These days, our lives are cluttered with many things to do: we must go to work, take care of our home, ensure our kids are healthy, sustain our connections with family and friends, and preserve our romantic relationship. On top of all that, it’s necessary to take care of our own health and personal growth.
How can we be expected to excel in life and accomplish our desired life goals?
Some experts recommend that having self-discipline is the key to our ability to get things done. When we keep working on things we want to finish, we’ll accomplish great things.
Try these strategies to increase your self-discipline today:
1. Get in the habit of making lists. Life is so crammed it’s impossible to rely solely on your memory to recall all the tasks you want to do. Accept the fact that, in order to be successful at getting things done, it’s necessary to rely on lists.
- Carry a spiral notebook with you. Call it your “Task List” or “Things to Do.” As soon as you think of tasks you want to complete, jot them down. Your task list notebook can be as simple or as complicated as you like.
- A simple, effective method is to enter today’s date on the page’s left side and then list tasks as you think of them. When you fill a page, start listing on the next page. When you’ve completed and crossed off all tasks on a page, remove that page and discard it.
- If you seem to have one nagging task on a page you’re saving, re-write the task onto your current page and put the original date in parentheses after the task. That way, you’ll know you carried that task forward. Either complete it now or cross it off as unimportant.
2. Do a short list of things you want to get done tomorrow. This evening before bed, jot down no more than 3 tasks you feel you must get done tomorrow. If you prefer, you can use this method without applying the notebook suggestion above.
- If you’re more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” person, completing the short list of things to do the night before might be the single best method for you to build your self-discipline.
3. Give yourself some props when you’re efficient at doing things. Let’s say you get your short list done by noon and go on to your To Do List and complete two more tasks.
- Allow yourself a moment to feel good about it. Say, “Wow, I’m really on fire today.”
- Why not stop for that favorite beverage to reinforce your efforts?
4. Get organized. The bane of existence for many of us is finding the tools we need to complete a task at hand quickly and efficiently. Know where your important tools are.
- For example, have a drawer in the kitchen where you keep extra notepads, pencils, pens, scissors, stapler, and paper-clips so if you need them, you can go directly to that drawer.
- There’s an old expression that goes something like this: “Have a place for everything and put everything in its place and you’ll always be able to find them.”
5. Use timers to complete larger looming projects a few minutes at a time. Avoid getting overwhelmed with larger projects that you’ve been procrastinating on. You can finish them a little bit at a time. Think about this example:
- You bought those plastic drawers to put under your bathroom sink to store your extra cosmetics, lotions, hair products, and grooming necessities, yet you just can’t find the time to finally get things into the drawers.
- Set a timer for 30 minutes and then sort things into the drawers until the timer sounds. Do this each day until you’re done with the project. Congratulations, you’re building your self-discipline bit by bit!
You’re about to become one of the most self-disciplined people you know. Apply these methods and you’re on your way to efficiency, organization, and a self-disciplined life! You’ll be amazed with the amount you’ll be able to accomplish each day.