Kick the Procrastination Habit

Is your motto, ‘Why do it today when you can do it tomorrow?’.  If so, then you are causing yourself unnecessary stress and you’re limiting your potential.  Here are some tips that will help you overcome that nasty procrastination habit:

Make it a priority to change.  We all identify ourselves in different ways.  If you often say, ‘I’m a procrastinator!’, you need to change that.  Procrastination is a bad habit that makes you appear less capable and competent than you actually are.  The harsh reality is that you have likely been beat out for promotions and other opportunities by people who are less skilled than you are because you procrastinate and they don’t.  It is time for you to put a stop to this damaging behaviour.

Set your own deadlines.  If you find that you are always ready to go one day after the deadline, then why not set your own deadline a week before?!  Of course, this will require some commitment on your part to take your deadline seriously.

Do one thing a day.  Change is difficult for everyone.  We all have our established routines and doing something differently takes effort.  Start small by just committing to one task a day.  It won’t take up much of your time and it will put you on the right track.

Create a visible task list.  Procrastination feeds on denial.  It is easy to put things off when you allow yourself to forget about them.  Don’t let yourself get away with it.  Write out a list of your tasks and put it in a place where you will often see it.  This will keep the tasks at the top of your mind and you might find yourself working on them when you have a bit of spare time.

Once you start working on your procrastination, you will find that it makes a big difference in your life.  You might feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders and that you are suddenly able to accomplish a lot more.  Take note of how much better you are feeling; there is a good chance that you had no idea what this habit was costing you.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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What to Do in Your First 3 Months of Work

Typically when you start a job, your first three months of work are considered to be a probationary period.  During this time, your employment can be terminated for any reason.  The employer can use this period to determine whether or not you are the best fit for the job.  Here are some tips that will help you make the right impression:

Understand the requirements of the position.

To be successful, you need to know exactly what you are required to do.  Make yourself aware of your manager’s priorities and understand what measures will be used to evaluate your performance.  It is essential that you are focusing your energy on the right tasks.

Learn about the organizational culture.

In your first few months of work, you should be spending most of your time listening.  Every workplace has its own set of values and expectations so it is important that you familiarize yourself with them.  As you better understand the organizational culture, it will be easier for you to demonstrate that you are a good fit for the job.

Reach out to your coworkers.

While you may feel that you don’t have time to chat, now it is more important than ever that you build strong relationships with your coworkers.  Eat your lunch in the lunchroom and make an effort to get to know them.  Your coworkers can help you perform well in your job and your manager will be watching to see how well you fit in with the team.

Work harder than is required.

This is one of the moments in your life when you need to make an impression.  Your employer is trying to make up their mind about you and they are using your work performance as a gauge.  Spend this time going above and beyond the call of duty.  Show your employer that you are grateful for this opportunity and that hiring you was the right decision.

Stay out of office politics.

You won’t be the new kid in town for long before people start lobbying you.  There are politics at every workplace and everyone will want you on their side.  Don’t let yourself get sucked into it.  As a new employee, the last thing that you want to be doing is fighting someone else’s battles.  Be respectful and friendly to everybody but don’t get too involved.

Now that you have a job, you may be tempted to take it easy.  While it’s true that the hardest part is over, you still need to be vigilant about your performance at work.  Don’t let yourself develop bad habits; sometimes it’s the little things that  cause an employer to give up on you.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)

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Ooops! I Got a Warning!

So you’ve been issued a warning.  What do you do?  You’re embarrassed that you’ve been formally reprimanded and you’re scared that your manager is trying to get rid of you.  What happens next?  Here are some tips that will help you deal with this difficult situation:

Pay attention.  If your employer has gone to the trouble of issuing you a warning, then they mean business.  They are either cracking down on a particular type of behaviour or they are cracking down on you.  Take the warning seriously.  If you continue doing what you’re doing, you could be out of a job.

Know that your fate is in your hands.  Just because you received a warning doesn’t mean that your employer wants to fire you and even if a particular manager does want to let you go, you can stop them in their tracks by halting the behaviour.

Consider it as a learning experience.  If a certain aspect of your behaviour has caused your employer to issue you a warning, then there is a good chance that it is also impacting other areas of your life.  Take the opportunity to learn from the feedback and to make necessary adjustments in the way that you act.

It is never good to receive an official warning, but it’s not the end of the world.  Correct the behaviour but don’t stop there.  Work harder, stay later and strive to exceed your employer’s expectations of you.  Before long your manager will see that even though you made a mistake you are still a valuable employee.

(Written by: Karen Bivand)