How to Break Bad Habits in the Workplace, Successfully


Learn how to break bad habits at work in 4 steps.

Some bad habits are carried into the office environment and can be bad for your career advancement. Bad habits are learned behaviors that are repeated often. The more often it is repeated the stronger the habit would be. Over time, the habits become automatic. You do it even without realizing it.

Let’s explore some of the bad habits and how to break these bad habits that are common in the workplace. 

How to Break Bad Habits #1: Swearing, Verbal Tics and Conversational Padding

Consider this – people form an immediate opinion about you as soon as you open your mouth. Imagine how this bad habit of using expletive in your workplace can be detrimental to your career advancement.

Additionally, this is especially true for fresh graduates new in the work place. They tend to think that they are in college and still continue to use language that is considered acceptable. The use of verbal tics and conversational padding like ‘y’know’, ‘sorta’, ‘wanna’ and ‘I was like oh my god’, ‘I’m kinda cool with it’ reflects upon the professionalism of the person.


How to Break Bad Habits #2: Procrastination 

This is a common bad habit that occurs in the office. Many things cause procrastination. Some of them include striving to be perfect, the task isn’t meaningful to you, and doing things that are totally new to you. This bad habit will jeopardize your chances of career advancement. Projects get delayed, you get stressed and your work quality suffers.

To break this bad habit, first understand what causes procrastination. If striving to be perfect is the reason then you need to remind yourself that doing your best is more important. You know when you have given your best but you measuring perfect is near impossible.

How to Break Bad Habits #3: Playing Computer Games and Chatting

How many times have you seen colleagues chatting either on the phone or via the computer? Or they could be playing simple computer games like solitaire? These bad habits take away productive office hours. In companies with strict policies against counter productive activities like these could put your job on the line.

Breaking this bad habit is easy if you realize that it is all about personal responsibility to your work. You are employed to get the work done. Pay attention to the work and deliver quality work. Constantly remind yourself of this. Uninstall these games and chat software from your computer.


How to Break Bad Habits #4: In Summary 

  1. Be interested in the bad habit that you want to change. Unless you have an interest to change you would not act upon it.
  2. Have a desire to succeed. Tell yourself that you will conquer this bad habit. People who tend to think they will fail usually give up before they are half way through.
  3. Give it a personal strong commitment in terms of time and energy. That means giving yourself a plan and work that plan.
  4. Think about alternatives to the bad habit you can replace. Pick an easy one you can start with first.
  5. Be conscious of the bad habit. As soon as you do it, start - without thinking - the alternative behavior you decide to put into practice. Start with small steps and develop confidence. As you progress, give yourself bigger targets.
  6. Have patience. Behavioral change takes time and support. Tell friends and co-workers about your plan and get them to support you. With some encouragement your journey to breaking the bad habit will not be a lonely one. 

More Articles about Workplace Habits & How to Break Bad Habits

5 Effective Work Habits For Fresh Graduates 
As someone new to the working world it makes sense to internalize these effective work habits to increase your chances of success. 

7 Personal Career Enhancement Habits To Guide You in Your First Year at Work 
Personal career enhancement habits and quick tips to help guide you in your career. 

Top Five Habits for Career Success at Entry Level 
Discover the top 5 work habits to achieve career success at entry level. 

Small Steps Your Way to a Better Future 
A series of small steps is a sure way to career success. Here's how you do it. 

Career Success With Contribution: How Do You Do It and Make The Most Out Of It? 
Career success with contribution is what you seek. But how do you contribute? 

Act Now: The Art of Getting Into Action and Getting Things Done 
Act now, if you want to achieve anything in work and life. Here are 7 tips to get you in action. 

Be Productive: Start Your Day Early 
How to be productive and stay productive at work, everyday. 

How to Break Bad Habits at Work in 4 Steps 
Some bad habits are carried into the office environment and can be bad for your career advancement. Learn how to break these bad habits. 


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