I’m most certainly sure that what separates you from your best self is discipline. The ability to be respectful no matter what pressure you’re facing, meeting deadlines unsupervised, being consistent and excellent or even having organized thoughts. These and so much more require one asset: Discipline. Something so basic but seems to elude most of us in our day to day life. These few basic steps (not necessarily in order) can help you build up on your self- discipline.
Set alarms and timers
This may seem trivial because most of us are professionals when it comes to hitting the snooze button or coming up with excuses when you’re late. However, learning to allocate time for activities can be very refreshing. The same way you expect a meeting to stick to the allocated 1 hour should be the same way you eagerly watch one episode of WestWorld and switch off your laptop. You can start with simple things: allocate one hour every morning for exercise or one hour every evening to plan for the next day. This has helped me significantly thus I’m sharing with all my fellow procrastinators.
Do 1-2 things routinely
Like all habits, routines require repetition and boy do we hate tedious activities. However, we need to remember discipline is as a result of being stuck up in some way. A routine can never be developed by writing out a list of tasks (shout out to our dusty 2018 resolution boards), start with one item that you will do as frequently – daily or weekly, add another task and carry on to build on those activities till you have a normalized compact schedule. You may be tempted to break from this and that’s where the test begins by continually following your schedule. If you use up an extra hour to binge watch a show, allocate an hour the next day to make up for it. Think of your time as a currency and you wouldn’t waste it on gossip, celebrity stalking or complaining.
Take up exercise
If building a routine is rather difficult you could opt to take up workout routines or yoga. It’s commonly said that it all begins in the mind. This makes sense, if you can train your mind and push your body to limits that you didn’t think were attainable, discipline seems like such a small price to pay for consistency. A simple routine such as squats or press-ups can also boost your self-image in the long run.
I bet you rolled your eyes on this one. Water is such as an essential that we take for granted. We are encouraged to drink water because it’s good for us, because our body needs it for major organs and functions. However, most of us wait till we are dying of thirst before we sip some water. Making a habit out of drinking water helps build discipline to do things that may seem unnecessary but are important or help us. You’re drinking water not because you’re thirsty or hiccupping but because you understand its benefit. Subsequently, you find yourself breaking from group mentalities where the right thing is shunned but you willingly choose to do right. A great example is in business when you have cash and choose to spend it on supplies rather than going out with friends; it’s all about seeing the bigger picture.
Be habitually courteous
Again, it’s all about how it starts in the mind, when training your mind to be courteous regardless of class, tribe, occupation or demeanor. You can do this in small ways for example; be prompt to reply messages or emails, schedule meetings by asking what time slot works as opposed to suggesting a fixed timeframe, thank a person as opposed to apologizing ( Thank you for waiting for me au lieu de I’m sorry for being late) or compliment often. Building such a mentality causes you to have default settings even in blinding rage, you’ll find your rational self-kicking in before anything stupid and unforgivable is done or said.
This goes back to building a routine which helps you basically have a schedule and build on planning ahead. Time blocking is basically focusing all your attention and energy into the task at hand. You can opt to switch off notifications to get the work done. However, sometimes distractions can also come from the immediate environment. An annoying roommate, parents (who don’t acknowledge working from home as far as they are concerned you’re jobless if you don’t leave the house 9-5), siblings or friends. They will come at you with their problems or idle talk because they are bored and want you to take them somewhere. Look at them and once you dock eye contact say no, and suggest a time slot that’s available for the activity that they want.
Well, that’s about all for today. Do you have a few quick tips or hack you’d like to mention/contribute to this topic? Feel free to comment, share or reach me via email firstname.lastname@example.org.