by Nigel Hilton


Image via Pixabay

“Conscientiousness” is a psychological term which doesn’t mean “behaving ethically”, or “having a conscience”, but rather refers to your ability to be orderly and disciplined in everyday life.

Of course, everyone should live by a strong ethical standard, but there are particular reasons why you should want to work on training your conscientiousness in everyday life, too.

Not only are you more likely to get things done in your personal domain if you’re a more conscientious person, but you’re also more likely to thrive and excel in the workplace, as has been argued by psychologists and productivity gurus for some time now.

If, by any chance, you’re in doubt — here are a few reasons why training your conscientiousness in everyday life can improve your professional life.

How you do anything is how you do everything

There’s a saying that you hear quite a bit in discussions about the importance of discipline and orderliness, which runs “how you do anything is how you do everything”.

There are some significant issues with this line, for sure. If, for example, you stop an exercise session early because you’ve sprained an ankle, that doesn’t mean that you’re training the character of a “quitter” into yourself, and that you’ll subsequently fail to pursue your entrepreneurial ambitions forthrightly.

Nonetheless, there definitely is something to this quote — an understanding that the different parts of our lives influence each other, and that by developing certain habits of action and thought, we nurture behavior patterns that can and will manifest in different contexts.

So, for example, if you don’t attend to a garage door repair because you feel like it’d be irritating, you are instilling a habit of procrastination that will likely come back to bite you in your professional life, too.

More conscientious behavior in your personal life is likely to mean more conscientious behavior in your professional life.

A more orderly environment leads to a clearer and more orderly mind

Our environments do, to a significant degree, impact on our state of mind — just as we often externalize our state of mind via how we interact with our environment.

To put it simply, an orderly environment tends to lead to a clearer and more orderly mind. By contrast, a messy and chaotic personal environment — particularly in the home or office — is likely to lead to dull sense of anxiety, uncertainty, and of things just being “out of control”.

Of course, maintaining a tidy and orderly home takes work and a conscientious approach to daily domestic rituals.

It’s easier to plan and stay on track when you have fewer external concerns weighing you down

The less conscientious you are, as a rule, the more chaotic and troublesome your external circumstances are likely to become, both in your personal and professional life.

It is the case, for example, that if you never properly address your emails and don’t make a habit of replying promptly, you are likely to experience major crises seeming to materialize out of thin air, likewise if you don’t open bill letters on time.

It’s easier to plan, stay on track, and keep things together, when you have a more conscientious approach to life in general, whether that means recording your goals consistently, or getting work done.