3 University Habits to Kill in Order to Win at Work

Habits are pretty interesting. You can easily tell a person’s character by the types of habits they have and they’re essential for businesses. So fascinated was I by habits that I thought I should research and write a book on them. But a quick search of Amazon revealed that some Charles Duhigg fellow had already done it – and it had rave reviews – and it was only published last year. The bastard. Bitterness aside it’s a great book and I’ve gone through it twice.

With this knowledge in the back of my mind, as I moved from uni to work I became acutely aware of some abysmal habits I had somehow acquired which were really bringing me down. Here they are:


1. Procrastination

The big one. Everyone has felt the affliction of procrastination at some point at uni. The sinking feeling of the impending all-nighter as you settle into a seat in library and fire up your laptop. You probably even stopped at the shop and made sure to choose the optimal combination of energy drinks and snacks just as a little last minute mini-procrastination. And it’s all made worse because you know it was 100% avoidable. Procrastination won’t cut it after uni – if you let it get out of control you’re not going to go anywhere fast. There’s too much to do as it is, which bring me onto bad habit no.2.

2. Excessive Time / The Perfectionist’s Fallacy

At uni you have so so much time. Ridiculously large amounts of it. It’s a situation where Parkinson’s Law rules as king and it’s all too easy to fall into the habit of taking your sweet ass time with every piece of work. This is also titled the perfectionist’s fallacy because I can remember agonising over tiny tasks as small as an email, meticulously trying to craft it to perfection. And it probably never got read.  You’re probably familiar with ‘ship fast’ and ‘if you’re not embarrassed you shipped too late’ yadda yadda… Think like that and watch your productivity skyrocket. 

3. Looking for the Trodden Path

Personally I studied economics so I spent most of my time looking at ideas that are decades if not centuries old. This meant the material never changes and that all the questions have been done a million times before. So instead of thinking independently it was far more efficient to scour the internet for scraps of answers and learn it by rote. Obviously this is bad news for innovative thinking. When faced with something new your first reaction shouldn’t be to Google it and find out what everyone else thinks. You should try and form your own opinion and exercise your creative muscle power. After uni noone really gives a shit if you can remember lots of things. Everyone has an internet connection so they can access that information themselves. What they need is someone who can come up with stuff, connect the dots and intelligently create.  

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