Work Habits to Set Yourself Up for Success

Work Habits to Set Yourself Up for Success

One of APC’s goals is to ensure all Unit 4 employees are protected and have a positive environment at the CSU. While there may be good and bad days, that’s simply a part of life in any situation.
However, there are ways to give yourself an advantage to make the most out of every day and set yourself up for success.

Here are some ideas for you to create success-generating habits:

Have a Morning Routine

The specifics of a morning routine will vary from person to person, of course, but it’s the value of having a routine that helps set you up for success. Getting up at a fixed time each day, getting your body moving and blood flowing, having a healthy breakfast, sharing time with family, and more, all before their workday begins, can start your day off in a positive way.

It takes discipline to maintain a morning routine, and that same discipline translates beautifully into your working life. It also helps stimulate your creativity and thinking power before work even begins. Unfortunately, those who drag themselves from their beds into their work clothes and to their campus (or work area at home) are often barely ready to start their day.


One of the best habits you can maintain in both a working and personal life is to show up on time. Arriving late for work once in a blue moon because of an unforeseen event is one thing, but when it becomes habitual, it may communicate a very distinct message to your department: “I don’t value this job.” With many positions leveraging telecommuting, it looks even worse.

Eat Clean

You might wonder about the connection between your diet and professional success. Eating healthy and nutritious food equips you with the energy and concentration you need to excel from every day. Conversely, relying on junk food, fast food, and other convenience-style foods contributes to elevated sugar levels, weight gain, lethargy, and a lack of focus. Making good dietary choices can go a long way to improving your overall health and critical thinking skills.

Asking Questions

Are you the type of person who listens to what others say, perhaps takes some notes? Or perhaps you have the attitude of let’s get this over with and not asking any questions and prefer to figure everything out as you go along.

What does it say to co-workers and supervisors when you’re known as someone who asks questions? Does it make you seem a troublemaker? No. Remember that asking questions is a key part of active listening. It shows that you’re taking what’s being said, truly listening, and thinking about the information you’re receiving. In short, be the person who asks questions and works on making them smart, relevant, and useful that others can learn from, too.

Avoid Multitasking

At first glance, this habit might seem counterintuitive to some. Isn’t multitasking a good thing? Most celebrate multitasking as one of their personal and professional strengths, so why are we saying that avoiding it is a recipe for success? Unfortunately, for most people, multitasking does more harm than good. Even when we think more software solutions are helping, we can end up wasting more time checking notifications, putting things into calendars, and simply talking about things getting done.

You can apply all your energy and skill when focusing on individual tasks, ranked by urgency and importance. For many, what happens is that you achieve better results in a shorter time overall.

Start with the Hardest Tasks

We mentioned above about putting tasks in order of urgency or importance. That’s important, of course, but if you can develop a habit where you always deal with the more complex and tricky tasks of each day early on, you’ll likely find you can complete other tasks easier since they don’t take as much brain power. Very often, it’s harder to focus on even simple tasks when the shadow of something more complex looms great over proceedings.

For most people, the morning is when they’re most productive and their minds most receptive and active. So, when possible, schedule your more difficult tasks for the morning, and the longer you keep this habit, the easier it will be to get things accomplished.

Be a Learner

Those who believe their education is limited to a college classroom may miss out. While APC advocates taking advantage of furthering your education at CSU with credit reimbursement, there are other ways you can learn.

Perhaps there is a new professional skill or a hobby that you want to learn. There are many free and low-cost options from learning something on YouTube, free apps to learn a new language, to community programs and online platforms such as Coursera or Udemy.

Being a lifelong learner and building good study and learning habits in your daily life is an important foundation for success.

If you’re interested in learning more about APC’s Labor Relation Topics, visit our Library.

Stay Organized

Finally, just as you’ve developed the habit of organizing your task list and getting things done more efficiently, you should also extend that habit to other areas of your working and personal life properly organized and in good order. With order comes clarity and focus, and when you’re armed with those intellectual and emotional weapons, you’ll be ready for anything.