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How Best To Instill Self-Discipline?

Jatelo2

New member
I work from home, as a freelance writer to be precise. The thing is, I have serious problems managing time and ignoring distractions . This has had a negative impact on my productivity. For instance, I would wake to finish some work in 2 hours or less, only to end up taking 4 hours. How? Inability to ignore distractions...I'd pick calls talk for minutes, switch on the news, answer to the door and even be tempted to watch a movie episode in between.

Despite telling myself 'I'll do better tomorrow', I'm stuck and always end up not meeting my goals. It is becoming nearly impossible for me to meet my daily targets, just because I can't resist the distractions.

So, do you work from home? Have you faced similar challenges? How have you managed to instill self-discipline and meet your targets?

Thanks in advance for helping out.
 

mcad4

New member
I, too, face this problem often, especially if I have to accomplish computer-related tasks (responding to emails, writing newsletters, doing research, etc.). For me, what helps me the most is creating an environment in which there are minimal distractions. Part of that is being honest with myself in knowing what distracts me (e.g., my phone, a noisy environment).

When I need to get work accomplished, I force myself to leave the house because I know I'll feel too comfortable and procrastinate. Additionally, I try to limit my cell phone use. Perhaps I'll reward myself with 10 minutes of break time if I'm able to work solidly for an hour; in fact, often I'm able to get into such a working groove that I won't want to pause.

I would suggest that you take time to assess what distractions you fall into and then consider how you could modify your environment to curb those distractions, at least until you finish your work! Sometimes even dressing more professionally helps me mentally get into a working mindset!
 

Sflom

New member
First, I would suggest establishing a work space away from distractions. Make sure you have an organized work desk in a room away from the TV. Plug your phone in another room.
Next, write a list of what you want/need to accomplish.
Then, set milestones for yourself based on the list. After each milestone is reached, you can reward yourself with a timed 15 minute break. On those breaks, you can check your phone, flip on the news, something that isn't a big time commitment.
 

Trey.ru.iii

New member
I would just like to echo what prior posts have been saying; The less distractions, the easier it is to focus. That statement prevails for any circumstance, and it is quite an easy concepts to understand. However there are only so many distractions we can eliminate from our workspace. To begin, set your phone to Do Not Disturb and throw it under a pillow or something (out of sight, out of mind*) and be sure to work in a quiet, somewhat isolated location to avoid variable distractions every 15 minutes.

But when it comes to the urges to watch a quick YouTube video, or take a 20 minute nap, or browse social media, or some other exterior task that does not take you closer to your task, a level of discipline is required. In my mind, discipline comes down to the ability to say no. The more you practice just saying "no" to tempting but unproductive alternatives to work, the easier it will become to do so. Discipline is like any other skill, if you commit it to habit, it will come naturally. And I understand it is much harder than it sounds to say 'no' to what your bad conscience wants and instead accept what your good conscience suggests. But the more you can listen to that right shoulder, the more focused work you will be able to complete.

One more note; Set realistic goals to complete. You mentioned that you would promise yourself to work 2 hours to complete a task, but the longer the period of time, the harder it will be to focus and therefore the less efficient that time will be. I suggest incorporating breaks every 45-60 minutes, so it 1.) doesn't feel like you are cheating yourself by not staying on task and 2.) you can really give short, hyper-focused chunks of work towards your task, which science has proven to be more effective.
 

Bryan411

New member
It is best to keep a list of things to do during the day. That way you can keep checking off items on list and keep productivity at the forefront. Always keep busy and you will increase your self-discipline exponentially.
 

EliGray

New member
I work from home, as a freelance writer to be precise. The thing is, I have serious problems managing time and ignoring distractions . This has had a negative impact on my productivity. For instance, I would wake to finish some work in 2 hours or less, only to end up taking 4 hours. How? Inability to ignore distractions...I'd pick calls talk for minutes, switch on the news, answer to the door and even be tempted to watch a movie episode in between.

Despite telling myself 'I'll do better tomorrow', I'm stuck and always end up not meeting my goals. It is becoming nearly impossible for me to meet my daily targets, just because I can't resist the distractions.

So, do you work from home? Have you faced similar challenges? How have you managed to instill self-discipline and meet your targets?

Thanks in advance for helping out.

Hey there, my best piece of advice for you would be to make some set, achievable goals for yourself, then make plans for your future involving those goals. So whether it's just how much money you'd like to bring home, or if you'd like to step your freelancing skills up to bigger, higher caliber projects, make achievable goals for yourself and give yourself a set time limit, dream about what you could do if you achieve said goal, then try to keep yourself motivated by reminding yourself about your goal constantly. This should instill some determination in you to get a certain task done a certain way. Also, try having a "Power Hour". A Power Hour is a one hour period where all you do is a pre-decided set task, and nothing else. After that hour you can multitask and have a few distractions, but that one hour is pure focus. that should help you really power through some work. I hope this helps!
 

Rae1234

New member
As Bryan411 mentioned, list making is a great tool for setting goals. The act of making a check mark behind each item on the list is a reward system that feels good and builds momentum.

As far as not giving into distractions, I would set easy goals of going 10-15 minutes without giving into one. Just like weight lifting or running. Start out with a reasonable, reachable goal to improve where you are right now and build over time. I think we set ourselves up for failure when we expect to go from struggling to mastery overnight. Just a do a bit better this week than last week.
 

Akita

New member
College is where I experienced this issue the most. As a solution, I just incentivized myself. Every time I completed a task, I'd play a relaxing video game or something similar as a reward. Definitely made getting through arduous tasks a bit more fun.
 

EliGray

New member
Hey there, a question that I hear a lot is: "how do I discipline myself? I have issues with distractions and staying motivated enough to achieve my goals. What should I do?" This is a common one, but it actually has a simple answer. Many people bear the mentality that someone will account for them, and that they don't need to try for their goals super hard, because it either is too difficult or too much work, or they believe that they can do it later. But the simple truth is that those things couldn't be less true. You can't expect to get a quality thing from something you only half tried on. There are many ways of phrasing this:
  • "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today" -Malcolm X
  • "You shall reap what you sow" -The Old Testament
  • "By failing to prepare, you prepare to fail" -Benjamin Franklin.
The moral of the story is tomorrow waits for no one, you have to be ready for it today. And that my friends, is how I keep myself motivated and on track. Do you have any tips for staying motivated and disciplined yourself? I'd love to hear them!
 

JTiara23

New member
I work from home, as a freelance writer to be precise. The thing is, I have serious problems managing time and ignoring distractions . This has had a negative impact on my productivity. For instance, I would wake to finish some work in 2 hours or less, only to end up taking 4 hours. How? Inability to ignore distractions...I'd pick calls talk for minutes, switch on the news, answer to the door and even be tempted to watch a movie episode in between.

Despite telling myself 'I'll do better tomorrow', I'm stuck and always end up not meeting my goals. It is becoming nearly impossible for me to meet my daily targets, just because I can't resist the distractions.

So, do you work from home? Have you faced similar challenges? How have you managed to instill self-discipline and meet your targets?

Thanks in advance for helping out.
 

JTiara23

New member
The best thing I would say do is tune everything out. You have to focus on the task at hand, so that you complete your goal. When I tune things out, I am so engrossed in what I am doing that you have to physically grab me or shake me to get me out of this trance. I have five children and a puppy, so believe me when I say, this definitely took some time. Once you realize that you have a task that needs to be done, you will finish it. I also advise to be in a room with no tv, no phone, anything that can be a distraction, you have to stay away from for the time being.
 

CBNerd12

New member
I think that everyone offering advice in this thread are right on the money. Willpower is one of those things that is often referred to as a muscle: the more you flex it, the stronger it becomes. While I think that might be true to a certain extent, not all of us have the capacity to be paragons of virtue (we all weren't cut out to be Green Lanterns!) constantly flexing our willpower to focus or resist temptation/distraction. Instead, the most useful piece of advice I could offer you is to remove yourself from an environment in which doing anything other than your intended goal becomes incredibly difficult. There are some studies on this that seem to reinforce this thought. For example, if someone is trying to lose weight, it is much easier to adhere to your diet when you don't have any cookies in the house, as opposed to someone that has to walk past a box of cookies any number of times a day and consciously decide not to have some. This is what I might refer to the other side of willpower: the easiest choice to make is the one you don't have to.
 

howremarkable

New member
I totally relate to this. Although I don't work from home, I have difficulty fulfilling my responsibilities at home. I'll sit down to listen to some music, and suddenly

"I'll do that chore after this song... Or the next one... Or the one after that..."

And nothing ever gets done. I fall asleep, and then have to go to work first thing in the morning.

But I like a lot of the ideas in this thread. I believe list-writing in particular would help me a lot — simple tasks seem less arduous when I can see them all on paper.

Just gotta find the motivation to write it all down... Lol
 

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