Are your work habits creating havoc in your coworker relationships and productivity? Young millennials can be especially guilty of bad work habits as they learn improved methods in their twenties.
I have saved you a bit of the hassle in learning these lessons yourself by dishing on the habits that you should adopt by age 30.
Start Promoting Yourself
No, you shouldn’t go to HR and tell them you are getting promoted. However, you should operate in a way that makes it easy for the powers that be to promote you. That tends to start with building the foundation to rave about all you have done.
Any time is a good time to get a grasp on what you have accomplished. For me, I started this habit years ago when I started working and it has paid off immensely. Create a folder or label in your email that’s just for recording instances where others have raved about you or thanked you for something you did. I call it my “Kudos” folder.
When year-end review time rolls around and you are looking for instances where you went above your job responsibilities, helped out like a team player, or put your customers first, you will have a folder full of examples. Even better, you can quote the person who sent the email, so it isn’t even self-promotion.
The first year I did this, my manager said it was one of the top self-reviews he had ever seen and I had made it easy for him to complete my review. That leads me to the second habit you should adopt at work.
Make Life Easy For Your Boss
Want to get start vying for the next position at your company? Then start by making your boss look good. Whether you like your boss or not, they usually at least partially hold the keys to your success at that company. If you make their life easier, they are more likely to tell all the other decision makers how great of a job you are doing.
There are a number of good ways to help your boss out, but my personal take is to develop a proactive mentality. Assuming you are excelling at all of your normal duties, start making note of where your boss could use help.
Do they have a regularly scheduled presentation to their management team that you could pull together the statistics for? Are you hearing your boss talk about how the business needs to move in a more customer-focused direction? If so, casually gather feedback from your customers about what can improve, put together possible solutions, and present them to your boss.
Block Time For Productivity
This tip has easily been the most helpful habit to implement for productivity. If I’m not careful, I can start a day with two or three meetings on the calendar, but by the end of the day, I am dumbfounded at how I ended up on constant calls all day. I end up working late because I didn’t get any open time to complete work.
At the start of each day or week, make a habit of finding at least one or two pockets of time to block off, whether it’s a general block for open work or if you get specific and label it with the project you will work on during that time.
If you are a bit more type A, you can try the time blocking method in this post by Zapier. You obviously need to find what’s best for your job and workload, but for me, I’m most productive when I set aside open time to catch up on items that don’t get done otherwise. If I plan out every minute of the day, I rarely am able to keep to that schedule because of the needs of others requesting my time.
Say Thank You
Outside of the obvious disappointment that is a thankless job, it’s important to thank your colleagues often because it creates a gratitude culture. Someone who is thanked for what they have done, even if it’s their job responsibility, are more likely to go above and beyond later for you and others.
A basic thank you can suffice, but why leave it at that? If you are looking for creative ways to thank you coworkers, check out these suggestions by HubSpot. My two favorites from their list are having your coworkers back when they need affirmation or validation in a team setting and writing a LinkedIn recommendation for them. A LinkedIn recommendation has a long life and can be very valuable if they find themselves in the job search.
If you have read through this list and realize that you have work to do to build better habits, start now with small steps. Take each suggestion and add a simple step in the right direction to your to-do list.
As you start practicing each habit in small ways each day, you will find yourself building better habits. Not to mention, most coworkers will expect these skills to be mastered quickly in your twenties!
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