By: Ryan Ayers
Whether you’re an executive, a manager, or part of the team handling day-to-day operations, you’ve probably thought more than once about what you bring to the table within your organization. What do you feel is your greatest asset? Chances are, consistency never tops the list—but perhaps it should.
Regardless of whether your a undergraduate student or an influential award-winning scholar, you ought to understand the power of consistency in your professional life. While many people think innovation, passion, and raw talent are the greatest assets you can possess in the workplace, the truth is simpler: consistency is actually more important than any of these assets. Sure, it’s great to be innovative and dynamic, but unless there’s substance and action behind your ideas, innovation and talent alone won’t get you very far. Here are a few reasons consistency can be your greatest asset in the workplace.
It Builds Trust
When we first meet people and begin to work with them, we set our expectations of their performance, based on their initial output and enthusiasm. If they don’t continue to meet those expectations, we begin to lose trust in them. Consistency, on the other hand, builds trust. That’s because your manager will know that you can be counted on to carry out a task if asked, or deliver a certain level of work on a consistent basis. That’s incredibly valuable to your team’s productivity and overall success. Trust and consistency are required for a healthy workplace. The more trust your team has in you, the more responsibility you’ll gain, and you may get opportunities for advancement.
You Won’t Burn Out
Focusing on the process and not the results is key for preventing burnout. Stressing about the results of what you’re working on won’t make you more productive or better at your job—you’ll just be more stressed and prone to burnout. People who focus on consistent actions, however, will have more success in their work and enjoy more career opportunities in tasks focused fields. Great examples may include handling taxes, an occupation within sciences or even in analytics since individuals will be so effective at working on solutions. Saving that emotional energy means you’ll be more productive and happier on the job!
It’s Required for Long Term Results
You can’t just put in an hour here and an hour there to get long-term results—life doesn’t work that way. Think about it this way: if you had attended your college classes just a few times each semester, would you have passed your classes? If you went to the gym once a month, would you get fit? Great monuments weren’t built in a day, and if you’re working on a big project, you’ll also need to break it up into smaller pieces to keep it from being overwhelming. Working on things a little at a time without procrastinating makes quality, long term results possible.
Consistent Actions Matter
Most of us want to make changes in our lives and our careers. We want to climb the corporate ladder, be healthier or become more fulfilled. But how much time do most people spend working on these goals with consistent action, rather than thinking about them or talking about them? A lot. People who take consistent action, however, are more likely to reach their goals, for the simple reason that their actions add up over time.
Can You Improve Your Consistency?
One of the reasons consistency is so valuable is that it can be difficult to attain. It’s not easy to form new habits—research shows that it takes a minimum of 21 days. This is why so many people who vow to go to the gym regularly or cook their meals at home don’t end up following through. They start off strong, but are not able to take the consistent actions required to continue these healthy habits indefinitely. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to improve your consistency. That means saying no to the voice in your head telling you that skipping one day won’t matter, or putting off a report doesn’t affect you. Take responsibility, and realize that you are in control of your own consistency. We’re all capable of it (think about it—you show up to work every day!), so start thinking about how you can turn consistency into your greatest asset.
By Ryan Ayers
About the author
Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis.