No disrespect to the fax machine. It was a critical piece of apparatus in American business for years, but now it is an outdated relic on a par with the dial-up modem. Yes, technology has improved -- you can even send color faxes now -- but quality really has not. Most faxed documents are still difficult to read, still come out askew, and are often incomplete, cut off by a paper jam or a problem with the phone line. Many people resort to faxes when they need to send a signed document to another party, but in many cases a fax with a signature may not even be legally acceptable.
Fix: Fortunately, for most people, faxing is a fairly easy habit to break. Just staring at the pile of junk faxes that most businesses continue to receive is impetus enough. While your fax machine may be attached to an otherwise useful all-in-one printer, you can simply unplug it from the phone line, and save a few bucks a month if you're paying for a second line for it. Plenty of free or cheap services can let you send a digital fax, should you really need to do so.
14. Throwing computer equipment in the trash
If you've been a computer user for any length of time, you've probably accumulated dozens of old peripherals, outdated or broken laptops, ancient cell phones, and gobs of cables. What do you do with that mountain of telephone wire that came with every modem you ever bought? What about all those old red-white-and-yellow A/V cables bundled with the VCRs of yesteryear?
Much of this material unfortunately ends up in landfills. Some, like telephone wire, isn't exactly hazardous, but anything with a battery or a circuit board in it probably is. (Modern electronics typically aren't as toxic as older stuff, but that isn't what you're throwing away, is it?)
Fix: The good news is that you can fairly easily recycle most of this junk, even broken cables and defunct printers. E-waste events are common in many neighborhoods, and both Goodwill and Best Buy will take just about anything off your hands for reuse, resale, or recycling.
Don't forget to scrub personal data from any hard drive or flash drive you recycle. Use a multipass wiping tool such as BCWipe to make sure that last year's tax returns don't end up in someone else's hands.
15. Not reading the FAQs
When trouble arises online -- as it always does -- the knee-jerk reaction is to open a support ticket or call the help desk immediately. Then you'll spend half an hour on hold waiting for someone who probably can't do much to help you.
Fix: Make it a habit to remember the FAQs. Companies love to create Frequently Asked Questions pages because they really do answer a lot of common concerns. While some FAQs are more thorough than others, they're always worth a quick spin to see if you can't find a quick answer to what you believe is a unique problem. Use the search feature on your browser to scan a large document for your trouble keywords.
16. Oversharing on social media
It's good news that you finally resolved your bunion problems. We got a kick out of that picture of the syrup puddle on your breakfast waffles. And the story about the squeaky dog toy you bought was also a gem.
Yes, complaining about banal stories, photos, and comments on Facebook and other social media sites has become a First World Problem of the greatest order, but considering how intertwined social media and the business world have become, the person likely to suffer the most is the one who does the blathering.