If you want to stay on track and give yourself the best shot at being as successful as possible, avoid the following habits:
Do not worry about things you cannot control.
The economy, your nasty boss, the weather – you can't change them, so don't spend your time focusing on them. Instead, choose things you can control and focus on how to make changes to improve yourself. At the same time, don't be too quick to label what things are beyond your control.
For example, even though the economy isn't strong, you can influence how likely it is for you to land a new job if you are proactive about networking and create strong job search marketing materials.
Do not obsess about what otherwise insignificant people think about you.
Do not procrastinate.
Another habit that affects you both at work and in your personal life, procrastinating can only hurt you in both places. When you avoid an important project or conversation, it takes up emotional energy you could be using to make positive changes in your life. Don't think that your boss won't notice if you can't get a project started or if you always wait until the last minute to finish something. No matter how difficult a project or challenge seems, you'll be better off taking care of it step-by-step instead of putting it off for another day.
Don't be careless.
You may be surprised by how even small careless mistakes can affect your professional reputation. If you consistently make spelling or grammar errors, for example, you may lose respect and potentially opportunities to advance at work. When you are disorganized and let things slip through the cracks at work, you will earn a reputation for being someone who can't get things done, so pay attention to even the smallest details.
Do not fall down an Internet rabbit hole.
It's easy to get distracted and realize you've just spent two hours reading banal status updates on Facebook instead of getting your work done. Be disciplined about your time. Have a goal in mind when you get online and be single-minded about achieving it. Some days, your goal will be to catch up with friends or share your vacation photos. However, if you know you need to accomplish something specific, such as researching a particular topic or subject, don't veer off task, or you'll never finish.
Do not badmouth people.
No doubt, gossiping with like-minded people can be a quick way to bond, both in and outside of work. However, when you're always looking for the latest dirt to share, you're likely souring your own reputation, and it can be very difficult to recover it.
Don't hold grudges.
You've heard this advice before; holding a grudge hurts you more than it affects the person you're trying to punish. Be the bigger person and move on; you'll be glad you did.
Don't complain constantly.
Every office has a whiner – the person you can count on to complain, no matter what changes come down the pike. Take a close look at yourself and make sure that person isn't you. If you must gripe and moan, consider relying on a pet as your audience. No matter what you do, avoid sharing your every frustration via social media. When you subject friends to all of your unhappy rants, it may make them hesitate to make an introduction or to help you network when you're looking for a new job or growing a business.
If you're constantly looking in the rear view mirror you and focusing on past history, you'll miss opportunities just ahead. Instead of worrying about how you could have done things differently, make a pact with yourself to create positive changes. Of course, it isn't always as easy as simply deciding to make a change, but your attitude controls your actions. One step at a time, begin to focus on what changes you want to see in your future and you'll be that much closer to accomplishing them.
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