How to Break Bad Work Habits

Are bad work habits starting to affect your performance? There’s no need to panic just yet. Learn how to break bad work habits with ease and replace them with good ones instead

Everyone has one or two bad work habits. Though this might not seem like a big deal for some people, it can have a negative effect on your work. But how do you overcome this? Find the best tips on how to break bad work habits here. 

What are Bad Work Habits? 

Before you learn how to break bad work habits, you need to know what they are. This is often defined as a negative or bad behaviour pattern. Here are some bad work habits that you might be familiar with. 

Poor Communication

Not being able to communicate properly can lead to mistakes, wasted time and frustration. This can have a bad impact on your productivity. Some signs that you need to work on this are:

  • Not responding to emails, messages or phone calls promptly. 
  • Getting into arguments with others on a regular basis 

Constantly Coming in Late

Sometimes things go wrong in the morning and you end up being late for work. Maybe there was an accident and you were stuck in traffic. These things happen, and many bosses will understand. But if it happens on a regular basis, that’s when it becomes a problem. 

Being Disorganised 

Not being organised can lead to missing important details or lagging behind on your work. Here are some signs that you need to improve your organisation skills: 

  • You don’t have a planner with important dates and tasks 
  • Your desk is cluttered and untidy 

Taking too Many Breaks

While you are allowed to take breaks within your working day, it should be kept short. Once you start taking extended breaks more often, that’s when it becomes a problem. Especially when your work suffers because of it. 

Having a Negative Attitude 

Negativity never gets you anywhere. It leads to wasted time dwelling on problems that can be easily solved. Signs of negative attitude include: 

  • Complaining about things that no-one else has a problem with.  
  • Looking for things to be unhappy about. 


Leaving everything to the last minute not only affects your own work, it can also have a negative impact on your coworkers. This is especially true when it comes to team projects. If you delay your part, you put the next person in a bad position. 

Lazy worker with her head on the desk. Learn How to Break Bad Work Habits here

How to Break Bad Work Habits

Bad habits don’t just interrupt your everyday life. They also impact your work day by preventing you from accomplishing goals and tasks. Use these steps below to help you learn how to break bad work habits. 

Get Rid of Distractions 

There are online tools available to help block certain websites that might distract you. Also try to stick to scheduled breaks so you don’t waste unnecessary time. 

Improve Your Communication Skills 

If you need to work on your communication skills, make sure you listen well and ask questions if necessary. This includes organising your inbox and responding to emails on time. 

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others 

If you are lacking in skills compared to your coworkers, then do something about it. Ask for guidance or extra training. You can even take short courses to boost your skills. 

Find a System That Works for you 

The key to good organisation starts with you. Make sure your desk or work area is neat and tidy. Keep track of your tasks by writing them down, then ticking them off once you are done. 

Say no to Procrastination and Missed Deadlines

This ties in with finding a system that works for you. Having a daily planner or calendar can greatly improve your chances of finishing things on time. 

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Is it Possible to Change a Habit Permanently?

With hard work and dedication, it’s entirely possible to break a bad habit permanently. Keep in mind that this doesn’t happen overnight. There is a process you need to follow to make sure you don’t fall back into your old habits

  • Identify the habits you want to change 
  • Find your triggers 
  • Start by making small changes 
  • Change your environment 
  • Be patient with yourself 
  • If you slip up, you need to pay up 

Replace Bad Habits With Good Ones! 

What better way to develop good habits than by doing distance learning courses? Not only will you learn something new, you will gain valuable workplace skills. Get in touch with a course expert by: 

Last Updated: 3 December 2021