Bad Habits illustration. Photo: Mixi's
Bad Habits illustration. Photo: Mixi's

What is Considered a Bad Habit?

A bad habit would flunk a cost-benefit analysis. When you’re honest about why you haven’t broken the habit and about how it affects you, the cost is greater than the benefit.

And you want to quit it. You really do. But it’s still hard. Because it’s a habit. You do it without thinking. And sometimes, it makes your life a tiny bit more tolerable in the moment.

After all, some folks call an awful lot of habits “bad” that don’t really bother you.

It can adversely affect your physical, mental, or emotional health — or someone else’s.

Bad habits' adverse impacts on people:

* People you care about find it annoying or repulsive, and they wish you’d stop.

* It breaks customs, laws, or social mores.

* It can be stopped with an act of the will and with consistency (unlike a mental or emotional health challenge).

* It could stop you from becoming the person you want to be.

List of Bad Habits Observed

10 Most Common Bad Habits

If you have any of the following habits, you’re in good company. These are the most frequently mentioned bad habits, and some of them you may not even want to break. Or maybe you just don’t consider breaking those habits a high priority.

Only when they adversely affect your life or someone else’s do they become a problem you can’t ignore.

1. Nail-biting

2. Obsessive social networking

3. Poor eating habits (stress-eating, overeating, skipping meals)

4. Poor sleeping habits (too much sleep, too little, etc.)

5. Poor spending habits

6. Excessive profanity

7. Multi-tasking

8. Smoking

9. Procrastination

10. Overthinking and worrying

Top 10 Habits That Offend Others

1. Being more than five minutes late for an appointment

2. Picking your nose

3. Overly affectionate public displays of affection (PDA)

4. Picking your teeth in public

5. Overusing slang and “text speak”

6. Checking iPhone/iPad at dinner.

7. Eating with mouth open

8. Having alligator arms (never picking up checks)

9. Popping/snapping gum in public

10. Talking during movies

27 of the Most Annoying Bad Habits

Photo: People | HowStuffWorks
Photo: People | HowStuffWorks

Some bad habits are more annoying than others. Some are just distracting, while others make your life and others’ more difficult or stressful.

Some can cheat you of opportunities to advance in your chosen field, while others can put strain on your relationships.

woman looking at phone on bed while husband looking at her bad habits to avoid

Look down the list and be honest with yourself about the habits that are making your life (or someone else’s) more challenging than necessary.

1. Talking in a baby voice

2. Ending every sentence with “Not!” or “As if!”

3. Using “AF” to modify every adjective (e.g., “I’m busy AF”)

4. Being more than 5 minutes late for an appointment/meeting.

5. Cluttering your living/workspace

6. Littering

7. Leaving the toilet seat up

9. Leaving clothes on the floor

10, Leaving sopping wet bath towels on the floor

11. Pretending things are okay when they’re not

12. Taking things personally

13. Overchecking / obsessing over your appearance

14. Being overly affectionate with PDA

15. Talking in “text speak” (e.g., “Omg!” and “LOL!”)

16. Overusing slang

17. Overusing profanity

18. Checking your smartphone during meals

19. Launching into a tirade over something during meals

20. Eating with your mouth open

21. Freeloading / mooching off others

22. Talking during movies

23. Popping, snapping, or playing with your gum in public

24. Loudly slurping your drink

25. Loudly belching in public

26. Criticizing yourself (habitually)

27. Laughing loudly at everything

17 Bad Habits That Waste Your Time

1. Twitter

2. Running errands in rush hour

3. Reddit

4. Watching commercials, infomercials, or advertisements

5. Spending time worrying about spam comments, negative reviews, and Internet trolls

6. Facebook addiction

7. Watching reality television

8. Going to the mall or shopping to kill time, not for any specific need

9. Overindulging on Netflix

10. Video games

11. Finishing a book you hate, just to get it done

12. Watching random videos that scroll across your feed about someone’s child or cat

13. Worrying about things that could go wrong

14. Watching an endless stream of YouTube videos

15. Trying to change another person’s opinions

16. Chasing small money, when your business has a bigger vision

17. Reading Buzzfeed and other mindless entertainment

Like many people, I freely admit to sometimes falling into the trap of these time-wasting bad habits. Spending an hour on a video game or Facebook, or watching a show on Netflix may decrease your productivity, but if it is a source of enjoyment, it is okay sometimes.

The problem with many of these mindless activities is that they are mindless. They waste our time, we lose our sense of time, and we often spend a lot longer on these activities than we realize. The worst part about it is that they can be so mindless that sometimes we do not really get enjoyment from them. They are just wasted time.

So I have nothing against spending an hour on a video game or Facebook, but it’s important to realize the impact on your overall productivity and keep the amount of time spent on these activities to an “acceptable” amount.

33 Bad Habits for Health and Fitness

Photo: Fustany
Photo: Fustany

1. Staying up too late and sleeping in too late

2. Sleeping too little

3. Sitting for too long (i.e., a sedentary lifestyle)

4. Drinking too much alcohol

5. Eating too much (binge-eating)

6. Eating too little

7. Skipping self-care to get more work done

8. Slouching (poor posture)

9. Not drinking enough water

10. Drinking too much coffee/caffeine

11. Distracted driving

12. Wearing headphones for too long

13. Wearing the wrong shoes

14. Stress-eating or emotional eating

15. Eating too quickly or absent-mindedly

16. Never taking breaks (while working)

17. Eating fast food to save time

18. Taking dangerous stimulants (uppers, hyper-caffeinated drinks, etc.)

19. Rewarding exercise with junk food

20. Overtraining (not giving your muscles a chance to recover)

21. Taking steroids

22. Lifting weights too quickly or without proper form

23. Showing off at the gym (lifting too much weight, etc.)

24. Loudly counting out reps (while others nearby are counting quietly)

25. Not returning weights to the rack

26. Leaving your sweat all over the gym equipment

27. Hogging gym equipment (when others are waiting to use it)

28.Snacking on the gym floor

29. Snacking in the bathroom

30. Saying yes to too many things (over-committing yourself)

31. Watching too much TV

32. Not washing hands after using the bathroom or touching dirty things

33. Eating things that fall on the floor (though there are exceptions)

20 Poor Productivity Habits

1. Procrastination

2. Multi-tasking

3. Not removing distractions/time-wasters

4. Not keeping the big picture in mind

5. Being a perfectionist

6. Not having a work routine

7. Not delegating

8. Being overloaded with information/options

9. Having a huge to-do list

10. Saying “yes” too easily/too often

11. Daydreaming

12. Not automating recurring tasks

13. Being indecisive

14. Waiting for the “right” time to work

15. Overscheduling tasks

16. Spending too much time planning

17. Sitting at your desk all day/never taking breaks

18. Over-checking email

19. Refusing to learn new skills

20. Watching TV right after work

15 Bad Money Habits That Hurt Your Financial Situation

1. Emotional shopping

2. Not prioritizing high-interest debt

3. Only making minimum payments on credit

4. Buying lottery tickets

5. Overspending

6. Paying too many ATM fees

7. Buying coffee, lunch, and snacks every day

8. Not finding the best rates

9. Unused gym memberships

10. Buying holiday gifts at the last minute

11. Gambling

12. Not sticking to you budget

13. Not taking advantage of a 401(k) match plan

14. Overpaying on entertainment

15. Spending to the limit on credit cards

Some bad habits can get you into a really tight spot with your money (and other people’s). And correcting them can make a world of difference in your financial well-being.

Think of all the things you’ve done and things you still do that make it impossible to stick to a reasonable budget and to live within your means. Then ask yourself what contrary habits you need in order to turn it around.

33 Bad Habits in Communicating with Others

Photo: ConvoConnection
Photo: ConvoConnection

1. Assuming the worst / judging

2. Gossiping or spreading rumors about others

3. Stereotyping others (i.e., racism, classism, homophobia, etc.)

4. Excessive (or constant) complaining

5. Interrupting and talking over others (habitually)

6. Finishing other people’s sentences — with assumptions

7. Picking fights (being contentious)

8. Criticizing others

9. Launching into long, self-centered monologues

10. Hijacking conversations

11. Rolling your eyes

12. Staring at others to intimidate or unnerve them

13.Touching others without permission

14. Invading others’ personal space

15. Blaming others to avoid taking responsibility

16. Lying (habitually)

17. Gaslighting those who disagree with you or call you out

18. Talking to yourself around others

19. Cracking your knuckles

20. Humming to yourself

21. Frequently saying “um” and “uh”

22. Biting your pen or pencil

23. Clicking your pen

24. Agreeing with everyone just to keep the peace

25. Talking too fast

26. Talking too slowly or in a monotone voice

27. Wringing your hands or fidgeting during a conversation

28. Staring at the floor / avoiding eye contact

29. Spacing out and not paying attention to what others are saying

30. Making every conversation all about you and your interests

31. Checking your phone in the middle of a conversation

32. Drumming your fingers or tapping your foot impatiently

33. Not returning borrowed items (or money)

22 Personal Bad Habits

1. Using devices late at night

2. Staying up late

3. Sleeping in

4. Spending too much time online

5. Slouching at the computer

6. Leaving your keys and wallet in random places

7. Spending too much time and effort acquiring “things”

8. Being all work and no play

9. Watching porn

10. Littering

11. Breaking promises to yourself

12. Spacing out and not paying attention to what people say during conversations

13. Not returning items you borrow

14. Freeloading

15. Stereotyping

16. Speeding

17. Excessively checking your hair/eyebrows/makeup/nails

18. Falling asleep in class or training sessions

19. Worrying but not taking action

20. Swearing in public

21. Leaving the toilet seat up

22. Talking with mouth full

11. Bad Organizing & Cluttering Habits

1. Arranging items instead of cleaning them

2. Letting your wires/cables become snarled and tangled nightmares

3. Throwing your clothes on the floor, not in the hamper

4. Not dusting

5. Not taking off shoes when you enter your home

6. Saving broken things to fix…someday

7. Having no schedule for decluttering/organizing/cleaning

8. Keeping items/clothes you haven’t worn or used in years

9. Buying stuff you don’t need only to keep it at home

10. Putting dishes in the sink and not washing them

11. Hoarding

11 Bad Habits You Can't Fix Alone

1. Being aggressive toward others (fights, abuse)

2. Compulsive lying

3. Bullying

4. Physical abuse

5. Mental abuse

6. Stealing

7. Violent behavior

8. Cheating on spouse

9. Excessive/uncontrollable alcohol use

10. Drugs

11. Smoking (if habit is really bad)

How Do You Break These Bad Habits?

The first step in changing any bad habit is finding the precise habit you want to change and then truly focusing on making this change. So by just reading this list and deciding which of these habits you exhibit, you have taken that important first step.

Once you are ready to make a change, it is time to start planning the specifics of how, when, where, and what exactly you are going to change.

Rather than reinventing the wheel and adding to an already long post, let me guide you to another post: the ultimate guide to breaking bad habits. This guide is an incredibly detailed review of exactly how to get rid of any bad habit. It details 27 steps you can use to overcome any bad habit.

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