TOVI's Science Communicator, Ashley Miller-Dykeman, M.A.
4 Expert Tips for Creating Good Work Habits
Creating good, healthy work habits doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and energy to make lasting changes. Luckily, we have a few pieces of advice to help you make it happen, all based on the expertise of our behavior change experts.
1. Start small
Making drastic changes right from the beginning is often a recipe for failure. When it comes to creating habits you can stick to, it helps to start small with a goal activity that is manageable and achievable for you. You have to be able to take baby steps before making a lasting change.
That means setting an achievable goal for yourself, like doing a specific healthy work habit a few days a week before trying to do it every day.
2. Celebrate easy wins
Sometimes people focus on the finished product and forget to celebrate the small wins that are actually getting them there. Every time you practice a healthy work habit is a win! Keep track of what you’ve accomplished and be proud of yourself for every step!
Celebrating every win isn’t just good for your ego, it’s actually scientifically proven to support your sense of self-efficacy. In other words, it makes you believe in your ability to be successful!
3. Go easy on yourself
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and it also doesn’t happen without a few stumbles or roadblocks along the way. You might not always meet the goals you set for yourself or do the things you said you would, but as long as you’re trying, you’re taking steps forward.
Being hard on yourself doesn’t have any benefit. Instead, ask yourself why you didn’t do what you set out to do, make a plan for overcoming that problem in the future, and keep going.
4. Don't aim to be perfect, aim to be better
Deep down we might all want to be perfect parents, partners, or, in the case of work habits, employees, but that isn’t realistic. When it comes to building the habits that will get you there, all you need to be is better than you were when you first started.
Focusing on being better, instead of being perfect, will work wonders for your mental health and help you get to the healthy work habits you want. And remember, you can never fail at trying.
If you'd like support with creating good work habits, download the TOVI app – it's free!
Reviewed by: Lorena Ruci, Ph.D., Registered Psychotherapist