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How to build good work habits

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Andy Core is a speaker and author of Change Your Day, Not Your Life. Recently, we got in touch with him to learn more about the importance of nurturing good work habits one step at a time.

APT: How do admins typically react to today’s demanding work culture?

Core: The demands of administrative professionals can easily leave them overly tired, overly stressed, and sometimes, less than enchanted with work. Conscientious admin pros striving to grow often end up defaulting to daily life that is undermining their ability to stay motivated, energized and fully present.

APT: Why do some good habits backfire in the end?

Core: The willingness to work hard and go the extra mile can easily push people into daily habits or patterns that don’t serve them or their organization well.

Working through lunch is a good example. Being willing to work through lunch shows you are committed. Working through lunch occasionally shows you are dedicated. Working through lunch all the time shows you don’t know how to ­manage your energy. Frequently working through lunch is like taking a cash advance on your afternoon productivity. You may get a little more accomplished before 3 p.m., but from 3 to 5 p.m., your energy tanks and you pay high fees in fading energy, motivation and concentration.

APT: How can you learn to develop habits that work for you?

Core: I want people to get big things done before 9 a.m. Ever notice how your morning sets the tone for your whole day? As Sir Isaac Newton famously said, “Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.” So if an object (you) gets a groggy, frustrating start, you’ll probably feel sluggish all day long. If you start your day with positive and productive ideas, actions, thoughts and feelings, you’re likely to gain momentum throughout the day.

APT: How do you define “realistic goals”?

Core: My solution to setting realistic goals is to make an actual, on-paper checklist each afternoon for the following day, or each morning. Put a box by each task— the more important that task is for you to complete that day, the bigger its box should be.

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