In a fast-paced world with a 24-hour news cycle, it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus. It happens to everyone. To be successful, people need a way to get back on track and stay there.
It isn’t new or revolutionary, but one of the best ways to move forward is to be consistent. Consistent does not mean stuck and it does not mean boring. Consistent means purposeful and conscientious.
What is Consistency?
Consistency is developing the habits upon which success is built. It’s knowing what needs to be done and doing it, completely, every day. Consistency is completing the small steps that, over time, lead to larger successes.
To be consistent is to be reliable. People who are consistent build the trust of those around them and can be counted on to finish what they begin. A company with a culture of consistency becomes a trusted partner and community asset.
Why Consistency Is Key To Success
A consistent employee is one an employer can count on to complete tasks and projects. It is crucial not to underestimate the value of consistency and reliability to an employer.
A consistent employer uses both actions and words to motivate their employees. Completing their tasks reliably sets the tone for the entire workplace.
Consistency also plays other important roles in effective leadership. Consistent expectations, work habits, evaluations, and management style all head off the chaos of an ineffective workplace.
Does Consistency Mean Complacency?
Consistency is the enemy of complacency. When achievable goals are set and accomplished, teams move forward. New goals are set, and the process begins anew.
Consistency is a driving force behind advancement and innovation. It forms a framework that allows creativity to flourish without the distractions of perpetual crisis management.
Examples of Workplace Consistency
There are good, concrete examples of places where consistency can improve both processes and outcomes. One of the best is when companies or individuals are testing new ideas.
Too often, initial enthusiasm for a new project wears off. The project lingers for a while, partially completed, before being abandoned or forgotten. Consistency is what keeps those projects from falling through the cracks.
A consistent leader will ensure that project milestones are being met. A good idea remains only that until it gets fully implemented and evaluated. Not every idea will turn out as planned and that can feel like a failure. But without consistent implementation and evaluation of plans and tasks, no project can succeed.
A company culture that values consistent follow-through will benefit from the lessons learned through the process as well as ultimately successful objectives.
Another excellent example of workplace consistency is the manager who follows through on operational details. Everything from making sure teams have adequate supplies to ensuring that employees feel heard and valued depends on the consistent implementation of managerial tasks.
Holding Yourself Accountable
Now comes the hard part. For employees, managers, or owners, consistency can falter without some sort of accountability. Fortunately, there are some fairly simple ways to stay on track.
Keeping a written record of daily goals and tasks is a simple, visual reminder to be consistent. Consistency is the result of forming beneficial habits. Having a daily list of tasks to accomplish is one of the easier habits to develop.
Writing down goals and tasks and crossing them off when they’re done is a concrete, satisfying method of accountability that works in every aspect of life. It doesn’t matter what format is chosen. Individuals and teams can stretch their creativity with ways to document daily goal completion.
Set Achievable Goals
Maintaining both consistency and accountability is made far easier by prioritizing realistic goal setting. That means breaking down larger goals into manageable tasks.
Most individuals and organizations have overarching goals that guide large decisions. Those goals don’t often have a daily component. Breaking a large goal into smaller pieces provides a daily incentive to complete each step.
It’s much easier to be accountable for a task that must be done today than a completed project that must be done in six months. The former paves the way for the latter.
Accountability doesn’t have to be all work and no play. An individual or organization can determine milestones at which some sort of acknowledgment is appropriate. Maybe that means something small like completing every task for two weeks earns a movie night. Or maybe it means that finishing a project on schedule earns a team a staff outing.
Being consistent means putting in the hours and doing the work, being accountable can mean rewarding those hours with something of personal or organizational value.
Many people need feedback for real accountability. In every endeavor, it can be difficult to acknowledge missteps and easy to blame a lack of consistency on outside forces.
Having a trusted friend or colleague to share both the path and the destination can be effective and rewarding. Being prepared for honest evaluations of performance is an excellent exercise for everyone.
Getting honest feedback can also help people avoid punishing themselves for lapses. No one is perfect, nor should they strive to be. Having the support of a team or an individual can get someone back on track instead of abandoning their goals or positive habits.
Maintaining consistency through accountability is a powerful tool. The combination can enhance reputations, encourage employee engagement, drive successful project completion, and ultimately set the stage for personal or professional accomplishment.