Mastering self-discipline: Tips and tricks for staying on track

Mastering self-discipline: Tips and tricks for staying on track working in skilled trades

Working in the skilled trades requires much effort, dedication, and self-discipline. Self-discipline, in particular, is a crucial factor that separates successful professionals from the rest. Skilled workers must be thorough in their plans and work to meet deadlines, no matter how challenging their jobs may be. Without self-discipline, it is challenging to survive, let alone thrive, in the grueling world of the trades.

Self-discipline is defined as the ability to control one’s impulses, resist temptations, and pursue what is important consistently. It entails the power of making smart decisions and following through with them, despite any distractions or obstacles that may arise. It requires a steadfast commitment to your goals and the courage to persevere even when challenges arise.

In this article, we will explore some tips and tricks that skilled trades workers can use to stay on track, no matter how difficult their work may be. We will also discuss the importance of self-discipline and how it can significantly impact one’s career success.

Dedicate yourself to your work

If you are working in the skilled trades, you must understand that your work demands one hundred percent focus and commitment. Dedicate your time and energy to your work and strive to become the best you can be. Understanding that your work is essential and that it requires your full attention is the first step to mastering self-discipline.

Make a schedule and stick to it

Creating a schedule is an essential part of mastering self-discipline. Scheduling allows you to set specific times for various tasks, such as tool maintenance, project planning, and execution. It is essential to stick to your schedule diligently, even if unexpected situations arise.

According to a study by HBR, sticking to a schedule not only increases your productivity but also helps in reducing stress levels. Scheduling provides a framework for your work, allowing you to focus on the tasks at hand while also providing structure to your day.

Set realistic goals

It is essential to have clear goals and objectives that you hope to achieve in your work. It can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and forget your long-term goals. Setting realistic goals and revisiting them regularly keeps you on track, gives you focus, and helps you maintain your self-discipline.

According to Harvard Business Review, achieving your goals comes down to the quality of the process by which you set them. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Using the SMART framework can ensure that your goals are realistic and attainable.

Eliminate distractions

Distractions can significantly impact our self-discipline and productivity. While working on a job, everything from noisy coworkers to interruptions from mobile phones can disrupt our focus and make it challenging to maintain self-discipline.

To overcome this, set aside specific times dedicated exclusively to your work when you can be free from distractions. Switching off your phone or setting it to silent mode during these periods can also help minimize distractions.

Take breaks

Taking breaks is a vital part of maintaining self-discipline in the skilled trades. Without taking proper breaks, workers can quickly become burned out and lose focus, leading to mistakes and setbacks. Taking regular breaks can help to refresh your mind, recharge your batteries, and maintain focus.

According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, taking short breaks during the workday is an excellent strategy to increase productivity. Breaks not only minimize the detrimental impact of prolonged working but also help to mitigate stress levels.

Wrapping up

Mastering self-discipline in the skilled trades demands much effort, time, and dedication. Staying on track when your job is demanding and challenging requires self-discipline, focus, and perseverance. By dedicating yourself to your work and setting achievable goals, following a schedule, and eliminating distractions, you can maintain self-discipline and achieve success in the trades.

Remember, mastering self-discipline is an ongoing process that requires you to consistently assess your progress and adjust whenever necessary. At times, you may stumble and fall, but self-discipline demands that you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on track.

Bottom line, developing and mastering self-discipline is an essential component of success, particularly in the skilled trades. By following these tips and tricks, skilled workers can stay on track, enhance their focus, increase productivity, and hit their career goals.


Burkus, D. (2017). How Changes to Your Schedule Can Improve Productivity. Retrieved from

Gomborone, U., & Luciano, M. (2019). Interrupted Work: How to Combat the Cost of Multitasking. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(4), 500–513. doi: 10.1037/apl0000396

Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2019). New developments in goal setting and task performance. New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Shajahan, S., Rahman, M. A., & Rahman, A. (2018). Breaks at work: satisfying, refreshing, or boring? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(11), 2318. doi: 10.3390/ijerph15112318

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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