6 Destructive Work Habits Leaders Should Leave Behind in 2016

by Elizabeth Dukes on December 14, 2016
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Even the world’s top business leaders aren’t immune to developing bad work habits. Luckily, the start of a new year is the perfect time to leave those poor tendencies behind and start fresh.

Here are six work habits you should resolve to quit in 2017.

Working Without Breaks

On the surface, it may seem like you’re working harder, but many studies have shown long stretches of work without taking a break actually harm your productivity. Instead, work smarter by taking breaks effectively and getting the most out of your workday. After you’ve worked for a designated period of time—some people swear by the 52-minute work, 17-minute break rule—step away from your desk, take a stroll around the office, check in with a co-worker, grab another cup of coffee and then get right back to your productive day.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

We all know adequate sleep is crucial to our health, yet most Americans don’t get enough every night—and business leaders are among the guiltiest of choosing work over sleep.

Similar to why you should be taking more breaks, getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to actually boost your productivity over the long-term. So, rather than pushing through the night to finish a project, get a good night’s sleep and revisit your work with fresh eyes the next morning.

Not Taking Employee Feedback Seriously

Being a good leader means knowing how to turn employee feedback into positive solutions, both the useful and the not-so-useful. While you certainly don’t have to implement every suggestion your employees make, it is important to take their feedback seriously and make their concerns feel heard. Failing to do so can negatively impact your employee relationships and your office dynamic, so this is one bad habit you should definitely cut loose.

Wasting Time with “Junk Productivity”

If you spend an entire day organizing your desk, going through your email inbox, setting up “productivity hacks” or trying out the next great tool/app/system that’s going to change your work life for the better, you’ll probably feel like you’re being productive. However, in reality, these actions fall under the category of “junk productivity” or “productive procrastination.” Sure, your email inbox could use some cleaning out every now and then, but don’t use small tasks as excuses to avoid the work that really needs to get done.

Not Delegating

The end of the year is a perfect time to take a careful look at your workflow and ask yourself the tough questions: Are you delegating enough? If not, why? Figuring out the root of the problem—for instance, whether you trust your employees to handle delegated tasks—and take steps to change your processes in the new year.

Not Investing in Workplace Technology

While the amount of automation processes and workplace technology options out there can be overwhelming, avoiding them altogether isn’t the way to solve the problem. Instead, take some time to find what works best for your office and invest your resources in tools that can make your business and office run more smoothly in the new year.

There’s no time like a new calendar year to address some of your worst habits as a business leader. Take stock, make a plan and embrace change for 2017.

Editor’s Note: This post was previously published on Inc.com and has been republished here with permission.


Elizabeth Dukes

Elizabeth Dukes' pieces highlight the valuable role of the real estate and facility managers play in their organizations. Prior to iOFFICE, Elizabeth was in sales for large facility and office service outsourcing firm.

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