7 vicious habits to break for productivity at work

7 vicious habits to break for productivity at work

If you want to keep your job you’re going to have to make sure you’re doing the right thing. Bad behaviour can affect the relationships you have with your boss and colleagues and you want to make sure you’re in their good books. You can easily break any bad habits by concentrating on tasks and definitely keeping your phone on silent.

Responding to messages straight away

If you are inattentive and easily distracted, you may be putting your job in jeopardy. When you get an email or message, try replying later when you have free time unless it is an urgent message. Most devices have a ‘busy’ button where you will not receive any notifications or pop up alerts whilst you are working. If you do need to answer a phone call, consider your environment. It’s rude to speak loudly and disrupt everyone around you.



We’re all guilty of leaving tasks last minute but this is definitely a mistake we should avoid, particularly because your boss won’t be too happy when you’re running behind schedule. The best way to keep on everyone’s good side is to learn to control your procrastination and try to keep on top of tasks as they come in. A great way to stay productive is to take breaks. By focusing on something else you’ll find that you’re mind will work more effectively as most people can not concentrate on the one task for more than 2 hours.



Striving for perfection is admirable but just not logical. A lot of us want to impress our colleagues and leaders so much that we focus on the nitty gritty and waste time on details that hardly matter. It’s important to look at the bigger picture and what your priorities are so you don’t get caught up in the little things. Author, Jodi Picoult, gave some great advice when she said,  ““You can edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page.”


Negative thoughts lead to negative behaviour when completing tasks and can also lead to procrastination. A positive mindset can go a long way in improving your productivity because there’s no point complaining about a job when you know you’re going to have to do it anyway. When your boss is hard on you, don’t whinge but rather take it as constructive criticism. The reason they told you off in the first place is because you were doing something wrong. Use it to improve yourself to become better than you already are and make things easier.


Who thought this would be a bad habit? Research by Stanford University has actually proven that whilst multi-tasking you are less productive because you are not completing one task to the best of your ability. When we concentrate on more than one source of information, there’s a high chance that we will probably end up mixing everything up. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

Late to work, early to leave

A definite no-no! If you are late make sure you tell your boss beforehand and try to come in early the next day. We all make mistakes and sleep through our alarm or even get stuck in traffic. Managers won’t hold that against you if it’s your first offence, but repeating this mistake over and over just makes you unreliable. Give yourself enough time to get to work every day and always make sure you give your boss the truth.


A messy desk leads to a messy mind! There’s nothing more irritating when you are genuinely trying to be productive but can’t find what you are looking for. Organisation and cleanliness goes a long way in affecting your performance. Try arriving to work 20 minutes before everyone else and tidy up your desk a bit, to make it a bit more organised.