Nowadays our days are filled with too many things to do in 24 hours: we have to go to work, take the kids to school, clean up our home, make sure everyone is fed and dressed, healthy and have everything they need, we have to keep up with the family and friends, and still find some time (and energy) to maintain our romantic relationship.
That’s not all – we still need to look after ourselves and take care of our own needs, health and especially our personal growth.
With all this going on, how can anyone expect of us to still excel in life and achieve our anticipated life goals?
Having self-discipline is the key to our ability to get things done.
This simply means if we keep working on the things we need and want to finish, all of us will accomplish great things.
Here are some easy strategies to implement and start increasing your self-discipline today:
- Lists: Get used to making lists. Our days are so crammed that it is impossible to remember everything and exclusively rely on your memory to recall everything you need, have or want to do. Just like using a calculator to make sure you have the correct answer or using a birthday calendar to remember those important dates, accept the fact that to be successful at getting done what needs to be done, it is necessary to fall back on lists.
- You don’t need to fork out a fortune for a fancy tablet – take a notebook with you. Give it a name – your “Task List” or “Things to Do”. The moment something pops into your mind, write it down. This notebook can be as straight forward or as complex as you like.
- Start by entering today’s date on the first page in the extreme left side column and then list things as you think of or remember them. As opposed to a one-page-a-day diary, flip to the next page if you run out of space. Once you’re done and have crossed off everything on that page, remove it and carry on.
- If you end up with one nagging task (like making that dreaded appointment at the dentist) on the page you are saving, carry the task over to your current page. To remind you of how “old” that task is, put the original date in brackets after the task. That will remind you that you carried that task forward. Then, complete it or cross it off as unimportant.
- To-do: Make a short list of everything you need to do tomorrow. Just before packing it in for the night, write down NO MORE THAN 3 tasks you feel must be done tomorrow. Remember, this is not a journal or a list of dreams and goals – it is a to-do list. If it works for you, you can use this method without applying the notebook suggestion above.
- If you are more of an impulsive person, writing down the short version of your to-do list the night before, might end up the single best method for you to work at and build up your self-discipline.
- Award: Award yourself for getting things done. If for instance your short list is done and dusted by noon as opposed to the end of the day, or anything even carried forward to the next day, and you go back and complete two more tasks:
- 1. Allow yourself a moment to feel good about it. Go stand in front of a mirror and say: “Wow, I’m really on fire today.”
- 2. Award yourself with say that favorite beverage or even a snack (think chocolate) to reinforce your efforts?
- Organize: Get yourself properly organized. The challenge of existence for many of us is simply finding everything we need to do what needs to be done quickly and efficiently. Make sure you know where your important tools are.
- Example: Keep a drawer in say the kitchen or the study where you keep additional stationery: not just pen and paper, but also extra notepads, sharpened pencils, pens that actually work, sharp scissors, a stapler with a full magazine, and even a box of paper-clips or whatever else you might need so that if and when you need them, they are close by.
- The same goes for your papers and other tools: If you have a place for everything and return everything to its place, you will always find them.”
- Time: Use a timer to complete daunting tasks by working on them a few minutes at a time. Don’t be overwhelmed by larger projects that are so daunting that you have procrastinated on. Tackle them a little bit at a time:
- Example: You bought some new plastic drawer kit to install under your bathroom sink for your personal bathroom products and grooming necessities, yet you just don’t have the time to eventually get down and sort things out into the new drawers.
- Solution: Set a timer for say 20 or 30 minutes and tackle the job until the alarm goes off. Even if it is only 20 minutes a day, by doing this every day, before you know it the job will be done! Congratulations, you’re building your self-discipline bit by bit!
Believe it or not, but by using these simple rules you are about to become one of the most self-disciplined people you know, provided you stick to it.
Apply these methods every day and you will be on your way to super efficiency before you know it.
You will be organized and enjoy a fabulous self-disciplined life!
You will be astounded with the volume of work you will be able to achieve each day.