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Habit, Productivity

25 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Now

Written by Celestine Chua
Celestine is the Founder of Personal Excellence where she shares her best advice on how to boost productivity and achieve excellence in life.
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Putting yourself down because you have become prey to bad habits is not a good thing to do. Everyone in their life falls prey to these habits. However, the person who can accept this mistake and break bad habits emerges as the winner in real life.

When you look at your lifestyle, you realize how easy it is to fall prey to a list of bad habits. The difficult part is breaking bad habits and making yourself free from them.

The habit of biting your nails or restlessly playing with your hair may sound harmless at first, but these habits become hard to break in the long run. Along with these, certain bad habits are dreadful for your health, like smoking and drinking.

These two habits can lead to cancer and lung disease. The best resort in such a situation is to break these bad habits by following a good routine life. In this article, we have highlighted some bad habits that you need to quit right away.

Bad Habits to Quit Right Away

Like I said earlier, bad habits become a part of our life due to the lifestyle we adopt. But, before we take the necessary steps to break these bad habits, the most important thing is to understand which ones are really bad for your life. Let us look at some of these habits below:

1. Being Late

Certain people tend to be late on every occasion. This tendency can have dreadful effects on your life. The very first thing is it can make you a compulsory procrastinator.


People never take your word for granted and always expect you to never be on time. This may make them feel that you are not a dependable person. Also, being late can be detrimental for you as you have created this bad habit of never being on time which can make your life difficult when you wish to arrive at a certain place on time.

The best way to break this bad habit is to realize the importance of time.

Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

2. Being Too Hard on Yourself

There will be times when you just can’t complete your work in a timely fashion. It could be because of a work, family or other kind of emergency. If this is the case, don’t harp on the situation. Sometimes that’s just how things go.

So, what can you do? Get yourself refocused. Pick up where you last left off and continue on with your work. Complaining won’t get things done.

3. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

The human mind is such that it longs for people who appreciate you. If you are in the company of people who do not appreciate you, it can worsen your life. This is such a bad habit that can make you underestimate yourself and do things much lower than your potential.

The best thing to counter this bad habit is by making friends with people who appreciate you for who you are. Look out for people who provide sincere compliments and help you become a better person. This is a must to break this bad habit of polluting your brain.

Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now


4. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

This is a bad habit even worse than procrastination as you find it fascinating to do things at the last minute. The reason is that it gives you the adrenaline rush. This is a very bad habit which can make you lose everything you have got, including your family and friends.

Even though you might feel excited doing everything at the last minute, it can irritate your near and dear ones. The best way to break this bad habit is by ensuring that you start working on tasks beforehand by preplanning.

This guide on how to stop procrastinating can help you: What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating).

5. Focusing on the Negatives

People who have the habit of concentrating only on the negative end up facing only negative circumstances in their life. This is a never-ending circle of bad habits. The more you try to end this bad habit, the more you get drenched in it.

The best thing that you can ever do to break this bad habit is by counting your blessing instead of the negative things happening in your life. This way, you can look at the positive, and eventually, this bad habit of focusing on the negatives will go away.

Try out these 10 Simple Ways To Make Positive Thinking Your Habit.

6. Multitasking

Working on a report, surfing the ‘net, talking on the phone with your client and texting your boss…task overload!

Stop trying to do so many different things at once. You’ll get your work done faster if you do things one at a time, carefully. If you’re afraid you’ll forget what you need to do, jot down a mini to-do list on a sticky note to get the tasks out of your head. Then, it’s time to get work.


7. Loafing

One of the hardest, and the most obvious, parts of achieving success is the actual work. Procrastinating, making excuses or tricking yourself into loafing is just going to cement the fact that nothing will ever get done. It might not sound pretty, or even too easy, but the easiest way to get to success is to just jump in and get going.

8. Blaming

“It’s not my fault I’m not successful. The industry is bad, I don’t have the money, etc.” When it comes down to it, however, who is the one responsible for their success? Themselves.

This is the day and age where people are launching successful start-ups in a few months, getting published online and finding their way to success one way or another. Some things might be out of their control, but blaming others is just going to waste the energy and time they need to get going.

9. Sour Grapes

Being envious of the success of others is almost as bad as blaming them. All the time and energy you could be putting into your own goals is going towards a person who more than likely has done nothing but show you that the goal is attainable.

You don’t have to be applauding their success, but being envious and sour about it is a waste of time–let it roll off the shoulders and dig down towards accomplishing goals.

10. Minimizing Others’ Success

Again, you don’t have to be cheering and raving about the success of others, but minimizing others’ accomplishments looks bad on you and on your own goals.


If you attained success, would you want others rolling their eyes and treating it like it is not a big deal in the slightest? I highly doubt it. “So they climbed Mount Everest, big whoop. Plenty of people have done it before.” Have they?

11. Making Assumptions

You know what they say about the word ‘assume’, it makes an (inappropriate word I’ll leave out of this article) out of ‘u’ and ‘me’ . Unsuccessful people are the best at making assumptions without considering other outlets or opportunities. Missed chance after missed chance can put anyone behind, or completely ruin something that they poured a lot of hard work into.

People are often surprised at what happens if they take a chance instead of listening to that little pessimist inside their heads. ‘Never assume’ is good advice and it is a mindset they should get out of as quickly as possible.

12. Spending Your Entire Day Planning

Do you stare at your schedule, thinking about how best to use every last minute of your day? Do you spend hours upon hours adjusting project spreadsheets and Gantt charts?

While planning is an important part of work, it’s not the only part. You also have to take action and actually do those things you’ve so carefully planned! Lay the plans aside and get to work.

13. Sitting at Your Desk For Hours on End

Quick, when was the last time you left your desk for a break? Sorry, restroom breaks and getting a stack of printouts from the photocopier don’t count! You need to take regular, non-work breaks.


Give your eyes a break from staring at the computer screen or slaving over your workstation. Get up, do some light stretches and go outside for a quick walk. The change of scenery and fresh air will help to refresh your mind and body.

14. Sitting Around Waiting for the Perfect Moment to Begin Something

When’s the perfect moment to start planning your dream vacation, clean out your closet or look for that new job? You could spend years upon years waiting for that so-called “perfect moment.”

The truth is, the perfect moment is right now. Stop waiting, and start working towards your goals, big and small, professional and personal. You’ll be glad you did!

15. Refusing to Learn Anything New

You can benefit greatly from learning a few new skills or techniques that relate to your everyday work. These skills don’t have to be complicated, they can just be simple, everyday things, such as learning how to touch type, use the photocopier, or resize photographs on your computer.

16. Quitting

“Well, I tried.” Sure, they tried once. That horse is shaking its head and trotting off to find someone who will get back on it.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with cutting losses sometimes. After all, no experience is ever truly wasted, but quitting is the mortal enemy to successful people. If they believe in something, they want to find that success, there is no road map.


You may very well have to carve your own path through treacherous jungle. If they give up the first time a mosquito bites, then they’ve doomed themselves already.

Success, in large part, is about the human being in the arena. People cheer for them, their struggle and victory, but the person who watches idly and scoffs, having never tried has also never really lived.

17. Being in Bad Relationships

Certain people want to be in a relationship to cling to someone. This is a very bad thing. If you are in a bad relationship and do not want to end it, it will consume every inch of your body.

Even when you wish to break this bad habit, it will want to cling to you. Hence, it is always better to understand that you cannot change someone. If you experience being in a bad relationship, the best thing to do is end it immediately.

By prolonging it further, you damage yourself and reduce your chances of being with your soulmate. Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one.

Read: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear.

18. Hanging out with Naysayers

It is often said that you are as good as your company. Hence, it is always recommended to make friends with people who are positive thinkers. But, there comes a time in life when you befriend negative people who have a habit of saying no to everything.


This can actually ruin your life in the long run. The reason being, the company you keep, makes you the same person. Hence, it is always recommended to avoid naysayers as they pollute your mind and take you on the wrong path. It is therefore recommended to make friends with positive-minded people

Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

19. Watching Too Much TV

When we were kids, there were many things that we could play with outdoors. But, with time, we are seeing children being stuck on TV sets because they have nothing much to do. This has made them become couch potatoes.

This bad habit of watching too much TV can make you sit idle, make you lazy and obese, and ultimately prey to diseases like diabetes. The best thing to counter this bad habit is by ensuring that you walk outdoors daily and have a set time to switch on the TV during the day.

It’s not easy to remove the TV from your daily routine right away, but you can follow these 6 Steps to Remove TV from Your Life.

20. Stress Eating

We live in an age where every person, whether studying or working, has some or the other stress. But, when you try to counter this stress by overeating, it becomes a bad habit that needs to be cut out from your life. Stress eating results in excessive eating of food that we sometimes intake because we are occupied with the tension in our minds.

This makes us eat without thinking which can make us obese and even result in diabetes. The best resort to counter this bad habit is never eating while watching the television. Also, do not overthink while eating. Put your thought process to digest the food in front of you.


If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better: How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

21. Regularly Skipping Meals

You need food – and water – to survive. Period. If you’re not eating meals on a regular basis, you’re probably not being as productive as you could be. Don’t skip meals in lieu of working and be sure to take your full meal breaks. While you’re at it, get away from your desk or workspace and eat somewhere else, like a cafeteria, outdoors or in a public park for a break from the office.

22. Having an Unhealthy Diet

Too Much Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

Junk food has become part and parcel of our life nowadays. For example, if both parents have started working in a family, the kids may often result to eating junk food and drinking diet soda, which can adversely affect their health.

This is a very bad habit that can be difficult to break due to the cultural shift we are experiencing today. The best resort to deal with this bad habit is by ensuring that everyone eats homemade food all the time.

This can ensure that each individual’s health in the family is protected. No one becomes obese, which is a curse as it can result in diabetes and other fatal diseases.

If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!” think again:

A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[1]


“After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

Here’re some healthy snack ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home.

Too Much Red Meat

In the US, people eat too much red meat, which is not good for our health. This bad habit can result in the consumption of excessive proteins in our bodies, which are not easy to digest. Our body has been created to eat a balanced meal.

Eating excessive red meat can spoil our appetite and lead us to various unwanted diseases. The best resort to break this bad habit is by replacing red meat with healthier protein options. This will ensure that your health stays up to date, and you do not have to worry about becoming prey to unwanted diseases.

In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer![2]

If you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, here’re 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle.

23. Nail Biting

This is yet another bad habit that we have been guilty of pursuing since our early childhood. In adolescence, when someone shouts at us or we cannot do things according to our wishes, unnecessary stress makes us subconsciously eat our nails, which is a bad habit.

The reason is that the nails that you bite get accumulated in your stomach, which can cause damage at later stages of your life. The best resort to deal with this bad habit is to dip your finger in something bitter to stop your craving to bite your nails.

Not only is nail biting unhygienic, but it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[3] and potentially causes stomach problems,[4] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.


People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[5]

Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Here’s why you need to make habits to break habits.

24. Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[6]

When we were kids, our parents never encouraged us even to go closer to smokers. The reason is that even passive smoking is dangerous for health. As we grow older and befriend other smokers, they entice us to pursue smoking which is a bad habit.

It can have a bad effect on your health and even cause cancer. Hence, it is always suggested to stay away from this bad habit of smoking. Whenever you feel like craving to smoke, the best thing to do is put a pack of chewing gum in your mouth.

This will stop your bad habit of smoking. Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[7]

Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[8]

25 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Now

    25. Excessive Drinking

    In the fast-paced era we live in, people start the bad habit of excessive drinking to deal with competitiveness. Drinking a couple of packs of hard drinks is not a bad thing for health.

    But, if you indulge in excessive drinking, it can damage your liver. You can become addicted to drinking in the long run, which is not a good thing for your lifestyle.

    According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[9]

    • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
    • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – stretching and drooping of the heart muscle, arrhythmias – irregular heartbeat, stroke, high blood pressure.
    • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
    • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis is a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
    • Different types of cancer: mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast.

    If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

    Bonus: 5 Bad Habits That Hold You Back From Succeeding in Life

    The Bottom Line

    Bad habits are hard to break. But, if you try to concentrate on the good habits, these bad habits will subside, and you will end up free from the vicious circle that contains a list of bad habits.

    Although it is hard to break bad habits, you can counter them and make your life better in the long run by focusing on good habits.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com


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