Discipline and Work Ethic

Discipline and Work Ethic
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Dalibor Tomic @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalibort82/

After writing the second part to the story (originally a flash fiction) for last Friday, I found myself wondering what I’d write about for today, Tuesday. Yes, I still have a list of prompts tucked away in my blog folder on OneDrive, but I want to save those for Fridays. Why? I haven’t the foggiest — even after writing the post I published yesterday.

I did notice that the push for organizing, scheduling, and goal setting were hot topics for the start of the new year. Yes, I know that the first month is gone. You may be wondering why I’m even bothering to bring these three subjects up so late. Maybe it is too late or maybe it isn’t.

I find it impossible to make plans that go far into the future. What I mean by this is anything further ahead than a month is something I can’t deal with because of all the ‘ifs’, ‘ands’, and ‘buts’ of what could happen between now and then. This is just a problem I have because of General Anxiety Disorder. With me, in particular, it’s that feeling of being overwhelmed. So, I try my best to work around this awful feeling so I can function normally — that is as normally as a crazy old woman can.

This does tie into the ideas of organization, scheduling, and goal setting. Discipline and work ethic does and should play a big part in getting these mindsets into action.

Work Ethic

When I think of work ethic, I assume that most people know what good work habits are. Should I assume such a thing? You’ll have to answer this for me. I associate the term, work ethic, with something positive. It’s automatic for me. If it’s being talked about, it’s the good side of it. Sure, it can be discussed in negative terms, like the lack of work ethic. Even so, the root term is still positive.

What is your work ethic? Mine is work until I’m tired, take a fifteen to twenty-minute break, and get back to work. However, when I get so tired or weary, I figure it’s time to stop for the day. The way I know that it’s time to quit until tomorrow is there’s too much repetition going on because I can’t remember what I did last clearly enough.


Discipline is difficult for me lately, at least the way I think of it. My idea of discipline is scheduling, habits that stick, and doing away with excuses.

I make out a schedule for the things I want to accomplish, trying not to cut the time for each active short but also, not giving so much time that I think I can get lazy or bored. Example: 2.5 hours per day for writing on my novel project, 3 hours (split) per day to read blogs and write comments, 2.5 hours per day for housework.

This schedule should be working, but I’m having trouble getting my butt into gear every day for one or two of these activities. I understand that a schedule should have some flexibility. And I am allowing for that. I’m letting things distract me that I should be able to quash, or, if not, put to the side until later.

Making the habit of this schedule stick is probably part of my problem. After all, the holidays throw many people off their routines, right? Okay, maybe not many, but I’m sure there are some anyway. Another reason I shun the holiday season.

Now then, am I making excuses? Is admission an excuse? Probably, especially if I don’t rectify these things that are stopping me from doing what I want to achieve.

Are you following through on your plans for this year? Or are you having problems too?


17 thoughts on “Discipline and Work Ethic

  1. I’m following through with what I promised myself, and that was to take care of my mental health. I’m kind of working on time management, but I get far too distracted by most anything. My work ethic is to do the best I can. I couldn’t walk away from something that has my name attached to it if I know it wasn’t my best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glynis Jolly

      I used to feel the same way about anything I was doing no matter how small. Somewhere along the way I decided that I needed to start picking my battles a little more carefully. Now, if I’m passionate about what it is, I want to put in 110%. Other things I may only put in 85%, knowing that I, like everyone else, isn’t perfect.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I used to multi-task like a computer. Used to. Now, I become overwhelmed like you and can handle only one task at a time. I do have a schedule but now I’ve added walking twice a week to my daily projects. I’m finding it hard to complete all I did before I began walking. Something has to give. I always do my best, or nothing at all. Housework, I don’t fuss about too much. If I don’t dust today, I’ll do it tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glynis Jolly

      Talking about dusting, I found the perfect time to dust — after Hubby goes to bed. All three cats are settled for the night, the house is quiet, and no one will be following me putting stuff down where it doesn’t belong. 😀

      I miss walking. Oh, I walk, but with a terrible gate and a 4-prong cane now. There isn’t any way I can do long distances, not even a half mile (4 city blocks) without a lot of pain. Walk for me, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s cultural. Different countries define ‘work ethic’ differently. I have a French girlfriend who is appalled I teach 22 classes a week, 40 hours a week. She says they abuse me. I say I like working hard. I don’t mind. It feels good. She doesn’t understand what I mean.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glynis Jolly

      I think you may be right, Jacqui. I’m half German. I was definitely raised German style. Work first, and if there’s time, play. My grandfather worked 16-hour days 6 days a week and thought nothing of it. He lived until he was 98. I doubt that the work was ever a concern of his health. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lorraine Marie Reguly

    I’m having problems making MY OWN writing a priority. I always put my clients first (as I should!) but view my own goals as less important. I’m not sure why… and I’m trying to correct this mindset.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s struggling with this, Glynis!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glynis Jolly

      I would think it’s difficult to determine a cutoff point for the time spent with clients. As an editor, having a reasonable amount of time for the work would vary greatly depending on the individual who has hired you. I mean, how do you tell a client that you need time for your own writing while he/she is waiting for you to get done with their work so he/she can do the rewrite? Of course, being realistic and setting limits is the only thing you can do, but I would think it’s still a hard decision to make.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lorraine Marie Reguly

        And therein lies the problem! After doing all my work for my clients, I’m certainly ready to get OFF the computer! Not write more!

        Editing is easy, though, for me. It’s the writing — or should I say “typing” — that gets tiresome. I am not a fast typist!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Glynis Jolly

          I doubt that you could be as slow as me typing, Lorraine. I have to type one-handed. If I could be sure that I could read my handwriting, I’d do all drafts in longhand just because it’s faster, believe it or not. 😛


          1. Lorraine Marie Reguly

            Have you ever thought of recording yourself and then hiring someone to transcribe your words?

            I use vocaroo.com to make free recordings to send to Angela Shirley from Whatever Needs to Be Done. She listens to them, types my words, and emails me the text. And she has no set fee. She works on donations!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Glynis Jolly

              Thank you for the idea, Lorraine. I like the brain to hand movement though. With this said however, if I start having problems with my thumb on my good hand, I’ll be searching for something like this.

              Liked by 1 person

  5. You certainly opened up an interesting discussion here. I have largely set aside the ‘perfection’ …except for my writing. I can worry a sentence or a word until there is no joy left in the creating and the sentence left unfinished. It got to be a very real issue for me in 2015 and I am determined to set this perfectionism aside and just write in 2016.
    Great post. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a lot like you. There seems to be too many words that I want to change for one of the synonyms, and it takes so much time to decide which of the synonyms is the right one for the sentence and the passage.

      Liked by 1 person

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