Overcome These Common Bad Work Habits and Find Success

Dec 15, 2022

We all try to bring our best selves to work. But sometimes, bad habits carry over into our work lives. Even if it’s a small action (or inaction), it can derail your success. Overcome these common bad work habits and watch your career bloom.

Bad Habit: Poor Communication

A wide variety of bad habits can fall under the category of poor communication. Ignoring phone calls, delayed email responses, and a lack of updates to your team can all be detrimental to your success. Even if you are completing your work thoroughly and on time, you can run into problems if no one knows about it. A lack of communication can also make you seem disengaged and apathetic about your job.

How to Overcome It

Aim to return any voicemails or emails within 24 hours. If you find it difficult to do so, try setting time blocks throughout the day. Always keep your team updated on any projects you’re working on, especially when your work affects others. Take a proactive approach to communication – more information is always better!


Bad Habit: Procrastination

Putting off tasks until a later time is a very human habit. While it’s common, it is still a bad habit that needs to be addressed. If you leave tasks until the last minute to complete, the quality of your work may suffer. Your actions may also impact others if they are waiting on your completed work to complete theirs.

How to Overcome It

A daily to-do list can work wonders for your productivity. Keeping track of all due dates and deadlines will allow you to avoid procrastination. Split large projects and tasks into smaller chunks and schedule time throughout the week to get them done. The feeling of making progress will encourage you to keep going! If you catch yourself procrastinating, focus on one thing you can get done quickly and get it completed. This should bring your motivation back to continue.


Bad Habit: Being Disorganized

Being organized seems to come naturally to some people. They always have their ducks in a row! If this doesn’t describe you, that’s okay. However, being disorganized can lead to missed deadlines, missed meetings, and a longer time to complete your work. This bad habit can be turned around with some planning.

How to Overcome It

Research different organization methods and find one that sounds like it will match your work style. Create a system that works for you, whether it involves documenting all your projects and deadlines in a notebook or creating time blocks on your digital calendar. There are lots of tools available to set up reminders for yourself, organize files into folders, and keep yourself on track.


Bad Habit: Being Overconfident

Confidence is a positive trait… to a degree. If you are overconfident, you might alienate your coworkers and leave a bad impression on your supervisor. Signs that you could be overconfident include taking credit for work or ideas that are not your own; being unreceptive to constructive criticism; not accepting help when it is offered (and needed); and thinking you know better than everyone else in the office.

How to Overcome It

The first step to battling overconfidence is to realize that it is affecting you. Closely evaluate your actions and the reactions of your colleagues and your supervisor. You can even ask a trusted source for the truth if you’re unsure. Then, you can take steps to scale back your demeanor.


Bad Habit: Multitasking

Studies have shown that splitting your focus too much can do more harm than good. The pressure to get more things done at once will increase your stress levels. You also might miss details that are critical to the project or task at hand.

How to Overcome It

Focus on one task at a time for maximum concentration. If you feel overwhelmed, refer to your to-do list and prioritize everything that needs to get done. If you truly have too much to get done, speak with your supervisor to seek guidance on priorities and see if someone else can help.

Written by: Alessandra Cespedes & Sarah Perlman

Subscribe to Employment Expert

Employment Expert Subscribe