The Importance of Self-discipline
Self-discipline is hard work. People who get the job done, even when the job is unpleasant, have developed a mental toughness that comes from practice, patience, and the ability to see beyond the immediate task.
In Your Personal Life
Self-discipline involves doing what needs to be done rather than what you would like to do. Here are some guidelines.
1. Take responsibility for yourself. You are responsible for managing your own life. You alone have the power to fulfill those goals you have set for yourself. Take responsibility for meeting those goals by taking action.
2. Review your priorities. Even highly disciplined persons find it easy to get off track. If you don't know where you're going, it doesn't matter what route you take or when you get there. Periodic review of your priorities will keep you focused.
3. Start small. If many areas of your life seem chaotic or unmanageable, then start working on one area and ignore the others for now.
But the main key is to get started! Once you start, you'll develop momentum, and the task won't seem so hard.
4. Reward yourself. Discipline should not be drudgery. After tackling an especially difficult task, reward yourself. Even an anticipated brief break from an unpleasant chore can provide the proverbial carrot on the stick to press on.
Discipline on the Job
Here are guidelines for self-discipline to make your organization or business successful.
1. Set an example. Business owners and managers cannot expect their employees to practice self-discipline if they don't set an example. Moreover, disciplined employees inspire one another to be their best.
2. Focus on specific goals. The key to self-discipline is being able to defer your gratification from the present to the future. The best gratification comes when you realize your goals.
3. Identify time-wasters. Some examples of time-wasters include not organizing your telephone time (when you return calls, when you make calls), giving in to distractions (visitors, getting coffee, etc.), and attending poorly organized, unproductive meetings. Also, look for ways to reduce paperwork.
4. Work smart. Some strategies for working smart include:
- Planning ahead.
- Organizing projects into manageable segments.
- Scheduling demanding work at peak performance times
Exercising self-discipline is the key to achieving your personal and professional goals.
Success map in Self-Discipline
Sometimes discipline is easier if it is structured around a system. Try one of the following systems to achieve your goals and master improvements.
1. Purchase a notebook and incorporate the exercise sheets from this book; organize with tabs/dividers in the notebook. You will need a section for the following things:
- To-do lists (one for personal, one for professional).
- Ideas and goals.
- Wish list.
- Phone numbers/addresses.
2. Another option is a programmed time-management system, e.g., calendar, daily to-dos. Personalize this system, too, by adding your personal affirmation statements, goals, and visual reminders. This system will serve as a motivator to keep you on track, on time, and focused on success daily.
3. Computer software is now available to help with time man agement. If computer work is part of your daily routine, this might be an important aid to discipline. However, be careful. It is also easy to waste time on computers.