Jennifer worked as a Science Teacher at a public school in Hoima town. She lived in a rented house near my sister’s home in Kiryatete. A single mother of one, Jenniffer had a known daily routine – wake up at 5.am, mop the compound, move the chackoal stove infront of her house and prepare breakfast. Bring the baby to my sister’s house. Leave for work by 6:30 am.
She did this routine consistently for the six months I lived at my sister. At the end of the day, at 6:30pm, she would passby home to pick the son, Barungi without fail. As a small boy, she often came along with something for us – a sweet today, jackfruit tomorrow, panicakes the next day, chappati another day – we always looked up to her evening sojourn.
Now I know, these small things are ‘traps for the young children’, the small things people give children to befriend them so as to influence who in turn influence their parents. I always begged my sister to allow Barungi, Jennifer’s son to live at our home during the day. Reason, the evening sweets which my sister never seemed to appreciate that we needed and loved so much.
As they say, ‘discipline equals freedom.’ When you do something consistently it becomes part of you and cease to bother you because discipline equals freedom. When you do what you promise to do, that is discipline. It is the best sign of respect.
It is from discipline that you create daily routine, which in turn becomes your habits which if done repeatedly over different generations becomes culture.
At the work place, insititutions need disciplined staff. People who do the right activities consistently. What do you do when you arrive at work?
Do you go to the urinals. Apply your makeup. Clean your shoes. Then head to the pantry. Prepare tea. Then visit colleagues, one by one greetings. Thereafter check your social media, emails and then reply any emails from the clients or your colleagues. And finally, make the day’s priority list of activities to do? If you arrive at about 8 am at the workplan, and go through such a routine, you are likely to start real work at about 10 am. Those are two hours spent for no value delivered. It is one of the biggest ‘innocent’ corporate losses. It is ‘innocent’ because most culprits never know that such a routine is loss making.
Take an example of another colleague.
She has a written priority list shared with the manager the previous evening. The priority list is aligned to the enterprise scorecard to deliver the most critical business imperatives. Arrives at work by 7:30 am daily. Cross checks with the supervisor in case of any urgent issues. Does activities as in the shared priority list. Where new urgent issues arise, they update the team and address the urgent issues knowing that in business as is in politics, no surprise is good surprise. Always keep the leader or the immediate supervisor aware of what is going on as doing such nurtures an environemt of trust and responsibility.
Simply put, discipline is the art of doing what one promised to do when they promised to do it without any execuses. It is being consistent. Communicating well and avoiding surprises.
Are you disciplined?
Copyright 2019. Mustapha B Mugisa, All rights reserved.