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10 Powerful Work Habits for a Successful Career

Work Habits ClickUp Blog

Admit it, we all have someone at work whom we admire for their work habits. 

They’re brilliant at work, productivity is their middle name, and they’re the ones who unveiled the secrets to the best workplace habit. 

You look at them and wonder… are productive people for real? 

If you want to escape from the rut of mediocrity and learn ways to build a better work habit, we’re here to help.

In this article, we’ll highlight ten powerful work habits that most successful people swear by. And as a bonus, we’ve decoded a quick way to bring a habit into practice. 

Thank us later! 

Ready to adopt a good work habit? Let’s go!

10 Powerful Work Habits for 2021

Good or bad, we all are defined by our habits. 

And sometimes, the bad habits can be blown out of proportion at your workplace. In fact, you could be the most charming or the most annoying coworker just based on your working habits.

Remember Kelly Kapoor from The Office? 

a woman asking how dare you

We’ll let you decide which category she falls into. 😁

But before we dive into successful work habits, let’s start with what are good work habits and why you should develop them in the first place. 

The working habits definition states good work habits as behavioral patterns of an employee that contribute to their job performance. They’re success drivers that help boost your productivity, reliability, teamwork, and job satisfaction.

Some essential work habits examples include:

Most successful people practice these work mantras one way or the other. They also career coach others to adopt the same!

To help you out, here are ten positive work habits that you need for a successful career:

1. Be punctual and professional at the workplace

Being on time for work is a no-brainer. 

However, being tardy can be one of the toughest bad habits to overcome. 

And trust us. 

Nothing drives a boss crazier than you being constantly late for the job.

If you don’t want to be in their bad books, aim to log in 10 minutes early at your workplace. This will help you map out your day and be ready when the official hours start. 

Now, it can be harder to stick to good workplace habits, like punctuality, while engaged in remote working. 

After all, watching over your neighbor’s cat is a legit distraction. 🐱

But you should still try to log in on time and be available for team calls or meetings. 

Additionally, don’t be rigid about your work routine. 

Sometimes it’s okay if an important task requires you to stay back, as long as it doesn’t affect your work life balance. 

Punctuality and commitment to your work speak volumes about your professionalism.
And the best way to inculcate this good work habit is to plan your day or office hours. 

You could:

  • Create a schedule for yourself
  • Set up reminders for meetings 
  • Give yourself a time cushion to deal with unexpected events

2. Respect and achieve deadlines

Sticking to deadlines is a positive habit and trademark of successful people. Completing work on time shows that you’re accountable and can nail tasks efficiently.

But if you struggle to follow through, you could set short-term goal for yourself and your team. This can serve as an action plan to help you better focus on the task at hand.

Additionally, knocking down and celebrating those small wins will set the momentum for bigger success.

You should also communicate with your managers about your workload and project progress to ensure you have realistic deadlines.  

And if you suffer from Monday blues (we feel you), have a to-do list ready before the week and plan out your work to better deal with deadlines. 

a woman pouring alcohol in a measuring cup saying it's Monday again

3. Manage time for a healthy work life balance

Time management is a healthy habit that can make you stand out. 

If you take a long lunch break, indulge in gossip, or discuss personal problems at work, it leads to good office hours wasted.

And if you’ve been bit by the social media bug, only you can save yourself from landing into trouble at work. 

Time goes poof when you’re watching cute dog videos, right? 🐶

You can also lose focus and may have to work late, throwing your work-life balance out the window.

To develop a better work habit, you should:

  • Prioritize your tasks 
  • Avoid multitasking  
  • Reduce distractions around your workspace

You could also use a time tracker or project management tool to determine how you spend time on tasks and projects. Especially handy for a remote worker, as these apps can also help boost your deep work skill and let you manage personal tasks efficiently.

4. Take criticism well 

Don’t frown at every criticism that comes your way. 

No one’s perfect.

Giving or receiving negative feedback is important for growth, and it’s something you need from time to time. 

You should treat your employer as your career coach and learn to de-personalize the message.
The feedback from an employee or your boss is to help you focus and become a better version of yourself.

Consider it a blessing in disguise. 

How well you handle criticism also depends on your emotional intelligence.

Some easy ways to deal with negative feedback are holding back your initial reaction, asking questions, and showing appreciation. With a positive attitude, you’ll naturally become more gracious about constructive criticism.

a woman saying I can't thank you enough

5. Ask relevant questions

No matter how skilled you are, you could get stuck at some point. 

Ask for help when you need it. It’s a healthy habit.

Sometimes asking questions also facilitates discussions which can benefit everyone.

However, try to strike a balance between curiosity and annoyance. If you ask too many questions, especially the same ones, it can quickly become a bad work habit. 

The point is, don’t annoy your fellow workers with “where’s the coffee machine?” kind of questions. 

Instead, be a go-getter and follow the mocha scent. ☕

6. Be ​organized

You don’t have to be the ‘go big or go home’ type of organizer at your job. 

Start small with things like:

  • Color-coding your calendar
  • Taking relevant notes
  • Creating a checklist 
  • Taking short, regular breaks during work

And continue to make progress from here.

A cluttered work desk and a messed-up daily schedule is also a big no-no. You don’t want to be under the spotlight for such bad work habits.

You could also use a task management tool to organize tasks and help you build this positive work habit. From tracking deadlines to visualizing tasks, these tools can help you stay organized. 

7. Communicate effectively 

Whether you perform in-office or remote work, always communicate clearly with your employer or fellow workers. 

You don’t need the thesaurus to draft a response. 

Be simple yet effective.

And don’t forget to update your boss about the project’s progress regularly. They appreciate it when you keep them in the loop.

However, you shouldn’t be the only person who talks. 

Productive people are also active listeners. It’s a good habit and an excellent soft skill to have.

To be an active listener, here’s what you could do: 

  • Don’t interrupt when a coworker speaks
  • Observe the speaker’s body language and take hints from non-verbal cues 
  • Ask relevant questions or follow-ups
  • Paraphrase the ideas in your own words to ensure you understood them clearly

8. Take initiatives and learn a skill proactively

If all you do is sit and admire productive people, you won’t taste success. 

To do good work and climb the success ladder fast, you must upskill

Take note of skills you don’t have, and attend workshops or professional certification courses to fill those knowledge gaps. 

You should also aim for managerial roles and go to a career coach if needed. 

Additionally, don’t wait for your boss to delegate tasks, especially if you do remote work. Instead, ask for projects proactively.

Take the initiative for more work, even if it’s not in your job description. This will make you shine bright like a diamond among your peers.

Rihanna singing at a concert

But don’t overburden yourself if you already have enough on your plate. You don’t want to take up an important task and leave it unfinished.

9. Say no to procrastination 

Chances are, you’d rather scroll through social media feeds during office hours than complete a project you dislike. 

However, when you postpone important stuff, it only makes things worse. 

And before you know it… kaboom. You’re way past the deadline. 

But don’t let the fear of deadlines get the better of you. 

If a task bothers you too much, you might as well get it over with. It’s also a healthy habit to commit to the task at hand and always finish what you started.

10. Use a habit management app 

No longer confused about the “what are work habits” question?

Awesome!

But developing good work habits takes time, and bad habits are difficult to let go of. In fact, if you ask most habit coaches, they’ll probably say it’ll take you about 21 days to form a habit

Then how do you stay on track?
This is where habit tracking or productivity apps like ClickUp come into the picture. 

Download ClickUp to all your devices

ClickUp is one of the most popular and highest-rated habit management apps used by productive teams across all domains. It’s an all-in-one app that lets you set, manage, and track your personal projects and professional goals with ease.

And the best part?
ClickUp’s got a wide variety of habit management features for free

Here’s a sneak peek into how ClickUp can help transform you into a workplace rockstar:

  • Goals: break down your Goals into smaller measurable Targets for easy management. You can also set clear timelines and auto-track progress to crush your Goals in time
  • Reminders: want to keep tabs on what you need to do? ClickUp can be your savior
  • Dates and Times: assign start dates and due dates to stay on track with your tasks
  • Recurring Tasks: from weekly meetings to personal routine work, stay on top of recurring tasks efficiently   
  • Notepad: write down your ideas, questions, action items, or meeting notes on the go
  • Docs: maintain a working habits journal to write down your daily achievements. You can also use it to create a knowledge base of new skills you acquire
  • Priorities: use colored flags to set Priorities and manage time better at the workplace 
  • Views: visualize your tasks across Lists, Calendar, Kanban Board, and more to track them quickly
  • Templates: use a wide variety of attractive templates to start on the right foot
  • Custom Notifications: don’t want to suffer from notification overload? Choose how and when you want to be notified about task activity 
  • Apps: use ClickUp across Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and other devices to never go off track from your workplace habit 
Goal folders in ClickUp

Viewing Goal folders and progress percentages in ClickUp

Work Habits FAQs

Here are the answers to some common questions about effective work habits:

1. I committed a mistake at work. What should I do?

Every person makes mistakes, so don’t beat yourself up over it.

A good habit is to admit it.

Let a senior at your workplace know that you’ve committed a mistake. Then, determine ways to salvage the situation and how you can avoid committing it again.

2. Why shouldn’t I use my phone at work?

From social media to personal calls, constantly checking your phone is one of the top bad work habits. It can affect your focus and deep work, making it harder to get back to the task at hand. 

You may waste a good chunk of productive time, that too, at your company’s cost.

A good practice is to use your phone only during the lunch break or short coffee breaks.

Ready to Practice Healthy Work Habits?

Developing work habits that’ll change your life won’t happen overnight. 

But once you put your mind to it, you can surely master the craft of perfect work habits. 

And while you have an assortment of workplace habits you could follow, it could remain a distant dream if you don’t have a habit tracking system like ClickUp in place. 

Whether you want to develop a better work habit, organize all your Goals in one place, or track your progress, ClickUp can be your one-stop shop for effective habit management.

What’s holding you back then?
Join ClickUp for free and become the employee everyone looks up to!

A woman winning a Golden Globe Award

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