Improve self-discipline for a more complete lifestyle
Are you disciplined? Can you stay focused on tasks, allowing you to maximize your workday? It’s not easy.
Entire books are devoted to the topic of self discipline. (And lots of them, too! A recent search on Amazon.com indicated 62,000 results.)
Elbert Hubbard, famed writer, artist and philosopher, offers this on the topic:
“Self-discipline is the ability to do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”
Another way to view self-discipline is commitment: You are committed to the project, your goals, your new strategy for life; whatever it is. Let’s look at an example.
In an earlier column, I mentioned that one of my dreams has been to write a movie script. The idea has been kicking around in my head for years. I finally started writing it in September 2012. By the end of the year I had several scenes written down. Then the project stalled.
I resumed earlier this month determined to press on. That prompted me to write the blog column about pursuing your dreams. In that I suggest devoting 15-30 minutes several times a week–ideally, daily–to your dream. Without that commitment, your dream remains just a dream.
In an effort to move my dream along, I am committing myself to working on that script every business day. Each stint is about 30 minutes, but I’m making good progress.
Most people think that achieving big goals requires a massive undertaking. Not necessarily. Indeed, smaller steps generally prove to be more effective. They are more likely to be accomplished, thereby keeping the person interested and involved. Trying to tackle too much often causes the person to become disenchanted causing him or her to give up.
A good way to improve your self-discipline–and, therefore, your commitment–is to use an agenda for your daily activities. Blocking out specific times for each task forces you to be committed. Those lacking in self-discipline are helped by the structure that an agenda offers.
Another good tactic is to set a reward. Tell yourself that if you get through a really difficult project, you’ll treat yourself to a meal or a rich dessert. Daily goals and tasks can seem like drudgery. A reward gives you something fun, perhaps tasty, to look forward to. That should prompt you to continue on.
Make sure you address any outside pressures affecting your performance. Personal, professional and financial problems make it really difficult to stay focused each day. Work on those, and you can turn your attention back to daily responsibilities.
Mastering self-discipline during work hours frees up time during the evenings and weekends. The result is a more balanced and fulfilled life. Commit now to developing self-discipline, and enjoy your just rewards.
Here’s to your success.
Is one of your goals to strike out on your own? If so, see “Want to work from home? Think before making the leap.”
I’m interested in seeing your thoughts on this topic. Feel free to comment below.
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