Your key to planning success: Kick these 5 bad habits

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The key to succeeding at work and creating a better lifestyle is to recognise bad workplace habits and set out a plan to change them.

This is the assessment of Primary Asset Consulting managing partner Cyril Peupion.

“To increase performance many people and businesses believe they need to do more. As a result they spend less time with loved ones, neglect their health and put hobbies and passions on the back burner,” he said.

“The secret to success is not to pile on more work but instead stop and look at how we currently operate and identify the ways in which we can streamline habits in order to achieve more.” 

He has identified the following common bad workplace habits that advisers should kick into touch:

  • Procrastination: You read an email and think ‘I’ll come back to this later’. Same for documents on your desk. And items on your to do list. You know you need to spend time on them, but do not have the time to do it now. So you will come back to it later. And your ‘do it later’ piles continues to grow.
  • Lack of focus: You like doing several things at once. You start working on a document while checking a few emails, responding to phone calls and browsing the web. You end up with 10 emails and five documents open, and many unfinished tasks.
  • Meetings addiction: You’re addicted to meetings. Or rather they’re addicted to you. You’re constantly out meeting people but you never actually feel as though you’re getting anything crossed off your list.
  • Never-ending ‘to do’ lists: You have several ‘to do’ lists on the go at any one time. Not to mention the endless post-its to remember things.
  • Urgency addiction: You constantly jump from one crisis to another. You struggle to spend any time on key projects, and strategic priorities are always put on the back burner.

So how can you break these bad habits? Peupion suggests taking the following steps:

  • Clarify: Outline just one or two things that absolutely need to be achieved by the end of quarter one in the New Year. These should be things that that will have a real impact long term. Think impact and value, not deadline.
  • Plan: Every week block one hour of your time to review priorities and plan execution for the following week. Book meetings with yourself to work on priorities.
  • Focus: You will inevitably be bombarded with many other things to do. Stick to your plan daily and limit distractions and interruptions.
  • De-Clutter: Eighty-five per cent of what we keep, we will never re-visit. Purge your inbox. Delete emails that you’ll never read again. De-clutter your desk and hard files. Only keep things that will have an impact on your performance.
  • Discipline: Create a performance discipline. One a quarter, clarify your two or three priorities for the next quarter. Plan weekly and act daily to achieve priorities.

“By acknowledging bad habits in the workplace, they can be rectified through simple steps that will ensure increased productivity at work, less stress and a happier life in 2013,” said Peupion.