In the previous lesson, we covered the role of Openness with regards to managing self for high achievement. In the second part, we’ll examine Conscientiousness, and what you can do to imbibe it for high achievement.
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In the first part of this lesson, we covered the role of Openness with regards to managing self for high achievement. In the second part, we’ll examine Conscientiousness, and what you can do to imbibe it for high achievement.
That brings us to…
Who among us doesn’t have that one friend or coworker who is super-organized? You know, that individual who is punctual, meets deadlines with time to spare, and always on top of things in their world.
Most people feel a sense of envy mixed with mild dislike towards these organized folks. But that comes from a lack of understanding of what it takes to get that organized oftentimes.
You already know about the facets of Conscientiousness, namely preparation, prioritization, planning and impulse control. Let explore some practical tips on how you can work your way through these facets.
“Organized people are not born; they’re built,” says John Trosko, founder of Organizing LA, a Los Angeles-based organizing firm. “The people who emerge as ‘organized’ use a variety of tools and methods to accomplish their goals and priorities in life. From smartphone technology to notebook planners and to-do lists, organized people find tools that can help them make the most of their day, week, and year”, says Trosko. In short, use tools to organize yourself and stick to what works for you.
“Instead of having an overwhelming number of commitments and little idea where to start, organized people have a clear sense of what’s important,” says Lisa Zaslow, founder of Gotham Organizers, New York City-based professional organizers. “They know what their goals are, what needs to be done when, and what can be put off,” she says. “They start the day with a clear plan of their ‘MITs’–their ‘most important things.’ And they break down tasks into smaller chunks and take short non-work-related breaks in between, which increases their overall productivity. And they review their plan throughout the day and adjust as necessary.”, says Zaslow
The ability to delay gratification, or to wait for something you really want, is impulse control. Like putting off buying that brand new television you really want, in order to invest in a professional qualification/course for instance. One groundbreaking study out of Stanford University found that impulse was linked to greater life outcomes, like higher achievement. Impulse control also helps with achieving goals, developing perseverance and making responsible decisions. Here’s how to practice impulse control:
Assess what areas of your life you have trouble with regards to impulse control. Some people have trouble with procrastination. Still others have trouble controlling their anger, while others find it challenging managing their spending impulses often getting themselves into financial or debt troubles. Can you identify the areas of your life where impulse control gets you into trouble? Better yet, ask someone who knows you well to answer this question. They may have a better perspective on your issues with impulse control than you do. In fact, they likely do.
Be attentive of your impulses but don’t fall prey to the associated guilt without attaching to them in a mindful manner can be very helpful. Remember, just because you have an impulse doesn’t mean you have to act on it!
Desire has a strong tendency to ebb and flow like the tide. When the impulse you need to control is strong, waiting out this wave of desire is usually enough to keep yourself in control. The rule of thumb here is to wait at least 10 minutes before succumbing to temptation. You’ll often find that the great wave of desire is now little more than a ripple that you have the power to step right over.
In summary, managing starts with self-reflection. It involves asking yourself some very candid questions and having the humility, and sometimes the courage, to change course, wherever required. The recommendations we’ve offered for imbibing Openness and Conscientiousness will hold you in good stead, but it’s only the means to an end. But finally, putting high achievement into action starts with you – it has to.
In the next lesson, we’ll explore the second skillset, i.e. managing people for high achievement, and the role Agreeableness plays in it.
You may now take the quiz below to proceed through the lessons that follow.