10 simple habits you should build to be successful at work

sucessful habits at work

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Want to be successful at work? Well, hard work is definite but not sufficient. Successful people have habits that make them successful. It is impossible to succeed at work if you don’t build the right set of habits to guide you.

Successful people aren’t born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don’t like to do

William Makepeace Thackeray

In this post, I’m sharing with you 10 simple habits to be successful at work that will help you stay ahead of the game so you can be more successful at work.

These habits are

  • Simple to start
  • Powerful to make you successful at work
  • Result oriented

I am sure that building even one habit of the 10 simple habits to be successful at work shared here,  will bring a positive change in your work life and definitely take you a step closer to success.  
Let’s look at 10 simple habits you should build to be successful at work

Habits of the Super Successful that are More Than Just Hard Work

Before we start with good habits at work, let us spend some time to understand habits and their importance.

What are Habits?

A habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.

James Clear says your life is the sum of your habits, and it is so true. Every repeated action that we perform intentionally or unintentionally is a habit that defines our lifestyle, health, attitude, and success.

Why habits are important for success at work?

The meaning of the word habit itself is sufficient to explain why habits are important. As habits are repeated actions that we perform each day, they have an impact on your work each day and ultimately forever.

Good habits at work bring a small consistent improvement in your work each day making you better before you even realize it.

Successful habits once build bring stability as they stick with you for long.

Successful habits become part of your daily routine without you intentionally doing them and make you do good at work not just one day but forever.

Most successful leaders have a reputation for the strength of their habits and a high level of accountability to their habits.

You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit


How to be successful at work

Here are 10 habits to make you successful at work

monthly plannig habit

Habit 1: Monthly planning

  • One of the essential things required to be successful is to be on top of your work and be prepared. Building a habit to do monthly planning is the best way to achieve this.
  • It is a great habit to do monthly planning at the start of every month keeping in mind the month ahead and the commitments you need to honor.
  • Monthly planning also allows you to break the long-term goal of the company or your target at work into a small actionable task that can be achieved.
  • To start it simple you can have a look at your calendar for any prior commitments or meetings you have. You can plan your activities for the coming month based o this.
  • Also, set a goal for the month in line with your long-term goal to ensure you are making progress towards the achievement of your goal.

Habit 2: Keep a running To – do list

  • Work is never-ending and relying on your brain to remember all the things that you need to do is a tough bet.  Build a habit to keep a running To-do list.
  • It can be in your diary, a To-do List pad, sticky notes, or a dedicated To-do list app. You can use any that feels convenient to use, just stick to it. 
  • Write all the things that need to be done in the same place, any meeting you attend, or discussion you have to keep adding to the list.
  • The running to-do list gives you everything that you need to do at a glance. (As you keep doing things you can strike them out, the satisfaction of sticking out work from the to do list is amazing.)
  • You can plan your day well with the To-Do list and if you get some extra time at hand you quickly find work that you can squeeze in.
  • And best of all you will never be a person who had forgotten an assignment or work assigned to you.
  • You will definitely be successful at work if you are at pace with the work assigned.

Habit 3: Work on skill improvement

  • Every job profile needs a certain level of education and skills. Education may give you a start to the job but doing your work well and going to the next step in your career needs you to have certain skills.
  • It is a good habit to identify the skills that are required for your job or for designation your eye and work to acquire these skills. There are many resources available to improve your skills at work. 
  • The skills for improvement should not just be relevant to your field of work but should also expand to other soft skills like communication, time management, leadership.
  • To be successful at work think of the qualities that a successful person in your field has and learn one new skill each year.
powerful habits to be sucessfulat work

Habit 4: Prioritize work

  • There are a variety of work that you need to do some can be administrative mundane tasks, some can be creative and some can be urgent. Hence it is very important to build a habit to prioritize work. 
  • The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80:20 rule says that 80% of the result are achieved from 20% of the work. Let me explain more, only 20% of the work will be there that gives your 80% of output or desired results. To be successful you should build a habit to identify such work and focus your maximum efforts towards them rather mundane tasks.
  • Successful people prioritize critical high rewarding work. 
  • TIf you build the habit to prioritize work you will be able to deliver better at work and be successful.
  • A very common technique to prioritize work is the “Eisenhower Method”. It basically means you divide your work into 4 quadrants as below.

You can read more on how to prioritize from Steps to reset your work-life after busy times

Habit 5: Plan for your next day

  • A very simple and effective habit to be successful is to plan for your next day at the end of the day.
  • Get in the habit to wind up your day with a quick review of the work done for the day and plan to do 3 top priority tasks for the next day. This will get you focused and well prepared for the next day.
  • When you start to work the next day you know what you have to do and can use the precious morning zeal to start directly with your work, rather than wondering from where to start. 
  • Building the habit to plan for next will make you more productive and intentional of the time.
Plan for your next day habit

Habit 6: Learn to work in pressure

  • Success is a hard road to walk and there will be times when you will be required to work for extra hours or take up extra work for the sake of the team or step up with additional roles when your co-worker is unable to do the work.
  • Your performance and the ability to deliver even in tough situations are observed and appreciated by seniors.
  • So it is very wise to learn to work under pressure and challenges.
  • Your ability to work even under pressure and stress will lead to many opportunities.

Habit 7:  Learn to deal with unexpected

  • I am a big advocate of planning work and making sure things are done in advance to avoid last-minute surprises. But life is full of unexpected surprises there may be unforeseen circumstances and uncontrollable variables that you had not seen coming.
  • Building a habit to keep your calm and brain working in these situations will take you a long way.
  • I must say it is one of the difficult habits to build but very rewarding and will distinguish you from others. 
  • So learn to deal with unexpected things at work, keep your calm and get innovative and creative to come up with solutions to beat the situation.
habits of sucessful people

Habit 8: Batch work

  • Many routine tasks like reverting to emails, making reports, etc. are repetitive. Depending on the kind of work you do, you will be having some tasks that are repetitive. It will be very productive if you batch all this work together. 
  • Batching work means doing the same repetitive work for different days together in one go.
  • This saves you time as you need not refocus your attention and get the pre-requisite for the task each time.
  • For example, rather than giving your attention to email every 1 hour of the day, you can spend only 1 hour of your day dedicated just to answering mail. Also, rather than making some customer reports each day batch them all together to a dedicated day and finish them all. You will save time on extracting the data and running some analysis each time.
  • Batching work is a great habit to save time.

PS You may like to read on Best tips to improve email productivity

Habit 9: Proofread and add finishing touch

  • To be successful at work you just do not deliver the work on time but the work should be of good quality. To be distinguished, the key is delivering top-notch quality work that is well presented.
  • Build a habit to proofread your work by giving a quick glance at the critical data or key points before you submit it. Also just spend a few minutes to make the report well presented.
  • A word of caution don’t get in the hamster wheel of perfectionism and spend unnecessary extra time over the work.
  • But just a quick glance and a final touch to make it unbeatable is a great thing to do to be successful at work.

Habit 10: Learn each day

  • Each day spend 30 min to learn new about the field of your work or the field you aspire to be part of.
  • You can learn through books, research papers, newsletters, podcasts, Youtube, etc. the resources are enormous. Just make a list of things that you wish to learn each year and spend daily 30 min to learn about it. 
  • Just imagine reading 30 min from a book each day will definitely let you finish 1 book in a month. This gives you an edge of knowledge compared to your peer and will take you a step closure to being successful.
  • By learning little each day you will be more knowledgeable than yesterday. 
  • Warren Buffett invested 80% of his time in reading and thinking throughout his career.
  • I highly recommend the habit to learn each day.


  • These are the 10 habits to be successful at work. All the habits are simple to start and definite to give you the success you are looking for.
  • Know that it is not required to build all these habits together, it will be overwhelming and may make you drop the habit.
  • So pick the one that you feel is most required for you and once you perfect it move to the next one.
  • Small steps will take you a long way.

Struggling to develop habits and stick to them? Look no further! Use my Habit Tracker Google Sheets Template to revolutionize your habit tracking and help you achieve your goals.

12-Month Habit Tracker Google Sheets Template (Blossom Tree version)


  • One place for all your habit goals
  • Habit needs are different for all, customize this tracker based on your habit needs
  • One glance dashboard to review your habit performance
  • A beautiful Blossom tree will grow every time you meet your habit goal.
  • Track, monthly habits, daily habits, weekly habits, and numeric habit goals.
  • Automated habit performance calculation based on your goals.
  • Automatic date and day update, when you change year. Buy once and use every year
  • Check Demo video here and detailed photos on the left

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