining can have a direct effect on your progress at work, and even in life. Dwelling on the negative hinders your progress and doesn’t let you be the best worker you can be. It also affects your workplace reputation and makes people less likely to want to associate with you because you complain constantly.

    Complaining shows you’re focusing your time more on criticizing the company rather than getting your work done. Take notice of how many negative comments come out of your mouth each day, and try and turn them into positive ones. It’s a hard habit to break, but it’s worth it.

    1. You Make Stupid Mistakes

    We’re all human, and sometimes mistakes do happen. However, a lazy mistake can lead to sloppy work, which makes you look like you don’t care. A fix may be as simple as proofreading and double-checking the work you do.

    If you’re rushed for a deadline, do your best to set aside a bit of time to do at least a quick once-over before you turn it in. A legitimate mistake is one thing, but a stupid one that could easily be fixed just makes you look incompetent.

    1. You Procrastinate

    Waiting until the last minute to rush a project doesn’t help anyone, so why do we do it? If you’re a perfectionist, you might need the pressure of a deadline to make you finish your work instead of going over it constantly.

    However, the procrastination habit needs to be broken. Set deadlines for yourself to make sure you have sections of your work done by certain times. Don’t overwhelm yourself at the last minute.

    1. You Don’t Ask for Help

    We want to think we can do everything on our own and don’t need to ask for help. We might see asking for help as a weakness, but it’s actually a strength. It shows you want to be better at what you do, and you want to make sure things are done right. It also shows you’re a collaborative person who can work with others.

    Being nervous about asking for help makes sense, but there are ways to overcome that and get the help you need so you can produce the best product possible.

    1. You Don’t Plan Well

    Without planning, it’s hard to keep track of the work that’s expected of you and when all of it is due. One way to get yourself organized is to get a calendar and write out all the deadlines you have. Then, break it down further into what you want to accomplish each day.

    No one wants to work with an unorganized person, so take steps to plan your work for maximum efficiency. Your employers will surely take notice.

    1. You’re Too Emotional

    If you’re crying every time something doesn’t go your way, co-workers and managers are going to see that as a problem. The same goes for if you yell and smash keyboards when you’re frustrated. Emotions are a part of being human, but you can’t let them control you, especially in a public setting like work.

    It’s important to learn how to manage your emotions so you can be more pleasant to work with. People also won’t be worried they’re going to set you off every time they talk to you.

    1. You Don’t Pay Attention

    People expect you to listen when they’re talking. Company meetings and conference calls can be boring, but you’re responsible for knowing the information that’s discussed in them.

    Find a technique that helps you focus your attention when you’re in these meetings. You might find taking notes helps to keep your mind engaged in the discussion. An added bonus is those notes will also help you remember the information for when you’ll need it later.

    1. You Think You Aren’t Good Enough

    A lack of confidence is a turnoff for employers. If you’re new to the company or less experienced than your peers, it’s going to make you uneasy. But being timid and passive isn’t going to help you.

    There are steps you can take to boost your confidence and be more self-assured at work. One way is not backing down from a challenge. Embrace it and prove you’re willing to go out of your comfort zone to make sure something gets done.

    1. You Think You’re Too Good

    If you’re boasting about your work but not living up to your comments about yourself, people are just going to think they can’t rely on you. Overconfidence can lead to incompetence, and that’s the last reputation you want to get in the workplace. Instead of talking about how great your work is, focus on working hard and let the product speak for itself.

    1. You Gossip

    It’s easy to get sucked into the juicy workplace gossip that’s going around, but gossip can be really destructive to the work environment. If you’re going around spreading rumors, people aren’t going to trust you with anything, and they’ll likely avoid you.

    Productivity also drops when you’re more focused on getting details of Barb’s date last night than on doing your job. Choose your friends at work wisely and don’t share intimate personal details. Keep work and home separate as much as possible.

    1. You Try to Please Everyone

    Yes, teamwork is good — but there’s a limit. You can’t say yes to everything someone asks you to do. Making people happy and helping them out is a good thing, but you have to set some boundaries. Make sure you’re putting the work that you’re responsible for first. Then you can help the others if you have some extra time. Don’t be afraid to say no.

    1. You’re Terrible at Emailing

    Office email is a big part of communicating in the workplace. Make sure your email habits are appropriate and professional. You don’t want to send an email to your boss with a lot of text language and smiley faces in it. You also don’t want to take too long when someone really needs an answer. Review how you email and make sure it’s suitable for where you work.

    1. You Hate Your Job

    If you despise where you work, you aren’t going to be passionate and put the in the effort the company needs and expects from you. If you’re unhappy, it shows, and your negativity toward the place you work is going to seep into everything you do. If you feel these symptoms every day, it’s probably time to find a new job.

    Take a look at your work habits and see how many of these you find yourself doing, so you can take steps to change them. You might be surprised at what you find.

    avatar

    Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and Digital Marketing Specialist. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to sharing advice on navigating the work world. Passionate about helping others find happiness and success in their careers, she shares advice on everything from the job search and entrepreneurship to professional development, and more! Follow her for more great tips @SarahLandrum

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