4 work habits that can create a better work life balance

Work is the center of the universe of our daily lives. 

According to a research report, it takes over 23 minutes to refocus on a task once distracted.  

What we do defines us. However, how, when, and how frequently we do it defines how effective we are. Therefore, habits play a critical role at work.   

We spend over a third of our day at work, and the proportion of work-life balance depends entirely on how we manage our time and prioritize our tasks according to our goals. It is essential for us to take a close look at our workplace habits since they are direct and indirect influencers of our success. Work habits also help us in achieving the long-term career goals that we have set for ourselves.   

Whether it is when you began your workday to how much percentage of your workday you spend on core area tasks all come under work habits. Identifying our bad work habits early on helps us to make meaningful changes such that we can align our habits to our goals. Out of the total 9 hours of working, only 2 hours is productive, says a research report formulated by Rescue time. That is why it is important for us to identify good habits and eliminate the bad ones.   

Also read: Gender bias in job postings (click here)

The pandemic had restrained us to our desks at home, and that has also affected our habits significantly. Of course, depending on the adaptation of good or bad habits, productivity is also affected at large.   

Sometimes it can be challenging to decide which ones are good and bad for us. For this, we need to make a careful inquiry into the effectiveness of a habit.   

How do we measure the effectiveness of a habit?  

Spending time measuring the efficiency of a habit can seem a daunting task for most of us, but measuring can help us distinguish habits and categorize them into less effective and more effective. Any work habit that is less effective and consumes a huge chunk of our time is a hindrance to the successful achievement of our planned work goals. Therefore, we must identify and eliminate those habits before it is too late.   

For any habit, it is important for us to evaluate whether it is efficient. Measuring the efficiency of work can be tricky. For this, we will use performance metrics that can be evaluated using work quality and work quantity metrics. It is not possible to derive accurately the efficiency of a habit, but it can help us decide which ones are to be kept and which ones are to be eliminated. Changing a few aspects of your work can significantly affect your work-life balance.  

Work quality   

For measuring the quality of work, we can set a range of benchmarks for quality that can be identified for any deviations. We can also set goals that we can work towards and offer rewards in case of achievement of those goals such that we are encouraged to follow the habit more consistently.   

Work quantity  

Measuring quantity is relatively simpler compared to quality but converting work outcomes in quantity is tricky. Choose the primary deliverables of your work and quantify them as per your priorities. Measure its efficiency by doing a comparison between the time and effort input against the output delivered.  

There are some stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding workplace habits. There are some habits that are seen as bad workplace habits but can actually be quite effective. These are as follows:  

  • Being critical  

Nobody likes a negative colleague who has a work habit to point out all the bad aspects of their project/task. It is considered a bad work habit since it demotivates and stresses out fellow workers from pursuing the project. What if we told you that being critical can be a good habit? Providing detailed constructive feedback can be one of the best habits that you can adopt. It can also help you see the project from a different lens. Planning contingencies requires one to think critically such that no area is left.   

  • Saying no  

We put the best of our efforts to deliver our work without any margin for error, but our best efforts can lead to disaster if we are burdened with overwork.   

Saying no can be seen as a bad workplace habit since everyone wants to be an employee that is performing the best. However, focusing on improving the quality of work despite the limited quantity is more important. Therefore, saying no to some tasks or projects can be a good workplace habit to inculcate.   

  • Taking multiple breaks   

Taking a break can be seen as a disrupter to the momentum of work. However, knowledge workers need time to repose before they can deliver at the best of their capabilities. A study conducted by the energy project states that people can go from full focus at their work to psychological fatigue every 90 minutes. Therefore, taking multiple short breaks can not only be refreshing but can improve your productivity significantly.   

  • Water cooler talk   

Water cooler talk is definitely on top of the list of all the seemingly bad workplace habits but it can be an effective icebreaking tool for a new team or for individuals who have recently to an organization. Choosing the topics can be tricky but it is wise to not get too personal or pick topics that are controversial. If done well, it can prove to be an integral aspect for building long term relations at work.   

To wrap it up  

 While there are many workplace habits that cost you your time without actually being effective, some habits are labeled as bad workplace habits but can turn out to be good. We help you identify them such that you can give your best at your workplace.  

At Vision Management consultants, we assist in finding the right organization that can help them propel their career growth.   

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