Fostering Consistency: Every Day Counts
Posted by Anni M.
Consistency may be the biggest challenge on the road to excellence. That may sound like an inspirational poster but it’s worth some deep thinking: Being consistent, day in and day out, is one of the most difficult feats for humankind. It’s grandiose and it’s a fact. We aren’t necessarily built for the daily grind. Every day we do the same thing: get up, get dressed, have some coffee, go to work. It gets monotonous and monotony is the enemy of solid thinking. When I get bored I tend to dwell on the negative. I feel sorry for myself for having to suffer through the same 9-5 schedule. I complain to my husband about how much I need a vacation. My work suffers. This is what separates a good worker from a great one. A great worker fights through the periodic attacks of boredom. He sees the bigger picture and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. A great businessman knows how to control his own mind.
We all have bad days—the dry cleaners ruined your suit, you had a fight with your spouse, the dog peed on the carpet, your mother-in-law is visiting—but despite these intense frustrations or emotional setbacks, you must put on a brave face. When you enter the office, you are there to work. I think one of the most effective techniques for successful consistency is compartmentalization. Relegate your personal struggles to a box in your brain. When you’re at work, close that box up tight. You can do the same thing for work. When you’re home, close the work box and live your life.
We all know how it feels to work side-by-side with an inconsistent colleague. Inconsistency can manifest itself in the work (work is done perfectly on one day, sloppily on another) or in your co-worker’s mood and the way he interacts with others. If a co-worker takes criticism gracefully one day but explodes in a rage the next, you’ll be less likely to seek out interactions with that person. You’ll be on guard. You won’t trust him and won’t recommend him for a promotion. You won’t rely on him to come through in a pinch. Organizations can help create a culture of consistency by recognizing good work habits. Consider talking to your boss about implementing this type of system or, if you are the boss, take the initiative yourself.
An inconsistent mood is harder to fix than inconsistent work, but it can be done. Like any other skill, consistency can be learned, but, ironically, it takes consistent effort. Start small: promise yourself you won’t miss a single day of work for three months. When you reach your goal you’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment. Remember: every choice matters. A single outburst can cost you a lot of credibility. Stay calm, keep your eye on the prize, and reward yourself for a job well done.
As a Creative Communications Strategist, Victoria is known for her electrifying Keynote Performances™ and the transformational workshops and coaching sessions she creates for elite executives, high performing teams, thought leaders and entrepreneurs..