5 Bad Habits Successful People Leave Behind

· May 10, 2016

Understanding the habits of successful people can help us find our own success. It can also help to recognize the bad habits that stand in the way between you and your dreams.

Following the example of successful people we admire means not only taking notes on their good habits, but also leaving behind the bad habits that they too have broken.

Below, we will see five common bad habits that you will have to break yourself of in order to reach the success you desire, just like those before you have done in order to reach their dreams.

1. Skimping on sleep

Many people who may seem to be productive are also addicted to the concept that “the night is young.” They feel satisfied with themselves staying up late, or even until the early hours of the morning.

However, with very few exceptions, successful people know that you can’t be at your best when you deprive yourself of quality sleep. Furthermore, successful people frequently are early risers. They are conscious of the need to not only sleep enough hours, but also to sleep well.

For this reason, they take great care to go to bed early, and comfortably, to be able to enjoy a sleep that is rejuvenating, and allows them to wake up early prepared to take on the day with enthusiasm.

“To become truly successful, ask yourself these four questions: Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?” 

-James Allen-


woman lying awake habits

2. Constantly checking social media

Working on a computer or requiring the use of a smart phone at work creates a lot of temptation to frequently check social media. The distraction does not only lie with social media, but also with personal and instant messaging apps.

Successful people are able to forget about all of that external distraction while they are working. 

Social media causes people to lose about 45 to 60 minutes on average every day. This builds up into a great amount of lost time.

Forgetting about social distractions will not only give you back more time throughout your day and week, but it will also allow you to focus better on what you are doing and be more productive and effective.

3. Working with multiple windows open on the computer 

In order to be effective and efficient, it is necessary to focus yourself on tasks one by one. When you work with several different windows open on your computer all at the same time, each related to something different, it will only lead you to be distracted and lose track of what you are doing.

If you find something online that is useful and you don’t want to lose it, simply bookmark it or save it some other way so you can get it off the screen, but return to it later.

If the problem is due to advertisements and pop-ups, find a way to block them.

4. Obsessively checking email 

Many people struggle daily with their email inbox. Messages enter non-stop and not only diminish your concentration, but also sometimes demand attention and action. But even successful people who receive many emails every day can overcome this battle easily.

High-achieving and successful people set aside time every day to go over their inbox, and they limit themselves to just that one time. This habit allows them to organize their time more effectively and respect the time they need to dedicate to important tasks. It is rarely an essential task to check your inbox obsessively.

When one of these important tasks depends on email, a good strategy to use is to read only the subjects of the emails and only open those that are relevant and/or urgent. Leave all the others for the period of time designated to revising emails.

typing on laptop habits

5. Putting too many things on their to-do list

Overloading your to-do list is a very common mistake. Many people confuse themselves by thinking that doing more means achieving more, and in turn, becoming successful. However, this is a big mistake. What is important is not doing a lot, but rather doing important, meaningful tasks and doing them well. 

Even though you may be able to dominate the art of organizing your daily tasks, you should also learn to choose the most crucial and essential duties and responsibilities. You should give these kinds of tasks priority, and not just do things for the sake of doing them.

Don’t overload your agenda with extra things to do, nor underestimate the value of those jobs you have already started. Follow these through, and in a way that will lead you forward towards advancement.

Make a list of realistic tasks and block out assigned times for each of them. This will allow you do something each one thoroughly and without interruptions.

Always remember: Success is like probability. The more you try, the more likely you are to succeed.