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My Top 10: Professional Discipline Tips

Updated on July 7, 2015

In life the distance between our goals is filled with space and opportunity. Unfortunately, more often than not that space is consumed by inaction and stifled progress. This occurs because we generally lack the discipline or "stick-to-itiveness" required to bring our ideas to fruition. Thus, it is best if one establishes a framework for discipline, if the individual plans to have consistent success completing goals.

Have you ever been a part of a project which you began, but never completed due to a lack of discipline?

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In my experience an adherence to the following guidelines has allowed me to accomplish goals more efficiently and avoid regression:

Expect a Rut

  • In any large-scale project teams experience delays, setbacks, revisions and a long list of unexpected obstacles, which have the potential to be detrimental. While experiencing these obtrusions it is important that one has a preexisting contingency plan, along with the resilience and confidence required to weather the storm. In short, when preparation meets adversity – teams that are prepared and in position to adapt will outpace the competition.

Rely on Grit

  • When times are difficult my plans have been tested along with my purpose for beginning a project. At times it may even seem like the plan has little likelihood of completion. In these moments the only way that I have been able to push past seemingly insurmountable odds is to press on, persevere and not give up.

Bridge the Gap

  • You have to shorten the distance between steps if you plan to complete a project in a timely fashion. This can be accomplished by creating processes to streamline key objectives and regularly reviewing progress against your plan.

When in Doubt: Collaborate

  • If you are having issues completing a project in a timely fashion it may require assistance or benefit from assistance from an outside party. Often times we allow our pride to dictate our decision making, but effective leadership requires one to also remain levelheaded: a level-headed leader isn’t afraid to ask for assistance – even if it cuts into potential profit or requires a change to the initial plan.

Practice

  • We practice how we perform and if we do not practice, research and continue our education along the way our production will suffer. From my experience when I become too comfortable with a particular approach – the competition starts to shorten the gap.

Schedule Personal Accountability Meetings

  • Regular self-audits allow one to align goal achievement with personal progression. This form of check and balance will position you to make immediate changes to your approach and should inspire you to seek feedback from your team. Tightening the feedback loop will increase the likelihood of success.

Establish Peak Performance Hours

  • By identifying peak performance hours one is positioned for maximum output in a given environment. Improved output during power hours will free up opportunities for teams to complete secondary tasks during off-peak hours.

Just Don’t Quit

  • When times are tough make sure that you are committed to pushing forward regardless of the cost. That said, if a plan is flawed you should push forward by failing fast, creating an opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Acknowledging your mistakes is not the same as quitting; instead it should act as a strategic shift of your goals and priorities.

Meticulous Attention to Detail

  • When you pay close attention to your work you will identify imperfections in your processes. The leader who can see the project and potential bottlenecks before the competition will keep his team on the cutting edge of innovation within a given sector.

Overcome Fear of Failure

  • According to Gary Ryan Blair you can overcome fear by making discipline a habit more ingrained than the excitement of the goal. In my experience the greatest risk to success has been a fear of the scale, scope, or difficulty of a task. Leading me to believe that overcoming pre-project trepidation is one of the first and most important steps to establishing a disciplined framework.

At the end of the day, we all have to add our personal touch to any process to make it fit our teams. I hope the aforementioned framework will be of assistance to you and your teams going forward.

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