7 Ways to be a More Conscientious Person Right Now

According to the Five Factor Model of Personality, people’s personalities are generally defined by five characteristics: agreeableness, openness, neuroticism, extroversion, and conscientiousness.  It is widely believed that out of all, the most important trait that determines success is conscientiousness.

What is conscientiousness?

Conscientious is defined as wishing to do what is right, especially to do one's work or duty well and thoroughly.

Living without conscientiousness is like going on a ski trip without taking warm clothes or ski equipment. You could probably get those things when you arrive, but it would make things a lot more stressful and could become a recipe for disaster.

Conscientiousness is having well thought out ideas and taking steps towards making those plans come through. It is about definitive choices and following through with them.

Psychologist Brent Roberts, from the University of Illinois, who specializes in the study of conscientiousness says, "The conscientious person is going to have a plan. Even if there is a failure, they're going to have a plan to deal with that failure."

In general, people who are conscientious are better at setting goals and working towards them, despite obstacles. As a result, they tend to be far more driven and goal focused.

Roberts further credits their success to "hygiene" factors, since they have better organizational skills and punctuality. For instance, someone who is disorganized and not conscientious may spend half an hour trying to find files or items, thus reducing their productivity, which sees them frequently late.

“Being conscientious is like brushing your teeth," Roberts states. "It prevents problems from arising."

Here are 7 ways to practice more conscientiousness

1. Live and work in tidy spaces

Get into the habit of keeping your home and work area clean and organized. Houses that are messy and cluttered will cause further stress and chaos in your day-to-day life.

If you are naturally an untidy person, try having a cleaning schedule that you stick to, or do some much-needed de-cluttering. If you can afford it, consider hiring a service to help you clean.

2. Plan your schedule

People who practice conscientiousness are known for being highly organized. They use their time wisely, and as a result, they get more done and procrastinate less.

It is great to plan your days. Using the calendar on your phone or a free app could easily help you to do this, as it allows you to set reminders for yourself.

3. Start saving

Consciousness people are known for being good with their money. This is because they rarely overextend spending beyond their means. Furthermore, they are less likely to do spontaneous buying.

Create a budget and keep an eye on how much money you have. Don’t go over what you can afford, and where possible, try to set aside some money–irrespective of how little it is.

4. Become more punctual

A big trait of conscientiousness is punctuality. If you have a habit of being consistently late, identify your habit and change the routine. This may include setting your alarm earlier or preparing the night before. Not only will this help you to be on time, but it will also reduce the stress that comes from always being late.

5. Do what you set out to do

People who are not conscientious often tend to not finish what they start. They regularly disappoint other people and are not good at keeping their word.

If this is something you struggle with, take steps to becoming someone who is more reliable and be more pro-active by following through on what you start.

6. Persistence

There are always challenges in life, but don’t give up simply because the going gets tough. Perseverance is one of the keys to succeeding.

7. Work to be healthy

Make efforts to include more exercises in your life that promote your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It is important to keep your mind, spirit, and body healthy to maximize life’s truest potential.