How Successful People Stay Disciplined
Whether it is people interrupting you, noises from your phone or the Internet, distractions abound.
Research published by the University of Chicago shows that the mere presence of your cell phone, even if you are not looking at it, reduces people’s ability to think clearly and optimally.
To stay on task and be productive, take matters in to your own hands. Do what you need to do to maintain control of your day. Here are five ways successful people instill discipline into their daily lives:
1. Keep a schedule.
Successful people have a sense of what they need to focus on and accomplish each day. If you find technology helps you, use a digital calendar. If you prefer pen and paper, use a hardcopy calendar. Write down your meetings and appointments and the projects you want to complete. Writing things down and marking them complete can help you feel more organized and disciplined.
Make some activities routine, such as doing expense reports in the morning and setting out your clothes in the evening for the next day. Reserve certain spaces and times for particular tasks, such as reserving your room for sleeping and not working, listening to podcasts on your commute to work or not looking at personal communications while at work. If, in order to complete a task, you need to remove yourself from others, select a quiet space.
Include exercise in your schedule. Successful people move their bodies. Evidence abounds for the health benefits of exercise. Carve out some time each day to move, whether that is going to the gym, getting outside or using a designated space in your home. Physical discipline can help you be more mentally disciplined.
3. Stop what you are doing even if you have not finished.
Successful people know when to stop. Work will always be there. Tell yourself that you can continue where you left off tomorrow. Unfinished business is better than doing bad work. Put your pencil down. Step away, and come back to your work later. Move on to the next thing, and stay on schedule.
4. Check in with yourself.
Successful people practice self-care. Self-care is a discipline, not an indulgence. Be intentional about it. Periodically stop what you are doing, and ask yourself how you are feeling. Do you need to stand up and move away from the computer? Do you need to hydrate? Do you need to go to sleep? No one knows your body better than you. Be present. Be mindful.
5. Stop striving for perfection.
Perfection is an ideal that is difficult to achieve, so you can constantly feel like you are failing. When you feel that you are failing, you can feel that you lack control and discipline in your life.
Successful people are not perfect. They do the best they can and are satisfied with that. Stop punishing yourself for not doing something, not doing enough or doing too much. It is counterproductive and unrealistic. Be content with doing the best you can, and move on. Let go of perfection, and feel more in control.
To feel disciplined, add some structures and boundaries in your life. Keep to a schedule that includes exercise, force yourself to move on to the next thing, practice self-care and avoid trying to be perfect. Take back control.
Source — Forbes and Avery Blank
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