by Peter Luscombe 

I don't have any bad habits. I am good at all of them ...

Dr Katherine Brooks, author of: You Majored in What? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career, believes that:

A single bad habit is not likely to get you fired immediately, but the cumulative effect of the bad habit over time can. People might notice one bad habit, and it preps them to notice other faults or problems.

What are common poor work habits?

  • Inattention
  • Inefficiency
  • Misrepresentation
  • Negativity
  • Procrastination
  • Rudeness

If Dr Brooks is correct, and other research tends to back this, then one of these habits over time will undermine your work satisfaction and performance.

It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing, but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.

Fyodor Dostoevsky

How sad and cynical Dostoevsky speaks at times in his works, yet, his words continue on because they express truisms. Habits are an accumulation over time. To recognize this in a contemporary context, then go no further than the research of Charles Duhigg. His TEDX talk about the power of habits is both revealing and thought provoking.

Habits are in the main unthinking behaviour, so he declares. Duhigg observes that there are three stages in a habit loop – cue – routine – reward. He goes on to focus upon will power as an inherent way to manage or change a habit.

Paying attention and letting go

One perspective which stands clearly in mind for changing a habit, or any behaviour for that matter, is – Letting go! We like the known and predictable. Generally, we fear the unfamiliar and unknown.  Yet, letting go is a way to enterprise, innovate and change.

Difficult times disrupt your conventional ways of thinking and push you to forge better habits of thought, performance and being.

Robin S. Sharma

What Sharma says is true. When pushed, we will make change, however, it’s likely better to be open minded; even actively looking for change?

Letting go is a way to travel, to continue on a journey; whether it be in life and living, or at work. Being stuck in a rut holds us back. Maybe this is why work can be boring and tedious? Maybe this is why that wished for promotion remains elusive? Maybe it’s time to seek and embrace change?

What we think, we become.



Of course, insight is necessary to light the way along the journey. We need insights to innovate which will be considered in this series. The very first step though is to take a step – forward – progress.


The Work Habits series will be published each Sunday over the coming weeks.