After you’ve been at your job for a while, it can be easy to get into a routine or go on autopilot - that’s when you start developing bad work habits. You’ve likely been caught up in at least one of these seven common work habits, and we’ve got some advice on why it’s time to kick them to the curb. 

1. Working through Breaks and Lunches

When you start the habit of working through your break times or taking meetings over lunch, it can be difficult to reset your boundaries. People will begin expecting you to be available at all times, and it’s a short road to burnout. Not to mention that taking some time to clear your brain, rest, and refuel can actually make you more productive in the long run.

2. Working While Sick

Toughing it out through a cold or the stomach flu is not a good work ethic - it’s bad practice. Not taking the time that your body needs to recuperate could mean it takes you longer to get back to health, which means you’re probably not doing your best work. If you work in an in-person setting, you’re also compromising the health of your coworkers or customers. Instead, curl up on the couch, drink your fluids, and you’ll be back in the game in no time.

3. Not Continuing to Learn

After a while, it can be easy to become complacent in your job after you’ve gotten the hang of everything and started to feel comfortable. Passing up on training or online courses where you can learn new skills and knowledge that can be applied at work could be contributing to the disinterest you’re feeling about your current job. There are many great learning opportunities online, both paid and free, that can help you stay engaged at work.

4. Procrastinating

It’s easy to do, especially when it’s a task or project you’re not exactly excited about. But waiting until the last minute and rushing through that report will only cause more stress and strife. Instead, try knocking out your least favorite tasks first to hopefully find more enjoyment in your day and not be dreading the work you’ve been avoiding.

5. Not Taking Time Off

If you’re the kind of person who pushes through and banks your PTO, it’s time for you to take a vacation. Avoiding taking time off because you are worried about the momentum of a project or that everything will fall apart when you’re gone leads to unhealthy work habits and a lack of boundaries. You don’t have to take an elaborate trip - even if you take time off to spend in town with family or friends, taking a break from work can help clear your mind, rest your body, and help you come back to work as a better version of yourself.

6. Avoiding Networking and Making Connections

You might be sick of people telling you how important networking is, but taking the time to make new professional connections can lead to growth opportunities, a new sale for your company, or even just someone you can call when you’re stuck on something at work. Start saying yes to those coffee meetings and networking lunches, and you’ll thank yourself later. 

7. Sticking It Out in the Wrong Job

If your current job or position makes you miserable, you don’t have to stay. Start telling people that you’re looking for a new job or position within the company and hop online to look at job postings. While no job is perfect, you should still enjoy most of what you do, and it’s less and less common for people to stick around at a workplace for 30+ years. There are many new opportunities waiting for you, and it’s okay to try a few different options before finding the right fit for you and your career goals.


If you’re finding it difficult to break these bad habits, find a friend or coworker who can help you stay accountable and help you be the best version of yourself while you’re at work! 

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