Leadership Focus: Being Disciplined

What do you picture when you think of the word discipline?

The first thought that comes to mind for us are people who train. Maybe Olympic athletes, or maybe Buddhist monks living in simplicity. In both these of these lives, the individual chooses to give up things in the pursuit of something greater. For an Olympic athlete, they may give up certain foods for a rigid diet or maybe it’s time spent with their friends to undergo strength training–all for that shining gold medal. A Buddhist monk might take a vow of silence or meditate for hours on end to achieve “mindfulness” and hopefully one day reach enlightenment.


The Importance of Sacrifice

Unfortunately “sacrifice” tends to go hand-in-hand with discipline. It frequently means we must give up what we want in the moment for something that is more important later on. For instance, we want to do some easy task that fell into our laps and would take an hour to do, and we don’t want to work on task that requires a lot of thought, effort, and time that could accomplish so much more. We pick that “low hanging fruit” rather than reaching for the top.

It’s human nature to want to go after something simple, easy, and fast. Therefore it takes training to be disciplined enough to go after the harder problems and follow your priority list. Once you start with the big items, you’ll find that your time management will before more focused, more priority-driven, by tackling those larger issues that could cause needed change throughout the organization. Change that everyone could desperately need.


7 Questions to Ask Yourself to Stay on Track

Again, as a leader, you are constantly pulled in all different directions. Elizabeth wants something in Engineering. Todd wants something from you for HR. You have a lot of distractions that could mess up your time management and your overall schedule and while you can’t say no to every one of them, you can say no to a lot more than you think you can.

When trying to stay focused, ask yourself these questions,

  1. Is this my priority right now?
  2. Will solve something important in my organization?
  3. Am I reacting to someone else’s priority and not the organization’s?
  4. Am I doing this because it is easy?
  5. Will it save time down the road or just push the rest of my task list back?
  6. Is this procrastinating?
  7. Where and with whom will this task completion have the greatest impact?

Think of your time as the organization’s time–it’s bigger than any one individual’s. Do you really have time to waste on smaller, insignificant tasks simply because they’re easier? No need to answer, that’s a rhetorical question.

While we hope this blog is helpful, if you need more Time Management training, Nexecute is here to take your skills to the next level! Contact us today and get started!


Thanks for tuning into our second blog in our Time Management for Leaders series! Next up, we’ll talk about how you can manage the fires that always demand our attention in the most inconvenient times!


Just now jumping into the series? Check out our intro blog post!

A Leader’s Greatest Challenge: Time Management