After studying the information and doing the exercises in this chapter, you should be able to:
People with good work habits tend to be more successful in their careers than poorly organized individuals, and they tend to have more time to spend on personal life. Good work habits are more important than ever because of today's emphasis on productivity and quality.
Procrastination is the leading cause of poor productivity and career self-sabotage. People procrastinate for many reasons, including their perception that a task is unpleasant, is overwhelming, or may lead to negative consequences. Fear of success can also lead to procrastination. Awareness of procrastination can lead to its control.
Eight other techniques for reducing procrastination are (1) calculating the cost of procrastination; (2) counterattacking the burdensome task; (3) jump-starting yourself; (4) pecking away at an overwhelming task; (5) motivating yourself with rewards and punishments; (6) following the WIFO principle; (7) making a commitment to other people; and (8) expressing a more positive attitude about your intentions.
Developing good work habits and time management practices is often a matter of developing proper attitudes toward work and time. Seven such attitudes and values are (1) developing a mission, goals, and a strong work ethic; (2) valuing good attendance and punctuality; (3) valuing your time; (4) valuing neatness, orderliness, and speed; (5) working smarter, not harder; (6) becoming self-employed psychologically; (7) playing the inner game of working, and (8) appreciating the importance of rest and relaxation.
Eleven skills and techniques to help you become more productive are (1) cleaning up and getting organized; (2) planning your activities; (3) getting off to a good start; (4) making good use of office technology; (5) concentrating on one key task at a time; (6) streamlining your work and emphasizing important tasks; (7) working at a steady pace; (8) creating some quiet, uninterrupted time; (9) making use of bits of time; (10) staying in control of paperwork, the in-basket, and e-mail; and (11) using multitasking for routine tasks.
Seven suggestions for overcoming time wasting are (1) minimizing day dreaming; (2) preparing a time log and evaluating your use of time; (3) avoiding being a computer goof-off or cyberloafer; (4) keeping track of important names, places, and things; (5) setting a time limit for certain tasks and projects; (6) scheduling similar tasks together; (7) bouncing quickly from task to task, and (8) being decisive and finishing things.