Not all habits are created equal. In fact, some popular “good” habits can be quite destructive. Refer to the three outlined below—if they sound familiar, it might be time to change your behavior. (We’ve also got the tips you need.).
1. Not Asking for Help
What’s the issue with not asking for help? Isn’t it a good thing to figure out problems on your own and take ownership of your work?
Well, yes—sometimes. If the answer is relatively easy or quick to find by yourself, that’s the route to take. You want to avoid taking up your manager’s time on a question that Google, existing documentation, or a little experimentation could solve.
But for all other situations, asking for help benefits everyone, not just you. After all, maybe it will take you two days to resolve a bug and two minutes for your team member to tell you how she fixed the same bug last week.
Or maybe tackling a tough problem without asking anyone for guidance will set you behind on your other projects, which impacts everyone else’s ability to meet the deadline.
The takeaway is, if you get the sense that asking for help would dramatically decrease how much time it’ll take to get the information or solution you need, you should do it.
2. Never Complaining
“Keep a stiff upper lip” might be a British saying, but it applies all around the globe. Most of us are taught to work through our challenges in silence. Even if you’re unhappy or stressed, don’t let it show.
While this rule is well-intended, it can definitely backfire. Never being transparent equals a zero chance for others to step in.
For instance, maybe you’ve felt overwhelmed ever since your manager gave you a new territory; letting them know provides the opportunity to train for the skills you don’t have, which’ll help you sell to this customer demographic, delegate the work you can’t handle to another team member, or find a different territory that works for you.
Use good judgment: If the situation is relatively serious, and the person you’re talking to has the power to change it (either directly or indirectly) give them the heads up. Don’t whine—just state the facts. You’ll be glad you did…and so will they!
3. Working Around the Clock
Fifty, sixty, seventy-hour work weeks might be necessary once in a very, very blue moon, but definitely not on a consistent basis. On the contrary, working extreme hours will slowly sap your motivation, productivity, engagement, and output. And you’ll be sick and tired to boot. Your schedule can also serve as a model for others, for better or for worse.
It can be hard to maintain a work-life balance, especially in today’s society where working all the time is glamorized. Do your best to leave the office at a reasonable hour—you’ll get just as much done, if not more, without the mental and physical toll.