5 Bad Work Habits and How to Break Them

22 May, 2023 | Read in 5 minutes

Discover five work habits that could be sabotaging your productivity and how to break them.


It seems the opposite, but productivity and bad work habits are two key aspects that greatly impact your professional life. 

Being productive benefits the company and offers numerous advantages for your personal growth, such as enhanced focus and the ability to accomplish all tasks and responsibilities efficiently. 

By working productively, you can maximise your potential, thereby positively influencing your future career development. However, it is unfortunate that certain bad habits often hinder work productivity, and what's worse is that you may unknowingly fall victim to them.

Let's learn about how sabotaging habits impact your productivity and discover tips to enhance your productivity below.

5 Bad Work Habits That Could Be Sabotaging Productivity 

Certain habits can significantly reduce your productivity at work. Even though these habits may seem small and trivial, it is important not to let them persist. Here are five bad work habits that could be sabotaging your productivity.

1. Skipping Breakfast

No matter how busy your schedule may be, it is important to always make time for breakfast. Your body needs an intake of energy in the morning to feel more enthusiastic about carrying out activities.

Breakfast is useful for refilling blood sugar levels because low sugar levels will make it difficult to focus, easily tired, irritable, and impatient. Choose a healthy breakfast menu, such as whole wheat bread, bananas, and oatmeal, to help you concentrate and increase work productivity. 

2. Delaying Important Tasks

Are you in the habit of frequently postponing challenging yet significant work? If so, it's time to put an end to this bad habit. 

Why? Because as the day progresses, your energy levels tend to decrease, making it even more challenging to complete these important tasks that you've delayed.  

Consequently, procrastination makes the quality of your work may suffer, leading to a higher likelihood of errors and suboptimal results.

3. Too Often Email Checking

While email serves as an important communication tool in your work, constantly checking your inbox can reduce your focus at work. According to Forbes, email is known to be a productivity killer and a major source of distraction for most employees. 

Spending excessive time reading and responding to emails is a significant waste of both time and effort. Therefore, it is essential to set the times for checking your email, ensuring that you can maintain better concentration on your work.

4. Being Accustomed to Multitasking

Multitasking is often considered an advantage in many workplaces. However, it can reduce your productivity at work.

Trying to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously makes it challenging to maintain focus and increases of making errors. Moreover, being too accustomed to multitasking can reduce creativity in generating new and innovative ideas.

Therefore, it is better to complete one task before moving on to the next. This approach will enable you to work more effectively and efficiently.

5. Scrolling on Social Media

Do you find yourself scrolling through Instagram or TikTok while working? Scrolling social media is fun, but it's time to break that habit. It can easily lead to addiction and disrupt your focus while working. 

This bad work habit should not be taken lightly; it is crucial to start limiting the time spent on checking or engaging with social media to enhance productivity and focus on your work.

How to Boost Your Productivity

How to be more productive? Well, overcoming bad habits at work is very important so it cannot reduce your productivity. To ensure you can maintain high productivity regardless of the circumstances, it's time to adopt the following positive work habits:

1. Establishing a Morning Routine

A consistent morning routine is one of the keys to enhancing our productivity. For example, starting the morning with breakfast, drinking coffee, exercising for a while, reading news online, and then getting to work.

Also, prepare a list or schedule for today's agenda the night before in a note or reminder to make the routine more organised.

The morning routine is very important because it fosters discipline and structure in your day.

2. Working in Moderation

The second habit you should adopt is working in moderation and avoiding overwork. That's why effective time management is crucial for maintaining a healthy work balance. 

Productivity isn't solely about working hard; it's about working smart. Inc advises taking regular breaks to recharge and avoid overworking, as overwork can cause stress and reduce your productivity.

3. Creating a To-Do List

If you want to maximise your productivity at work, it's time to stop multitasking. Instead, create a to-do list and prioritise your tasks. 

Entrepreneur suggests developing detailed task lists aligned with your goals to enhance productivity. By making a to-do list, you can easily identify which tasks need to be completed first, keeping you focused and on track, especially when deadlines are approaching.

4. Avoiding Distractions

Avoiding distractions takes effort, but maintaining your productivity is worth it. 

According to one study, it takes around 25 minutes to regain focus after a distraction. So, make it a habit to avoid anything that easily distracts you at work. 

For example, resist the urge to open social media during your working hours, as it can break your concentration. Commit yourself to avoiding activities that reduce your focus. 

Keep in mind that work is a responsibility that needs your undivided attention, so staying focused is essential for productivity.

5. Regular Exercise

No matter how busy your work schedule is, make sure to prioritise exercise.

According to EnvatoTuts+, exercise is important as it provides the brain with more oxygen. This increased oxygen supply helps improve focus and concentration. Additionally, regular exercise can uplift your mood. 

Consider light exercises in your routine, such as taking a morning walk or practising yoga. Exercise is a great way to boost your productivity and overall well-being.

Wrapping Up

If you let them continue, bad work habits will impact the company and yourself. To be more productive at work, you must start new positive habits, such as having a morning routine, exercising regularly, working in moderation, keeping distractions away, and making to-do lists.

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