In college, grades are averaged. One bad grade can be overcome with good grades in the other parts of the course. On the job, messing up on one assignment can define you. Your evaluation is often based upon your worst performance rather than your overall performance. Consistency of performance is highly valued.
In many respects, college gives you a false impression of how you will be evaluated when you begin your career. There are some ways you can start developing the consistency you will need.
- Start with daily routine – The best way to start developing consistency is to become consistent with sleeping, eating, and drinking. One way to do this is to set targets for the hours of sleep you get, your eating habits, and consumption of alcohol. Then use the One Up Rule to achieve your targets (See the Topic: Using the One Up Rule to Develop Discipline.)
- Next, follow through on every commitment – Throughout a semester, you make a number of commitments. Some of these are commitments to project teams, or promises to help friends. Some commitments are small (e.g. promising to meet a friend at a given time). Some commitments are much larger in consequence (e.g. taking medication for AD/HD, attending every class)To achieve consistency in each of these, develop a daily plan with all of your commitments listed. (See the Topics: Planning Your Day I and Planning Your Day II). At the end of each day, determine your consistency percentage.
- Third, develop consistency in your course performance – Develop your own grading system for each class. Your consistency grade will be the lowest grade you get on any assignment in the class. When you think of grades in this way, you will start getting a sense of how your performance will be judged on a job. This approach to your classes will challenge you at first, but you will quickly adapt to the mindset that it takes to achieve this level of consistency.
- The final step in developing consistency is to mentor someone else to develop the consistency you have developed. When you become a mentor, you will find your own consistency rising to an even higher level.
Developing consistency is one of the hardest things that a person can do. There are just so many challenges every day to maintaining your consistency..