10 daily habits that will help you get ahead at work

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You’ve been grinding away for a while now. Your career is growing. Your work life is starting to take off.

But you still feel like you could be doing better. You’ve got some serious goals for your career and you can see yourself achieving them, but you are not exactly sure what to do every day to get there.

This list of 10 daily habits to do at work has helped me personally advance in my career and I think it will help you too.

You might already be doing some of the things on this list without even really knowing it!

Every day isn’t going to be like the others. There may be some days where you don’t feel like doing any of these things.

To make the most out of your time at work (and this applies to everything in life) you have to do the hard things even when you don’t feel like it.

So, let’s get into the list of the 10 daily habits to help you get ahead at work.

1. Smile and say hello to everyone

In Dale Carnegie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” he talks about such simple things like smiling. It’s amazing what an effect it has on someone to simply smile at them.

One of my favorite passages from the book is below:

“Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn’t have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.”

Think about the last time someone greeted you with real enthusiasm. It made you feel special, didn’t it?

It makes everyone else feel special as well! To grow your career, you’re going to need to grow relationships as well.

Don’t worry about their response back to you. They could be having a bad day, or they’re stressed out and wrapped up in their own heads.

Be the first person to say hello, say it with a smile, and say it with enthusiasm!

2. Listen with intent

It’s easy to get so wrapped up in everything that we have going on at any given time that we become too distracted to listen to the people who are trying to have conversations with us.

As they’re talking, you might drift off in thought about the email that you need to reply to or the project that you’re running behind on.

If someone is on the phone with you or standing right in front of you, there’s a reason they decided to take the time out of their day to talk to you.

Listen deeply to what they are saying. Try to understand their intent. Truly listen to them. Make eye contact. Let them get it all out before you respond.

3. Be deliberate in your actions

Do you ever catch yourself going from task to task without actually knowing why you are doing what you are doing?

Maybe you’re procrastinating. Maybe you haven’t really planned your day out.

Learn how to be deliberate and take action all the time. You’ll be amazed by how much you can truly achieve if everything that you do is on purpose.

Flipping through 10 open web browser tabs might fill up your time, but it’s not going to really help you get to where you want to be in your career.

Make being deliberate a work habit and you’re going to be on the path to success in no time.

4. Schedule everything on the same calendar

We have so many options for calendars now.

You have multiple calendars on your phone.

There are multiple calendars on the computer.

Your email has a different calendar that you could use.

I could go on and on, but the important thing is that you just pick one and put everything on there. Don’t jump from one to the other.

Honestly, this is one of the biggest things that helped me to be more productive at work. Just a simple change from having multiple calendars to one calendar was a game changer for me.

Learning how to be productive is a super important part of getting ahead in your career.

5. Speak clearly

I catch myself mumbling a lot. I don’t do it on purpose, but it happens anyway.

Speaking clearly might come more naturally to you than it does to me, but it’s still something that is extremely important to keep in mind as you go through your work day.

Speaking clearly shows confidence and allows the people around you to totally understand what you are trying to communicate.

6. Be assertive

This may not be a very comfortable thing to do all the time. Being assertive can definitely feel like you’re being a little over bearing if you don’t practice it a lot.

But being assertive is one of the daily habits that is going to help you grow the most in your career.

This goes right in line with #5 – Speaking Clearly. Being assertive is going to show others that you are confident in what you are doing and it will also give your peers confidence in you.

You don’t have to be harsh with your actions or words to be assertive. You just have to learn to effectively get your point across. It’s easy once you get the hang of it.

7. Take time to be thorough with your emails

Emails are great. They let you reply to things in your own time. They give you time to really think out what you are saying.

But it’s also easy to treat it almost like a tweet or quick text message to a friend.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when a 1 word reply is totally acceptable. But that’s only if it’s enough to effectively get your point across.

Don’t leave people guessing what you are talking about. Try to read your email from your audience’s point of view. Do they understand the context of everything that you are saying?

Take an extra minute to make sure that it clearly communicates what you are trying to say. This 1 habit is a big one.

8. Respond to everyone

If someone took the time out of their day to send you a message or email then there’s a good reason for it.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in everything that we have going on that we don’t think we have the time to reply to every little thing.

Take a quick second to send a reply, even if it’s to say you’ll get back to them later.

This may seem like it’s in conflict with habit #7, but it’s different in this case because you’re going to take the time to write them a well thought out note at some point in the future, but right now all you have time for is to tell them that you got their message and you’ll work on it.

9. Write everything down

You’re a busy person. There’s a lot going on all the time. It’s impossible to remember everything that you should.

Carry a notebook or use a notes app. Use the voice memo feature on your phone if you’re driving and think of something that you need to do.

It’s amazing how many times I trust my memory and it fails me, but if I have something written down then it never goes away.

You’ll instantly start reaching more goals just by writing things down instead of pressuring yourself to remember everything!

10. Pick an organization method and stick with it

How many apps and notebooks are out there that promise to boost your productivity? There must be thousands.

It’s really not as important which organizational method you pick, just as long as you stick with it.

If you prefer to have a hard copy of a planner, then use that. Just don’t bounce planner to planner. There will be so many things that get missed if you try to do that.

A really important work habit to develop is to just use the same method of organizing every single day.

Personally, I use evernote for everything. It syncs across all my devices and I can create a notebook for all the different categories of my life.

No matter what method you pick, just keep using that method. You’ll be amazed how much more productive you are just by building a habit of using the same organization method every single day.

Wrapping it up

These 10 daily work habits will help you advance in your career. They might not always come naturally, but give them a try for the next month and you will definitely see results!

Let me know what other habits you have that help you in your work life or home life in the comments below!

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