Motivation Vs. Discipline

Zelda Perry

Its 8:45 on a Monday; a large coffee in hand and it’s our Monday morning stand up.

Literally, where we all stand up as a squad, every Monday, talk about how our previous week went and discuss exactly what the craic is this week. Of course, this is perfect timing for Azar [Rebel Founder] to motivate the hell out of us, inspire us all and set us in a positive mindset for the week – it was one question he asked that made me think…

Which is more important to you … motivation or discipline?

Being the sloth that I am, straight away – MOTIVATION!! Obviously? I need to be motivated to work hard and therefore hit my targets. Motivation is more important because without it… a lack of motivation can mean poor quality work, negative mood and ultimately poor outputs.

Discipline is important, yes, but to remain disciplined… don’t you need to be motivated to do so?

After we discussed it, actually, I think both are really important in anything we do, but for long term success (which is what you need to bear in mind in sales!) Azar made me think twice…


a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

For me, staying motivated is vital and something I can only explain comes in waves, sometimes I get a wave of super motivation wash over me but sometimes even getting out of bed is a struggle and it’s hard to always bring the best version of yourself to work… every… single…day! Motivation is completely subjective though – so what might motivate me, doesn’t necessarily mean it will motivate you. What motivates me on a Friday is travelling back home and seeing my baby boys (dogs, by the way, I don’t like small humans just yet) so I power through the day, speak to as many candidates and decision-makers on the phone as possible and the more talk time there is, the quicker the day flies by! Productive, right?

But what motivates me on Friday doesn’t motivate me on the other days… on Mondays, I am feeling sad about the canine separation and need other things to lift me up. So maybe motivation isn’t the most important thing?

Not everyone is amazing at motivating themselves; sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not, we all need a push. So when I am not feeling that motivated, work can slip, distractions might increase and the clock might be the only thing I am paying attention to. This is not productive!

The thing is, to be disciplined at work, you set a plan and you stick to it. You are disciplined in getting what you need done. To be motivated at work is a mindset, and our minds contain more than just our work life. When I’m having a tough week outside of work that can impact my motivation in work.

It’s hard to leave everything at the door when stepping into the office, if it’s not your strongest skill, don’t worry, because it is something so many are working on too, including me!

General life fluctuates my motivation so that got me thinking, maybe discipline is more important?

If I am not motivated but remain disciplined will I still be as productive?

Well yes.


showing a controlled form of behaviour or way of working.

Self-discipline is a SKILL! If everyone was disciplined the world would be a very different place…

I think it’s something that comes over time, to master the skill (like anything really) requires practice and repetition.

Being disciplined at work is just following a plan, just a very very strict plan.

My old boss set an idea in my head which to be fair, works, and I stick to it… day plans.

Before leaving the office set out a list of things you need to do the next day; that could be things you were meant to do but have rolled over or just the standard long-ass list of work you need to do anyway! When it gets to the morning, divide your day up – allocate time to what you need to complete those tasks and if you set brackets of time to do certain things, you will more likely get that stuff done!

For example, I’ll generally set aside Thursday afternoon to create content (like this piece if you can actually believe a whole afternoon went into it) and I know any ideas I get through the week I shall put aside and focus on it again Thursday PM. Because I know I only have this time to do it, the pressure against time pushes me to focus and avoid distractions.

…. And that means by the end of the day you can review how well you’ve done with what you set out to do.

So, let’s say you’re super motivated but your day is pretty much… I’ll do what needs to be done when I realise “Ok I need to do this now”. You might get it done, but do you think you will be as productive as prioritising workload and setting clear targets over bursts of time?

Let’s remove the motivation for a second. You’re feeling 4/10 on the motivated scale, but you stick to your plan and remained disciplined. It might be harder but if you treat your schedule like something you simply cannot change… you’re still productive! Yay!

So, it turns out, what I thought was the motivation getting me through, is discipline. Somehow it took our morning meeting and Azar to make me realise that this was true (plus writing this blog helped!)…

So maybe, if motivation is something you struggle with at work, try setting clear goals and an execution plan of how to get there. Divide your day, prioritise your work, put pressure on yourself, and achieve things in one day that you would over half a week!

Life can affect your motivation, but it doesn’t need to affect how disciplined you are, if you really want it that is.

So ask yourself, what is more important to you? Motivation or Discipline?