August 02, 2013, 4:54 PM —
Image credit: flickr/jakerome
If you're miserable at work, you can do something about it and regain a tremendous amount of mental and emotional energy that you can put to better use.
AOL Jobs' Miriam Salpeter identified the top 9 destructive routines professionals practice, ones that can make any day longer, unproductive and downright depressing.
Want to immediately improve your work life?
1. Worry about things you can't control
You have little sway over management, the entire organization and really anything outside what iconic author Stephen Covey calls your "circle of influence." Stop wasting valuable time and energy on matters outside your control.
2. Obsess about what insignificant people think about you
Consider the attitudes or opinions of only those you need to please. Again, trying to impress anyone who doesn't have an influence on your life or career is expending energy that could be better spent elsewhere.
If a task seems insurmountable, break it down into small steps. You'll start making progress and feel better.
4. Be careless
Somewhat obvious, but the devil truly is in the details. "When you are disorganized and let things slip through the cracks at work, you will earn a reputation for being someone who can't get things done, so pay attention to even the smallest details," Salpeter notes.
5. Fall into an Internet rabbit hole
This is tricky, as most of us are on our computers all day and a new browser tab is just one click away. Instead of focusing on and completing the task at hand, it's human nature to see what's doin' on Facebook, Twitter or hundreds of other mindless favorites. Do not open a new tab.
6. Badmouth people
Dragging down others will hurt your reputation, too.
7. Hold grudges
It's like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die. Move on and better spend your energy elsewhere.
8. Constantly complain
Don't be the office whiner. Negative people suck energy from others; sooner or later colleagues will avoid you.
9. Obsess about the past
This hearkens back to the first tip. "If you're constantly looking in the rear view mirror and focusing on past history, you'll miss opportunities just ahead," Salpeter says. Instead of second-guessing previous moves, determine how you can move ahead.