4 Bad Workplace Habits & How to Break Them

Most people are well aware that their bad habits are bad for them. We know that smoking is extremely harmful just as we know that a poor diet can lead to all sorts of health conditions. Some of us get stuck in our ways because of repetition while others lack the willpower and dedication to stop their bad habit.

If you have a job, chances are you have a bad workplace habit or two that you could stand to break. Here are 4 of the top workplace habits and tips for kicking them to the curb.

  1. Lacking Focus

Are you one of those people who immediately open and answer an email as soon as it comes into your inbox? Do you often find that you spend time browsing the Internet or on social media when you’re at work? Not being focused can be a huge problem for employees. If you’re lacking focus, odds are you’re probably bored, distracted, underworked, or stressed.

Kicking the Habit

To regain your focus at work, the first step is to find the root cause. If you’re bored, take on a task for an employee. Feeling underworked? Talk to your boss about shadowing with someone else in the company to learn a new skill. If you’re distracted, avoid checking your personal email and surfing social media.

If you find that you’re just not able to focus, you may need a few minutes to yourself. Take time to meditate or take a short walk outside. Sometimes a short break from the hustle and bustle can help you recharge and find your focus.

  1. Poor Planning

When you arrive at your desk, do you immediately know what tasks you have to tackle? Do you keep a list of what tasks you’ve completed as well as which ones still need to be addressed? Chances are unless you’re good at planning and organizing, you don’t have such a list. By not planning what things we need to tackle the next day, we spend a good chunk of the morning figuring out exactly what it is we need to get done. This impacts productivity and efficiency, and causes poor time management.

Kicking the Habit

Poor planning isn’t a hard habit to break. The key is to learn and to use the right organization and planning skills. If you’re a pen and paper person, manually write down tasks that you have for the day and cross them off as you complete them. For the ones you didn’t get to, make sure you deal with them the next day. Other tips for workplace planning include:

  • Creating calendar reminders
  • Using a desk planner or plotter
  • Having a running schedule of tasks and due dates

Managing your time and the work you need to do is paramount for your success in the business world.

  1. Smoking to Relieve Stress

Many of us know just how stressful the workplace can be. From working long days to get a contract finalized to managing the budget, work is very rarely stressful. If you’re like some people, your go-to for relieving stress is to smoke. While smoking may give you the mental and emotional feeling of relaxation, your body experiences an increase in stress. Smoking causes the heart rate and blood pressure to increase and also decreases the amount of available oxygen in the body.

Kicking the Habit

No matter if you’ve been smoking for 2 years or 20, there’s no better time than now to kick the habit. If your company offers a smoking cessation group, join it. You may also want to decide which smoking cessation tool you want to use. Some people quit cold turkey, others use nicotine patches, and others trade in the cigarettes for a vape.

If you’re a huge fan of the throat hit and the act of “smoking,” vaping can fulfill that need without harmful carcinogens and byproducts. Make a trip to a local vape store to pick up a vaping starter kit. You’ll also want to buy a bottle of e-juice that has a decent nicotine level and is a flavor that you can enjoy all day long.

  1. Being Late

Some days it’s really hard to get out of bed. Maybe you forgot about a meeting that was scheduled months ago. No matter the reason for your lateness, it looks bad on you as an employee. If you’ve fallen into the habit of missing meetings or showing up after your expected arrival time, you’ll want to make a change, quickly.

Kicking the Habit

Fixing being late all depends on what causes you to be late in the first place. Maybe you need to go to bed earlier so that you can wake up on time. Or maybe you need to use a mobile app that syncs to your work calendar so that you’re always aware of your meetings for the day, week, and even the month. Figure out what’s causing you to be late and work from there.


Habits are hard to break. But, if you find that your workplace habits are interfering in your success as an employee, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to end them for good.

Author: Oliver Curtis

Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.

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