3 Bad habits that may be holding back your success.

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

"Could it be bad habits that are holding you back from becoming successful? Maybe it's time for a change?"


By: Allan R Kirby

Mysmallbank.com morning habits of successful people

Habits of Successful People


After many years of working as a professional, I have learned one simple fact, it's crucially important to develop good habits such as following a relatively well-defined routine around your work and family life. Basically, a routine is a set of habits that you go through regularly to help you organize your time, prepare your day, and accomplish as much as possible. If you are disorganized, do not follow a set routine, it does get noticed. No matter how hard you work, if you have bad habits it will show up at work and it will likely hold you back from being more successful at work. Of course, there are exceptions, however, I have yet to see this myself. Generally speaking, if you have bad habits, you may not be successful at work.

What are some bad habits? Developing routines/habits such as sleeping in, not preparing for the day, always being disorganized.

1. Getting up late can hinder your success


I have always believed that a good morning routine can dictate the rest of your workday. So it's not surprising that many successful business people will follow strict morning routines which include getting up early to start the day.


It may seem simple and even unimportant but getting up early has a lot of advantages. First getting up early allows someone to get a head start on getting the day planned out. Late risers are always going to be in a rush. This applies even when working from home and not just going to the office. Yes, sleeping in means your just trying to catch up and not looking at what needs to be done for the rest of the day.


Additionally, late risers seem to;

  1. Never be prepared for Meetings.

  2. Have problems dealing with unexpected issues.

  3. Always be one step behind everyone on work and priorities.

  4. Always be stressed.


The last is the most important issue faced with people who get up late or sleep in regularly is the high level of stress they have. No routine and being disorganized can and will put a lot of stress on someone. I have found over the years that when issues arise, someone who is disorganized cannot deal with them quickly and effectively.


This can reflect badly on your performance and managers will take notice, because managers will always look for strong employees who can prioritize, are always prepared, and can handle unexpected issues quickly and quietly


What is a bad daily routine? A bad daily routine is one that causes a person to never have the time to properly manage work and family life while also adding stress to themselves and those around them.

I lost count on the number of times later risers got to work late as a result of traffic or were unprepared for unexpected meetings or just did not have the latest information required to help facilitate decision making. In all cases, late risers seem to be disorganized and always one step behind everyone. Now I fully understand that there may be health issues or women trying to juggle kids and work, but in almost all the cases I have seen over my years of experience, this is not the case.


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What happens when I do get lazy


In fact, every so often I have not followed my routine, and guess what, I end up frustrated and feeling disorganized. Specifically, I end up:

  1. Feeling Disorganized and rushed.

  2. I do not get work done.

  3. Feel stressed and unproductive.

A key issue that I have found over the years is that anytime I am off my routine, I tend to make mistakes, usually small mistakes that end up costing me additional time and causing delays in some of the projects I am working on.


What is the healthiest way to start your day? Developing a manageable routine. One issue I have found with my morning routine is trying to do too much. Creating a simple routine that involves getting up early, preparing myself for the day along with a learning activity along with exercising and eating healthy is the best way to start your day."

2. Spending too much time on Social Media and not learning


One of the best advantages of having a good routine as a professional is keeping up with current technology and business news. This habit of constantly learning has kept my skills up to date and fresh. It's great being up to date on the latest industry trends and my knowledge has reflected in my work performance. However, over the last number of years, I have noticed people are spending a considerable amount of their free time on social media. Look social media can be a great learning tool, but I am finding most people are looking at things that are not work-related or anything of substance.


Social Media is becoming more of a distraction as well as a way of spending time learning nothing of value. One of the most important things you can do as a professional is to continually learn and build new skills while refreshing other skills that you have. It's a mistake to assume that once you have a job, there is no need to learn, this is far from the truth. You need to continually learn, and spending too much time on social medial will take up free time to allow you to learn.


Additionally, such a bad habit is noticed by others in the workplace and it seems to be a never-ending discussion on how to reduce people's time on social media since it's such a distraction. Now with many people working from home, it's likely to get worse but dropping social media and taking the time to learn is time well spent.


Spending too much time on Social Media is a bad habit: it can take free time away from you which you could be using to learn new skills or brush up on other skills. Plus Social media has recently been linked to increased depression and anxiety.

Building an active network


If you do want to spend time on social media, I would suggest looking at building a social network directly linked to work using LinkedIn, now that is a useful way to use a social media network. If there is one thing I have learned over my career is that it's very important to build and maintain a great network of people to help me build my career and reach my goals.


Three reasons why networking is important so start building one today!

Building a network is actually fast becoming a critical component of career development and professional success. A good network can help with finding better job opportunities and higher pay along with career advancements and other opportunities. However, do be careful with your network. If someone within your network starts to post things that are highly politicalized, discriminatory, or make inflamed comments on your social media feeds, be careful. These posts could be picked up by your employer and others in your network; it could look unprofessional and reflect badly on you.


3. Not Keeping Healthy or Active


One of the worst habits that I have seen over my lifetime is people not eating right and never being active. I do fully understand some people have physical problems and just cannot exercise, but for most people, developing a sound routine that follows good habits such as eating right and being active is important. Several of my colleagues realized later in life the mistakes of not keeping themselves healthy and active. They developed chronic health issues that were directly correlated to bad lifestyle habits.


Bad lifestyle habits will result in chronic diseases such as Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, and Stroke later in your career. The number of people who have had to leave work or reduce their hours seems to grow with each passing year. We think we are invincible but at some point, issues will develop for people who have never developed a good diet and exercise habits.


Bad habits such as eating unhealthy foods and not keeping yourself active can result in chronic diseases such as Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, and Stroke affecting you later in your career.

I luckily learned early in my career the importance of keeping myself active and healthy and it's shown by the fact I have hardly ever taken sick days and I am still very active hiking, running, and walking every single day with no health issues. The best part is the fact I can still handle stress which I owe to my good health and good sleeping habits.


Problems sleeping? Generally, I found the less active I am the more problems I have with sleeping. I found there is a correlation between exercising and sleeping problems.

As noted in an article from John Hopkins medicine, based on available studies, “We have solid evidence that exercise does help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality,” says Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital.


There are additional benefits to exercising with includes the following;

  1. Exercise can decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.

  2. It can Increase Your Energy Levels.

  3. Helps control weight and improve brain functions.

  4. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases such as heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, etc.


Get Rid of bad habits and build a proper daily routine


As I have mentioned, bad habits such as sleeping in, spending too much time on social media, and not living a healthy lifestyle will cause many issues that could be holding you back from success. I learned that successful people are the ones who develop and maintain routines that will keep them well-organized with more time to learn and live a healthy lifestyle.


My morning routines have kept me in good health, up to date with my skills and knowledge and I seem to be less stressed and relaxed compared to many others. But don’t take it from me, if you take the time and read about many of our most successful entrepreneurs and professionals, you will find that they also ditch the bad habits and keep to a routine.


Good luck, ditch the bad habits, and build a routine that works for you.

This is an article written by Allan Kirby for the My Financial Success section of MySmallBank.com a section of our website dedicated to younger adults to learn more about careers, money management, retirement, and savings.