6 Bad Habits That Make Work Unbearable

Let’s face it, having to be somewhere for 8+ hours each day, even if you like it, isn’t ideal. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of us would prefer to be doing something other than our jobs if we felt we had the choice.

It’s a statistical fact that more than 70% of people are unhappy with their current jobs. This is a frightening realization and is due in large part to the habits we develop at work.

As Napoleon Hill once said, “Thoughts are things. We become what we think about all day long.” When we think negatively, we start to believe it. We then begin to develop negative habits, which will compound on each other until we become of the 70% of people who hate their jobs!

Here are 6 bad habits that make our jobs unbearable:

1.    Being negative. When you dislike (or hate) your job, you tend to become negative about it. You think of all the things that are wrong with your company/boss/duties and forget the positives. All jobs, regardless of how meaningless you may find them, have redeeming qualities.

Being negative is one of the most toxic things you can do at work and will drag your coworkers down with you. If you aren’t planning on quitting within the next 6 weeks, then you should try your hardest to find several positives about your job and focus on those.

Of all the bad habits listed, this is by far the worst. Aside from the obvious work related reasons, the bigger issues are that being a negative person can destroy your chances at living to your potential, succeeding in life, and being truly happy.

2.    Not caring. This is an easy trap to fall into. When you aren’t happy at work, it’s easy to stop caring about the big picture. The big picture is how the company is doing, their mission statement, and the well-being of the company.

When you stop caring, it shows. It’s just a matter of time before your lack of interest catches the attention of the person who has the authority to fire you. Even if you don’t care, try to remember why you first took the job. Hopefully you will recall some small thing that initially inspired you about working with them.

3.    Being lazy. We ALL have a lazy side and that’s OK. It’s just not OK to show it at work. Not only will you piss your coworkers off and get a bad reputation for being a slacker, but your company is in business for one reason; to make money.

Lazy people aren’t productive and without production, you become a liability instead of an asset. If you must be lazy, do it on off hours. Go home and veg out on the couch for a few hours. Take the day off if you must. If you’re at work, take a walk outside and sit on a park bench.

Being lazy is such a bad habit not only because it will get you nowhere at work (and probably fired), but will most certainly carry over into your personal life. Being a lazy person is the fastest way to living a sub-par life and settling for what’s given to you.

4.    Being ungrateful. Not caring about your job is one thing, but being flat out ungrateful is another. When you’re ungrateful, you become disrespectful. This disrespect will carry over into your conversations with colleagues and will show its ugly head with your superiors. This is the fast track to being let go. Instead, remember that you do have a job, whereas millions do not.

When you become ungrateful at work, it becomes unbearable because you feel like you should be doing something more worthy of your time. And while this may be true, it cannot help your current situation.

5.    Being cynical. When you feel like it’s every man for himself at work, you lose that very important element of camaraderie. This is a huge factor in workplace happiness and when it’s not present, morale drops significantly.

Not only that, but we become self-serving, selfish, and deceptive in the process. You may think that this is the way to the top of the corporate ladder, but it’s not. Far from it. Creating quality relationships and being a team player is the far better alternative to success as well as being happy at work.

6.    Being ostentatious. We all want to feel like we are special. In fact, we crave it. And we also all think that we are special and have something that others do not. And you’re right. We all have special talents and abilities that set us apart.

But being a know-it-all is a dangerous habit to fall into. Constantly trying to prove that you are smarter, better, or more qualified than others is a very quick way to arouse resentment from others.

Your day will become miserable as you constantly have to one-up everyone else. Just do the best job you can, and if it happens to be better than others, then great for you. But keep your ego in check at all costs.

Creating New Habits to Replace the Old

Getting caught up in one or more bad habits can and will make your work experience unpleasant. Having multiple bad habits can make your job downright unbearable.

If you find yourself indulging in these habits, make a concentrated effort to better yourself by creating new, more positive ones.

For example, when you feel spiteful towards a coworker, engage them in a conversation instead. Ask them how their day is going and if you can help them in any way. And be sincere about it.

You will be amazed by your change in attitude. And you just might make a friend in the process.

And if you are feeling particularly unappreciative, just go home and watch the evening news. You’re sure to find a plethora of negative information about crime, unemployment, and foreign unrest.

The bottom line is that you’re going to be working for more than 90,000 hours during your lifetime, so adopting positive habits at work and removing the negative ones can make the difference between feeling like you’re serving a prison sentence or working towards accomplishing something worthwhile.

Written on 3/11/2014 by Steve Roy. Steve is a contributing writer for DevelopGoodHabits.com, a site dedicated to helping you eliminate bad habits, creating better ones and making major life changes. To learn more, check out the free report 77 Good Habits to Live a Better Life.

Photo Credit: Roswitha Siedelberg

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