Self Discipline and Success

by Crystal on November 26, 2008

the music of self discipline

Image by suttonhoo via Flickr

Ever had a day when you woke up, but instead of getting ready for work as usual, started thinking about how you could get out of going?  A day when you just (really) didn’t want to go?

Did you give in to it, or did you sigh, haul yourself up and start preparing?

I had one of those days this morning.  Don’t get me wrong; I love my job, work with a great team and am good at what I do, but somehow today I wanted to steal the day back for myself.   I was thinking jealously of those internet gurus that get to take days off whenever they feel like it – a long held ambition of mine.  But the thought niggled that if I ever wanted to work for myself, I’d want to be sure I had the discipline to make myself get to work when it was needed, no matter how I felt.

The ultimate irony.  If I want to get to that point of taking time off whenever, I need the discipline here and now to force myself to work regardless…

So, the mind tricks I used on myself to get ready:

  • Remember the ultimate goal – is my decision moving me towards, or away from it (see Simpleology)
  • Turn the brain off by doing an automatic routine (my ABCDE method of getting up early)
  • Focus ONLY on the one step in front of me – ie instead of ‘getting ready for work’, I was just getting dressed / making breakfast / whatever step was next.
  • Shortened the deadlines – I could have left slightly later if I’d walked 20m to the station, instead I worked on catching the bus to the next interchange, leaving less time to get ready & speeding me up
  • Promised myself something I’d allow myself once I got in to work (there’s a fantastic fruit slice at the bread shop down the road from the office, I grabbed a few to share for morning tea)
  • Slotted the things I would have enjoyed doing at home, for a time after I got home.  That way there could be no feeling of missing out.  I had a nice relaxing read after work. It was only 10 hrs later.
  • Instead of eating breakfast, I packed it and brought it with me for on the train – so by the time I sat down to eat it I wouldn’t be in a position to decide to stay at home.

Have you got a tip for making yourself do something you really don’t feel like doing?  Share it in the comments below…

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rohan Shinde June 30, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Good Article.


JaneRadriges June 13, 2009 at 7:03 pm

Great post! I’ll subscribe right now wth my feedreader software!


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