Do you feel like you’re just unable to get things done, no matter how hard you try? Some people have a knack for taking care of business, while the rest of us have loose ends dangling all over our lives. If you struggle with completing important tasks, you likely lack a strong work ethic.
What exactly is a work ethic? It’s a set of principles based around the idea that there is a moral virtue in hard work and persistence.
You undoubtedly know people with very strong work ethics, and others who are sorely lacking in this area. Unsurprisingly, those with strong work ethics are also the ones who seem to always be able to get more done.
Try these strategies to strengthen your work ethic:
1. Learn to finish. Many individuals have trouble getting started with their work, but seem to do well once that initial hurdle is cleared. Others are fine getting out of the gate, but they fail to complete anything.
* There are many tasks that are challenging to finish because the amount of time spent on the last 10% of the work can be considerable. Many tasks are like building a house. If you’ve ever built a house, you know that the last 5% of the job can take 20% of the time. It’s all the little odds and ends that are time-consuming, but fail to show visible progress.
* Although it takes determination to see a project through to completion, once it’s done it’s off your plate completely. Finishing projects also frees up a lot of mental energy.
2. Learn to work longer. Working is a lot like exercise. Your body and mind get used to working for a certain period of time. After that amount of time, your focus starts to wane and mental exhaustion sets in.
* If you take a break every time you feel like it, you’ll fail to ever work any longer or harder than you do now.
* Use a timer. See how long you can work before your performance starts to go downhill. Then, extend that period of time by 10% and keep on working. In time, your ability to focus on your work for longer periods of time will increase. Be proud of the positive changes you see over time.
3. Eliminate distractions. Turn off your cell phone. Close your office door. Try a computer app that will lock down your internet access beyond your immediate task.
4. Learn to do things now. For 2 weeks, try to immediately attack any work that needs to be done. It doesn’t matter if it’s preparing a report at work or mowing the grass at home. If it needs to be done, do it. View it as an experiment. If you’re unhappy with the results, you can go back to your old ways.
5. Be thorough when completing tasks. It’s not enough to get things done. A good work ethic also consists of doing quality work.
* It’s easy to fall into the trap of getting things done quickly and just “good enough,” but poor quality work will frequently come back to haunt you.
Having a strong work ethic creates powerful results. We all know someone with minimal skills that’s very successful. It’s likely they have a very strong work ethic. Imagine if you could combine a solid work ethic with your intelligence, education, and other skills. You’d be unstoppable!