Workplace No-No’s

7163587645_14a21ba237_zMost of us have a pretty good idea what is expected of us at work in terms of behavior. And yet, there are a few habits that sometimes slip through without our noticing.

Are you guilty of any of these workplace no-no’s?

Just Say Yes. Years ago I had a friend, a very good friend, who commented, “Every time you get busy and stressed, you take on more work.” At first I denied the allegation. Really? How is that even possible? And why would I do that?

My friend had a very good point and over the years I’ve said thank-you more times than I can count. My response to being overwhelmed was to take on more work, more tasks. And I’m not alone. This is one is the biggest time-killers in the work-force industry.

But if we look busy, we also feel we look important. “OK, I’ll squeeze your meeting in this afternoon, but I hope you know I’m skipping another one to accommodate you.”

You think people will buy this? Stop fooling yourself. No one is that important. If you want people to respect you, say yes when there is benefit to you. Say no when you need time, space, or room.

Carry That Digital Leash. Right, this one goes hand in hand with the previous one. Again, it used to be having your pager go off during a social event, church, or even a work meeting was supposed to give an indication to everyone else there that you are important.

Sadly, we all feel sorry for you. You can’t disconnect from work even long enough to go to church? To your kid’s birthday party? Happy hour on Friday night? Unless you’re some kind of orthopedic surgeon on call, you can disconnect.

That means when you get home, take off that electronic leash. There are other ways to feel needed or important.

Email Superhero. You’re that person who checks email before your eyes are even open in the morning, then before your first cup of coffee, during that cup of coffee, after that cup of coffee. Good, you’re getting the picture.

If you can’t batch your emails and attend to them once or twice a day, you’re both fooling yourself about how important you are, and you’re wasting time. Email was supposed to be a convenient way of communicating. “Get to this when you have a moment,” type of communication. By answering within seconds of receiving an email the message you send is that you’re not working, but waiting for the next electronic summons. If it’s really that important, your phone will ring. Trust me on this one.

80-20 Rule. You all know what this is. 80% of your clients give you 20% of your income and the other 20% of your clients give you 80% of your income. Where do you think you should expend your energy?

Yes, clients should be kept happy. But at what cost? A client who rarely pays, or rarely pays on time should be put at the bottom of your list of priorities. Not everything on your plate rates a top priority in terms of your time.

Change just a couple of your behaviors and your work days might just become easier to handle.

Photo Credit :
Round Table on the Belize/Guatemala border dispute
from Foreign and Commonwealth Office via Flickr