1. Work smart
I usually work hard but of late, I've forgotten how to work smart. More in my next item.
2. Use Common Sense
Though common sense isn't very common these days, in my case, it has become completely uncommon. Using x86 binaries to create x64 builds is just one example but I see a trend developing over the past couple of months that is disturbing. Nothing that can't be fixed I hope.
3. Follow 1 Set of Instructions to Finish a Task
It's important to understand what you want to accomplish and what is actually going on under the hood so that you can troubleshoot problems as they arise. It's also mighty important to follow one set of instructions from start to finish to know for sure that if something went wrong, it wasn't because you missed a step in the configuration. I'm glad I'm not a Lab guy because I have a very hard time following instructions but this has got to change.
4. No Shortcuts please
Especially when you don't know how things work.
5. If you promise to do something, try to do it On Time