Improving Your Work Ethic

Work ethic is a major factor when it comes to one's prospects for job improvement and promotion.  While some people have a naturally high work ethic, others may need help to reach their potential.  This blog will highlight a few tips to help you do just that.  We will be taking a look at the article, "How to Build a Reliable Work Ethic" by Scott H. Young.  No matter your ability this article is great for little tips and tricks to help you keep or improve upon your work ethic.

The idea of work ethic has been around for years, and it has become the cornerstone of a great employee.  With so many distractions in our technology driven world, it has become much more difficult to create and maintain that effective work ethic.  There are four habits that Young states will help create or maintain a healthy work ethic: persistence, focus, "do it now", and "do it right." According to Young, these habits are the key to success.


Persistence is a very important part of developing a strong work ethic.  As Young points out, "If you quickly burn out after only a short period of work or you can’t stay focused on a task for long, you lack persistence. Building persistence is like building endurance for a race, slowly training yourself to work harder for longer periods of time."  However, persistence does not mean creating the ability to work for days on end.   It does mean creating the consistent ability to perform consistently for a normal work day.


The focus habit is very closely related to persistence, and they tend to increase or decrease with each other.  Focus is all about the ability to hone in on a topic and shut out distractions consistently.  Two of the biggest tips that Young has to combat the distractions are setting up "timeboxes" and giving yourself time to "accelerate."  A timebox is a set period of time devoted to work on a particular task which involves either short breaks or no breaks and no engagement in other activities.  Accelerating is all about the time it takes to dive into a project, and giving yourself time to accelerate is important to productive work.

"Do it Now"

Young's "do it now" habit is all about keeping yourself from procrastinating and managing your time to the best of your abilities.  "Time for leisure is fine, but if you are trying to work make sure the only thing you are doing is work. Don’t let yourself procrastinate when you still have an unfinished to-do list." says Young.  He makes the very important point that leisure is still a viable option, but to make sure that work time is strictly work focused.  One tip that Young has is forcing yourself to "do it now" for thirty days.  The consistency of the habit will create a continuous behavior that will help enhance your work ethic.

"Do it Right"

The idea behind the "do it right" habit is not about perfectionism, but about proper execution tactics.  Young says, "The “do it right” habit means actively slowing yourself down slightly to fix problems before they occur."  He then highlights some major tips for creating this habit. My favorite of these is "Separating creation and criticism." It is about making sure to create something before editing it, and then take a look at fixing or improving, rather than making it more difficult on yourself during creation. 

Whether you have trouble maintaining your work ethic or are struggling to create one, Scott Young lays out some great tips on work ethic help.  With recommendations from others becoming more and more important in the business world a good work ethic is your best tool for success.