Persistence indicates professional stamina. Persistent people have a variety of positive qualities, especially in the workplace. These individuals have a high tolerance for a large workload and are not fazed by approaching deadlines or additional work when they understand the end goal. They also have the ability to not just exist through rough times and “make it out alive”, but to endure, to get through without complaining. They need very little to mentally recharge, and even after large projects they ready for the next task.
A high score in the Persistence category indicates that you have a strong goal-achieving focus. You are likely highly aware of your own needs, and are able to continue self-managing through particularly trying projects. For this reason, you infrequently experience burnout. Nothing is impossible if you're willing to put in the work, and people with high levels of persistence frequently are.
Persistence is the final key to getting things done. People who are able to persist through difficult projects and changes know the difference between merely existing and enduring through the struggle. They are able to exercise patience, pacing themselves and keeping a positive attitude. Below are some examples of exercises to improve your Persistence.
- Actively spend your free time recharging. Plan your vacation in advance so you always have something to look forward to. In the meantime, try to look into your schedule in advance. Learn when your longest weeks will be and where you may have some wiggle room. Take advantage of your free time, and allow yourself to do what you need to stay fresh and motivated. This means different things for different people. You might recharge after work by experimenting with cooking a new recipe, or by allowing yourself to get takeout for dinner. Allot yourself time to indulge in hobbies you haven’t done in a while – whether that be reading a book, building something with your hands, spending time with old friends, or anything else you enjoy. Refreshed and reenergized, step back into work ready to make the most out of your day.
- Set more goals. Your progress for the project as a whole should already be scheduled out, but what about your weekly progress? Give yourself attainable but challenging goals for the week on your output, and encourage team members to do the same. Working with others helps keep us accountable, both to ourselves and to our team. Daily goals are also useful, but during time of great change, it can be difficult to anticipate when you’ll have time to meet those goals on any given day. Give yourself realistic time constraints to complete goals you would feel good about achieving.
- Ask yourself if you have taken appropriate steps to hardwire the changes your project is pursuing. Have you put items in place that are specific, written, mandatory, and enforced by a specific role in the organization? If the answer is 'No', then figure out ways you can start doing this today. This exercise helps you ensure your changes stay in place after you move on to the next project. This will help build your legacy not only for successfully driving changes, but also for creating the infrastructure for those changes to be sustainable for as long as is necessary.” A Sixth Sense for Project Management, Tres Roeder.
For more information about how to improve your persistence, see A Sixth Sense for Project Management, pg 101.