15 Good Work Habits for a Successful Career 

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Ever wondered why certain individuals effortlessly thrive in their careers while others face constant challenges? As with most aspects of life, our triumphs are greatly influenced by our habits. This principle holds true for our professional journeys as well. Regardless of where you currently stand (remember, it’s never too late to learn), cultivating and sustaining positive work habits will guide you toward a path of success.

In this blog post, we’ll explore positive work habits that are sure to boost your productivity, advance your career and help you find work-life balance.

Are you ready to level up your career game? Let’s dive in!

Good Productive Work Habits

Simple changes in your daily routine can have a lasting impact on your productivity. Below is a list of good working habits to foster a productive work environment. 

Good Work Habit # 1: Create to-do lists

Have you ever thought of something you need to do only to completely forget it when the time was right? Been there, done that. Even things you think there’s no way you’ll forget escape later thought. 

Putting together a simple to-do list is an all-around good time management practice. Task lists allow you to prioritize your work, manage your time effectively, and ensure that you don’t overlook any critical tasks.

Task lists should prioritize your most important tasks as well as note difficult tasks that may take longer to complete.

By having a clear overview of your upcoming tasks keeps you organized and focused on what needs to be done. And make steady progress toward your goals.

Good Work Habit #2: Set clear meeting agendas

By establishing a well-defined agenda, all meeting participants will have a clear understanding of what to anticipate, allowing them to make the most of their time. This not only enhances the meeting’s overall value but also demonstrates a sincere regard for others.

At a minimum, meeting agendas should include a PPO: 

  • Purpose: What is the purpose of this meeting? 
  • Process: How will the meeting be conducted? Which topics will be discussed and who will lead the discussions?
  • Outcome: What do we expect to gain from it? 

Additionally, including pre-reads and providing enough time for everyone to review the agenda and prepare before the meeting will help ensure productive conversations.

Embedding this clearly in the meeting invitation is a testament to your professionalism, and respect for others’ time, and shows your dedication to communicate effectively.

Once you start including PPOs in your meeting invitations, it’s not unreasonable to ask others to include them in their invitations before you accept their meeting invitation. 

Good Work Habit #3: Block calendar for tasks and events

Proactively blocking off time in your calendar for tasks and events is an excellent time management best practice. By allocating dedicated time blocks for specific tasks, you can concentrate without being interrupted by notifications or other distractions. This approach allows for better focus, productivity, and efficiency in completing your work.

Common time blocks include email checks and responses, lunch and mental breaks, planning, writing, and meetings. 

Additionally, blocking the same timeslots every week makes it easier to stay disciplined and focused throughout the day. 

Good Work Habit #4: Check emails at specific times

It’s important to manage your email effectively. Inbox overload can be overwhelming and a huge time suck – it’s easy to get lost in the minutiae of sorting through hundreds of emails while ignoring what you should really be doing. 

One way to manage your email is to check emails at specific times throughout the day. Set a limit of 1-3 pre-determined times each day and commit yourself to them, no matter what. This will help ensure that you don’t get sucked into checking emails continuously or miss important messages. 

Good Work Habit #5: Turn-off notifications

With all of the notifications coming in from multiple devices, it can be tough to stay focused. To eliminate distractions, turn off all notifications on your devices while you work; specifically email and social media notifications. 

By turning off notifications, you’ll be better able to stay focused on completing tasks and getting real work done. 

Good Work Habit #6: Don’t be afraid to say no

Knowing when to say no can be a real lifesaver – it helps keep your workload manageable and prevents you from burning out. Learning to say no allows you to maintain a healthy workload, prioritize tasks, and focus on what’s truly important.

For tips on how to say no, read Polite Ways to Say No At Work.

Healthy Work Habits 

Healthy work habits not only help you stay productive, but they also promote well-being and happiness in your personal life. 

Good Work Habit #7: Take regular breaks

Taking regular breaks is a vital part of any workday. Not only does it help your physical well-being, but it also helps with mental health and stress management. 

Try to take short 5-minute breaks every hour or at a minimum once in the morning and once in the afternoon – in addition to lunch. During these breaks, get up from your seat and stretch, grab a healthy snack, take a short walk outside, or simply meditate. 

These small moments of freedom can help you stay motivated throughout the workday, allowing you to tackle any task in front of you with vigor and enthusiasm. 

Good Work Habit #8: Avoid eating at your desk

Steering clear of noshing at your desk helps you maintain a better work-life balance and stay in tip-top mental shape. We are not machines. Everyone needs a break! 

Instead of eating lunch while you work, take a break and go outside. Fresh air can do wonders for your energy levels and mood! Taking a lunch break will also help boost your creativity which is essential to tackling any task or project in front of you. 

Craving a snack? Take a moment to step away from your desk and grab a nourishing bite. It’s the perfect opportunity to give your mind a break from work while treating yourself to something healthy.

Good Work Habit #9: Focus on your breathing

When you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, take a few moments to focus on your breathing. This will help regulate your heart rate and lower stress levels. 

Focusing on the breath also brings attention back to the present moment. Instead of worrying about what could be in the future, take some time to appreciate what is happening right now — it can help you stay grounded and productive. 

For more breathing exercises, read 5 Breathing Techniques to Practice at Work.

Effective Work Habits for Self-Development

Growing as a professional is essential for success and sometimes means going above and beyond your job description. 

Here are some habits you can cultivate to stay on track.

Good Work Habit #10: Set personal development goals

Having meaningful goals helps you stay motivated and energized. 

Take some time to reflect on what skills you would like to work on and then set goals that are achievable. This could include learning a new language, earning an advanced degree, or simply becoming more organized in your daily life. 

Keep track of your goals and celebrate when you reach them. Staying focused and accountable can help keep those dream alive! 

Farrah’s Pick

Good Work Habit #11: Keep learning

One secret of highly successful people is subscribing to continuous learning. 

No matter where you are in your career, it’s important to keep learning. This could mean reading up on industry news, taking online classes or attending conferences and seminars. 

Another way to accomplish this is to join a professional organization or group to hold yourself accountable and learn from the experiences of others. 

Staying informed, filling in any knowledge gaps and adding new skills to your arsenal will help you stay competitive and increase your value in the workplace. 

Good Work Habit #12: Be punctual

I once had a manager who said, “If you’re on time, you’re late.” Let’s be honest, rushing into a meeting, out of breath and flustered, five minutes late, doesn’t exactly scream, “Choose me to lead that super important project!” On the other hand, arriving prepared and with time to spare shows that you mean business. It demonstrates professionalism, respect for others’ time, and readiness to tackle any challenge that may arise.

We can all get lost in time, so write yourself a note or set a timer on your phone. Do whatever you have to do to make sure you show up on time. Punctuality can say a lot about a person. Make sure it says the right thing about you.

Good Work Habit #13: Avoid workplace gossip

Sure, we all like a juicy story from time to time, but that’s what we have The Real Housewives for! 

The drama may be entertaining to watch, but being embedded in it in the workplace is a whole other story. 

Nobody wants to work in an uncomfortable or toxic space. Not to mention no gossip is worth ruining your professional reputation over. 

Stay clear of jumping on the gossip bandwagon or you may find yourself in hot water with your human resources department. 

Good Work Habit #14: Take ownership 

Owning up to mistakes and taking pride in your work can go a long way. 

The workplace is a reflection of your character. Be positive and take ownership over everything you do. 

Acknowledge when you make mistakes, take responsibility for them, and learn from them so you don’t repeat the same mistake twice. 

It takes courage to own up to mistakes and take responsibility for your actions – but doing so will help you build trust with management, colleagues, and clients. 

Good Work Habit #15: Ask for feedback

Seeking constructive feedback is always a wise choice, and at times, we may even benefit from three or four perspectives. Requesting feedback is a vital practice for ongoing professional development and is often practiced by great leaders. 

By actively seeking constructive criticism from colleagues, superiors, or mentors, we gain invaluable insights into our strengths and areas for improvement.

Take the feedback you receive and use it to pinpoint areas of improvement, helping you make strides in your career and become a more effective professional.

Tips for Developing Good Work Habits

Take the first step inspirational concept on the road

Adopting new habits doesn’t just happen – it takes dedication and consistency to ensure you don’t lose focus. 

The best way to adopt and develop these good work habits is to spend time creating a plan and putting them into practice. With consistent practice, you can move towards your career goals in no time. 

Here are a few tips to get started:

Establish routines

Creating routines is instrumental in bringing consistency and structure to our daily work life. By establishing clear goals, jotting them down, crafting a schedule, and being flexible to make adjustments as necessary, we can develop enduring routines.

Consistent routines empower us to concentrate on our work tasks, effectively manage our time, and strike a harmonious work-life balance.

Monitor progress

Monitoring progress is essential for adjusting and improving your work habits. By keeping an eye on your progress, you can pinpoint areas of improvement and tweak your work habits to ensure success.

Tracking your progress on tasks, setting ambitious goals, and reflecting on your wins and losses can help you stay motivated and committed to your good work habits.

Seek support and accountability

Seeking support and accountability from colleagues, superiors, or mentors can help you maintain motivation and commitment to good work habits. By sharing your goals and progress with others, you gain valuable insights and encouragement to stay on track and achieve your objectives.

Remember, you don’t have to go it alone; a solid support system can make all the difference in your journey towards a successful career.

Habit management apps

Apps are a great way to stay organized and motivated and can give you an extra boost when you need it. With alerts, reminders, progress tracking, and reporting tools, these apps make it easier to incorporate good habits into your life. 

Farrah’s Pick


Habitify is a popular habit-tracking app that helps you stay motivated and accountable with daily reminders, encouraging notifications, and progress reports.

Productivity apps

If you’re looking for ways to streamline your workflow, productivity apps can be a lifesaver. A productivity app can enable you to stay focused and organized at work and become more efficient by automating processes so that nothing falls through the cracks. 

Farrah’s Pick


Trello is an excellent productivity app that offers a visual way to organize tasks and projects. With boards, lists, and cards, Trello makes it easy to stay organized and maximize your productivity. 

Summary

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In conclusion, good work habits are the cornerstone of a successful career. By focusing on boosting productivity, enhancing your professional reputation, and improving your work-life balance, you can set yourself up for a fulfilling and prosperous career journey. 

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is crucial for mental well-being and job fulfillment. By adopting effective work habits and implementing the strategies provided in this article, you are now armed with the necessary tools and knowledge to elevate your professional journey.

Embrace this opportunity to enhance your career prospects and overall job satisfaction.You’ve got this!

Cheers to living your best life!

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