5 bad business habits to avoid

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Instead of piling more work on their employees, brokerages and other businesses should instead work to eliminate bad habits and streamline operations, a business consultant notes.

“To increase performance, many people and businesses believe they need to do more,” Primary Asset Consulting managing partner Cyril Peupion told Insurance Business. “As a result they spend less time with loved ones, neglect their health and put hobbies and passions on the back burner.

“The secret to success is not to pile on more work but instead stop and look at how we currently operate and identify the ways in which we can streamline habits in order to achieve more.”
Peupion has identified the following common bad workplace habits that should be avoided:

•    Procrastination
You read an email and think ‘I’ll come back to this later.’ The same could be said for documents on your desk, and items on your ‘to do’ list. You know you need to spend time on them, but do not have the time to do it now. So you will come back to it later. And your ‘do it later’ piles continues to grow.

•    Lack of focus
You like doing several things at once. You start working on a document while checking a few emails, responding to phone calls and browsing the web. You end up with 10 emails and five documents open, and many unfinished tasks.

•    Meetings addiction
You’re addicted to meetings. Or rather they’re addicted to you. You’re constantly out meeting people but you never actually feel as though you’re getting anything crossed off your list.

•    Never-ending ‘to do’ lists
You have several ‘to do’ lists on the go at any one time. Not to mention the endless post-its to remember things.

•    Urgency addiction
You constantly jump from one crisis to another. You struggle to spend any time on key projects, and strategic priorities are always put on the back burner.
 

“By acknowledging bad habits in the workplace, they can be rectified through simple steps that will ensure increased productivity at work, less stress and a happier life in 2013,” said Peupion. So how can you break these bad habits? Peupion suggests taking the following steps:

•    Clarify
Outline just one or two things that absolutely need to be achieved by the end of quarter one in the New Year. These should be things that that will have a real impact long term. Think impact and value, not deadline.

•    Plan
Block one hour of your time each week to review priorities and plan execution for the following week. Book meetings with yourself to work on priorities.

•    Focus
You will inevitably be bombarded with many other things to do. Stick to your plan daily and limit distractions and interruptions.

•    De-Clutter
Eighty-five per cent of what we keep, we will never re-visit. Purge your inbox. Delete emails that you’ll never read again. De-clutter your desk and hard files. Only keep things that will have an impact on your performance.

•    Discipline
Create a performance discipline. Once a quarter, clarify two or three priorities for the next quarter. Plan weekly and act daily to achieve priorities.

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