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Discipline in the woodshop is important, whether you have employees sharing that shop or not.

My fellow blogger David DeCristoforo usually focuses on the business side of woodworking, while I look at the personal side. For that reason our blog paths don’t always intersect like they do this week.

His most recent blog opines that a shop owner can’t expect employees to have disciplined work habits if you’re not disciplined yourself. You have to set a good example. He’s right, of course, but what about shops without employees, like mine? Who do I have to set an example for? Nobody, of course, and for that reason I tend to allow my own discipline to slip from time to time.

For example, I tend to get sloppy when it comes to shop housekeeping, with clutter steadily increasing through the course of a project. If I’m tired and don’t feel like putting things away at the end of the day, no problem – I’ll just get it tomorrow. Maybe. And if I let the clutter go another day, or two or three, so what? It’s only me working here, right? But the truth is that working in a pigsty tends to produce work fit for a pigsty.

And what happens if discipline slips in other areas like, say, safety practices? The answer is pretty obvious. For that reason, self-discipline is just as important for the solo worker as it is for the one setting a good example for employees.

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