Being self-disciplined is an important part of accomplishing your goals. This includes both your personal and work goals. Of course, if you’re extremely lucky, you get to do what you love for a living and your work goals and your personal goals are the same thing. But even if you don’t have the job of your dreams yet, here are some tips you can use every single day to be the best at what you do.
Even when you’re stressed or having a rough time, talk like a positive person. Believe in yourself. Self-confidence is a necessary first step for taking risks and trying new things.
Dress for the Job You Want
It’s been said so many times it’s become a workplace cliche, but it’s actually true. If you aspire to joining the management staff at your workplace, then dress like you’re already a manager. This way, the current managers will already see you as one of them, even if the effect is subconscious at first.
Don’t Be Late
Being late to appointments makes a poor impression. Wake up early. Schedule your commute so that you arrive at work 15 minutes earlier than you were expecting to arrive, and build in time cushions for all your scheduled activities throughout the day. This way when delays and interruptions happen, they’re less likely to make you late. (Some delays are unavoidable, but your co-workers can tell the difference between unavoidable delays and chronic lateness.)
People who are goal-oriented and want to be successful at work are invested in their health and well-being. This means getting at least 20-30 minutes of exercise each day, either at once or broken down into 2-3 10-minute sessions throughout the day.
Exercise is linked not only to physical fitness but also to mental sharpness. Research suggests that people who exercise daily have more concentration and better memories than sedentary folks.
Get Enough Sleep
One study by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine suggested that getting six and a half to seven hours of sleep per night – but no more – was correlated with a longer life span. Getting high-quality sleep helps you stay alert and productive throughout the day.
Sleep in a quiet, dark environment and reserve your bed for sleeping only, not for activities such as scrolling on your phone, watching television, or reading. Go to bed at the same time each night to help your body settle into a sleep routine.
Know When to Say “No” to Distractions
In small doses, distractions can actually be a good thing. Spending too much time and focusing too intensely on a project can be counterproductive without breaks in some instances. The trick is to know when to put distractions away.
One strategy for putting your phone, social media feed, fidget spinner, etc. on hold is to allow yourself ten solid minutes of distraction. Time yourself. Put the distraction away at the end of ten minutes no matter what.
Good listening skills are actually leadership skills. Those who give their co-workers their full, undivided attention tend to motivate and energize their co-workers to work harder.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Along with dressing for the job you want, keep up with good grooming habits to influence the way others perceive you. Shower each day, comply with your company’s dress code, have your hair cut regularly, maintain clean fingernails, and make all your regular medical and dental appointments. Even if you’re good at remembering your daily exercise, you appear to be more physically fit when you’re well-groomed versus when you’re haphazardly groomed.
Offer to help others at work and in your spare time. This helps you make friends and build allies in all departments and at all levels of your company. It also sharpens your social skills and boosts your mental health. Volunteers can even acquire new skills they might not otherwise have learned.
Many of us learned it in elementary school: Read for 30 minutes every day. While reading itself does not guarantee success, it’s true that the most successful people in the corporate world also tend to be avid readers. Being able to start a book, absorb its most important content, and stick with it until the end demonstrates self-discipline, and you’ll be exposed to new ideas. And yes, listening to an audiobook while commuting does count.