Friday, February 20, 2009

Maintaining self-discipline in the office,,,,

(This article explores the relevance and application of Principles and Strategies of Chanakya as discussed in his 3rd Century BC treatise, Kautilya’s Arthashastra, in Today’s Corporate World)

All of us, at sometime or the other, have to do a job that we don’t like. It’s a universal truth and will remain an eternal requirement. In this environment, self discipline becomes the key to success.

Chanakya says, “One doing whatever pleases him does not achieve anything” (7.11.35)

There are many things in life that we like to do but should not - eating junk food, sitting late at offices even when it is not required, browsing the net without a purpose, all these add up to make a person unproductive and inefficient in the long run.

Hence, discipline becomes a must, especially in an office atmosphere. It could initially be just ‘external’, like a boss guiding, directing and controlling an employee. However, in the long run, external discipline should become internal discipline.

The following are some tips on how to self discipline yourself in the office:

Plan You Day In Advance
Most employees in office do not have a purpose. Neither do they have an idea of what they are supposed to achieve when they leave their homes. It is more of a routine for them to travel to and from office. They hardly have any enthusiasm. To avoid all this, an employee needs to, before leaving the office itself, plan his next day.

A good time-table will help tackle not only such regular activities as mailing, report preparation, calls etc but also special activities like presentations and meetings which need to be looked at in detail. Keep one hour extra in your plan to accommodate unexpected events.

Do Not Be Impulsive
Most problems happen when one becomes impulsive, especially when faced with a new or unexpected work. For instance, if you are doing a particular work and someone calls up or comes up to you for a different task, do not jump at the new project immediately. Slow down. Complete the work in hand first before you take up the new task. Your original plan for the day is more important. In fact, you should keep track of what you have planned for the day on the hour, every hour.

Be Proactive
Stepen Covey, in his book ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ says that being proactive is the most important habit of a successful person. So do not wait for problems to crop up; find solutions even before they arrive. The more you get into the habit of ‘right thinking’ the more focused and sharp you will become.

Remember, discipline is not an inborn thing - it needs to be cultivated. We may fail many times but just don’t give up, it is important to get up and keep going.


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