We are often told that hard work leads to success, but not everyone has the required work ethic required to put in a full day of hard work. It’s common to daydream, avoid work, and procrastinate. A strong work ethic is both useful and admired. Many of the most successful people in the world are known for having an unrelenting work ethic, and whilst I don’t advocate working 24 hours a day every day, there are things that you can do to improve your work ethic and get things done.
Try these tips for strengthening your work ethic and making progress:
Avoid time-wasters. Television, Facebook, text messaging, email, and the internet are good ways to waste a lot of time. Having a strong work ethic requires focusing on work, you should regularly ask yourself if what you’re doing at the moment is the most valuable use of your time. If you’re wasting time, you’re not working.
Exercise your work ethic. It’s not practical to jump from having little work ethic to having a lot. It’s similar to a muscle that must be built and nurtured over time. Seek to increase your focus and work ethic a little each week.
Work longer than you’re comfortable. When you feel like giving up, keep going for another hour. Learn to work when your focus is waning and your patience is shot. It will get a little easier each day. Avoid the habit of stopping your work when the urge first strikes.
Learn to act immediately. Most of us have an uncanny ability to put off the work we dread the most. It’s possible to develop a habit of attacking these tasks immediately. One success guru claims the worst habit a person can have is putting off something until time pressure requires it be done. It’s a stressful and ineffective way to handle your business.
Work on a schedule. An effective way to work all day while avoiding burnout is to stick to a schedule. It might take some time to find the perfect schedule that matches you and your work. But the best place to start is 25 minutes on and 5 minutes off. After repeating four of these 30-minute cycles, take a 20-30 minute break. Most of us can maintain a high-level of concentration for 25 minutes and repeat it if we have a short break and this cycle has the added bonus that you’ll get a lot done and still feel refreshed toward the end of the day.
Develop persistence. Are you great out of the gate but finish poorly? Finishing is a habit, just like stopping when you’re 90% of the way to the prize. Finish everything you start. Washing the dishes? Do them all in a single session. Cleaning the garage? Complete the entire task. Learn to hang in there until the job is 100% done.
Manage your emotions. This might be the greatest key to success. Think about it. If you could truly manage your emotions, you’d never cheat on another diet. You’d always make it to the gym and you’d never get upset, sad, jealous, or irritable again. You could make yourself do anything at anytime.
A good start to controlling your emotions is to recognize when they’re getting away from you. The time to deal with stress or distractions is right when they start. Emotions can quickly reach a level that is much more challenging to manage. Catch yourself early.
How would your life change if your work ethic were much stronger? A strong work ethic is available to everyone that makes it a priority. With a stronger work ethic, you’ll get more done in less time and your goals will be achieved much quicker.
What could you do to start start strengthening your work ethic today?
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner – The Time Doctor