?You can continue on the path of your own career success by not allowing co-workers with problems to affect what you accomplish during a busy day. One provider of EAP, Ceridian LifeWorks, has reported that there are multiple ways in which co-workers inject stress into the general staff which increases tension. Negative co-workers can abandon their workloads to you, right before an important deadline. Their hostility can wreck the personality of a workplace and negatively impact your productivity. Bad co-workers can waste your time, or they can withhold vital information that also hurts your productivity, which reflects on your career. In "New Scientist" recently, it's been reported that nearly two hours are wasted every day by average workers who have to answer emails and deal with colleagues who annoy them in person or via phone. Here are seven practical steps you can take to avoid letting your co-workers hold you back from your workplace success 1. Be honest with yourself first. Are you guilty of being that unproductive or unpleasant to co-workers? Stress is contagious when you, not just your co-workers, express stressful behaviors at work. If you're the bad co-worker, take proactive steps to stop your own bad behavior. 2. Identify and isolate bad co-workers. Identify toxic co-workers and develop a plan to avoid those areas of the office housing bad co-workers. Don't give them the opportunity to ruin your day. 3. Don't ignore the situation. If a co-worker is behaving badly, immediate address the situation before it becomes a long-term instigator of stress. Politely ask a co-worker to stop a behavior, and include a polite explanation. Example: "I'm very busy between 10 a.m. and noon, so please don't visit my desk during these hours." 4. Agree to disagree. Respectfully agree to disagree with colleagues who insist they are right. Example: "I agree your work is important, but my deadline is my top priority right now." Example: "I respect your perspective, but I have to return to my desk to finish a project that is important to me." 5. Don't lose your temper. Like stress, anger is contagious, too. Practice anger management exercises such as deep breathing to calm you when you see a stressful co-worker approaching your desk. Or excuse yourself to take a quick, stress-busting walk outside the building or to another floor and back again. Don't encourage bad behavior from a co-worker by demonstrating your own bad behavior. When you do this, you're out of control and the bad guy wins. 6. Use your emotionally intelligence. This is your power to respond intelligently to emotional situations. If a member of your work team is a chronic procrastinator, take steps to avoid being on that co-workers team or to assign less-taxing assignments to the slacker. Make and keep a record of what you accomplished on a project, and, without resorting to blaming the lazy co-worker, act positively in positively addressing your achievements in a report to your superiors. 7. Turn a negative into a positive. If you find yourself in a workplace that condones or even celebrates bad co-workers, don't focus on what you cannot change. Change your future by actively looking for another position at a positive workplace. You'll be able to write yourself a glowing list of accomplishments for your resume if you keep track weekly of your endeavors for a project where you are partnered with a co-worker who is unproductive. Yes, you can turn a negative into a positive and leave negative co-workers or un-productive workers behind as you sail into your next success. ------ Ruth Klein is a branding, marketing, publicity and time management consultant to law firms and business professionals ranging from solo entrepreneurs to the Fortune 500. As an award-winning business owner with a master's degree in clinical psychology, Klein brings her unique, results-driven insights, expertise and practical solutions to her law firm clients. For more information, visit .