Self discipline is one of my favorite subjects these past years. This is evident in some of my articles like 6 Exercises to build self discipline, Self-discipline: The lazy guys worst enemy. (both in Greek)
So, this subject is something that I like to analyse and experiment a lot daily and in this new article I will talk to you about 6 more ways to improve your self discipline that I myself use daily!
Control your environment for distractions.
One really important fact for me to be able to be disciplined in doing what I need to do is to control the environment where I will work. Specifically my office. I have come to understand that the more I have my office in a state that inspires me to work without distractions the greater the chances to be disciplined at what needs to be done. It is not uncommon for me to get out of the house and change my environment, to one with lesser distractions, to work.
Also, the windows I keep open in my browser. If I make the mistake of keeping the window with Facebook open, or my emails, then all my efforts in trying to concentrate and write are severely impaired by them!
So take a look at your environment and try to change it into an environment that offer less distractions and helps you keep your focus.
I make it easier to be disciplined.
Discipline is hard for most people, and I am one of them. If I make it harder on myself to be disciplined the chances in my favor are always decreasing. So what does it mean to make it easier? Well, one example from my personal life is this: If I want to go for my morning run I must prepare my running clothes the night before. If I find them in the morning prepared I have now the habit of just putting them on and going out the door (we’ll talk about this habit later in the article). Another example is the windows that open automatically on my browser at the start up. I have set them up to the pages I use most of the day like Google Drive, AgileCRM, calendar and such, and not on a blank page that will prompt me to go on Facebook or something.
Habits are all about the beginning.
Most of the habits are successful if you focus on the first thing that needs to be done. What does that mean? About 80-90% of where or not I am going for a run in the morning depends on whether or not I wake up in the morning and put on my running clothes! The times that I skip my morning run is when I fail to get dressed early after waking up. Also, about 80-90% of whether I write for my new book or not depends on the window of my book document in Google Drive is open when I boot up my computer or not! If I see it open, I will write in it. The the habit is mostly the initial move. That’s why I have it open on log in, or prepare my running clothes from the night before.
I connect with people that have the qualities I want to have.
If you want to change your life and your your habits it would be a good idea to hang out with people that already have those habits and qualities. If you are hanging out with people that think that your choices are somewhat odd and do not really approve them, then chances are you are not going to stick by them! But if you belong in a group that do find these choices normal and in fact already support them, then you maximize your chances of following through. Personally I try to get in contact with people that are always a little further down the journey I want to go on!
I create instant rewards for my good habits.
Even though I have talked a lot about this in other articles (mostly in Greek though), let me explain a little. It is much easier for someone to create a bad habit than a good one. The reason is that bad habits, usually, have more instant gratification than good habits. Think about that taste on a slice of pizza for example. And now think about the cold outside the morning you decide to go for a run in relation to your warm cozy bed. Or think about how relaxed you feel when you interrupt your writing to see that Facebook notification (dopamine rush). On the other hand, good habits produce results that will be seen in the long run. Most of the times you cannot have any gratification when choosing to go for a good habit! For this reason you must create some rewards for your good habits. If I write 3 pages from my new book I get to see an episode from a TV show, for instance. If I go for a run 5 times this week I will get a nice massage in the weekend. And on and on… Small rewards for good habits that will make the process of changing a little more interesting and pleasant, increasing the odds for you!
Don’t give up if you fall of the wagon.
While writing these article I am starting running again after a week of due to a small injury. I could go and not stop the good habit, but to tell you the truth I became complacent for a week. It happens to everyone. Some time being disciplined is a long dream. The reasons are there, real or not, to stop doing what you said. But what makes all the difference is not giving up. Not saying “Well see…I can’t do it!” What we need to do is get back up and continue on our journey trying to hold on longer this time.
So these are the 6 ways to increase your discipline. If you have more or better ways, I would love to hear about them! Have a great day!
This is an article from my Greek Sales and Performance page www.bizman.gr