How to improve your work ethic

As an entrepreneur this is probably the most critical skill that you will need to master in order to achieve any significant level of success. It will dictate your attitude to your work and will be a decisive factor in determining the amount of commitment and effort you are willing to contribute towards whatever goals you have set for yourself.

1.Establish what your goals are

The first thing that you will need to do is establish a bullet or numbered list of things that set out your aims and objectives. It's no good just having a vague summary in your head. Having a tangible to do hitlist in your hand or in a folder that you can refer back to and disseminate amongst your team functions the same way as an itemised shopping list.

Your list should include 'Timelocks' that clearly indicate when each task should begin and when they should be concluded by.

2. Focus

You will need to develop an unwavering ability to focus on the above tasks and shut out distractions in the immediate environment around you. Whatever the environment that you are conducting your work in, home, office or other, take stock of the elements that are not conducive to accomplishing the goals you are working towards. Also take in to consideration the things in your private or social life that take up valuable time where you could've been productive. This does not mean that you neglect those aspects of your life but going through a drawn out fallout with a relative or a spouse for example can leave you feeling drained and de-motivated over time so you need to be conscious of this and see to it that you can resolve non-business related issues with haste.

3. Self-discipline

Characteristics of self-discipline include being able to control your emotions, show restraint, endurance and the ability to carry out decisions and plans despite obstacles. Self-discipline is needed when overcoming procrastination, laziness and apathy which are all things that can affect the most resolute of entrepreneurs from time to time.

4. Work volume

Make a decision to wake up and get started earlier daily. An then when you are at work what can you do to close 20 deals instead of the 15 you did the day before? There's nothing wrong with a little friendly competition in the work environment. If the next guy sells 30 units then you sell 35. If they make 50 phone calls, you should make 60. If they stay in the office until 6 pm then you stay until 8 pm.

5. Now mentality

Nothing sets you back more and I'll go further, probably nothing kills off more dreams than the 'I'll do it tomorrow' mindset. Just think how many hours, days or weeks you've wasted if all the times you've procrastinated were added up. Consider why it is that you keep putting things off until later. If bringing your dreams in to reality does not make you want to act as quick as humanly possible then there is something wrong.

6. Steel sharpens steel

Surround yourself with people who have tremendous drive and energy. Do this in order to establish a standard that you will apply throughout your entire business. Also, it may be the case that your own drive and energy are not at optimum levels. Choosing people who have developed the ability to function for long periods at 100% will then give you an opportunity to observe and learn from so that you can emulate their example.

7. Preparation

The difference between 1st place and everything else after that can often come down to lack of preparation. Like any good workman, you need to prepare your tools. Imagine calling a plumber or electrician to fix a boiler or your electricity meter and they turned up without their tools. Would you hire them again? Or maybe you go for your morning coffee and the barista tells you you're going to have to wait 30 mins because they only ordered the coffee that morning because they forgot to order the beans the day before. If you are not going to prepare the day, week or month in advance, depending on requirements, inevitably you are going to get caught slipping. You just cannot deliver if you are not going to prepare the things you need in order to perform a service.

8. Consistency

Can you get up every day and do the work you are supposed to be doing at the alloted time it's meant to be done, the way it's meant to be done? Sure, you can be doing a lot of work, but does it count if it's done sloppily? If you are not ticking all the boxes in terms of how you operate i.e. being professional, making calls, filling out reports etc then gaps start appearing in your service delivery. And just like a pothole or small crack on your windscreen, if they are not dealt with sooner or later you will either need to resurface the road or replace the whole windscreen.


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