Some people seem to be born with amazing self discipline, while others have a harder time keeping themselves on track. If you find yourself in the latter category, don’t worry. Discipline can be taught.
Stuff That Helped Me Become More Disciplined
Below are some tips that helped me become more disciplined in life.
1.) Identify What is Keeping You From Staying Disciplined?
To solve a problem it is crucial to first identify the cause.
Pick up a notepad and write down all the things that you think are keeping you from being disciplined.
Here are some of the things that I found and there is a high possibility that some of these things are in your list too.
- Lack of clarity as to what to do.
- Being unorganized.
- Too many tasks to do, not sure what to focus on.
- Uninspiring work environment.
- Getting up late.
- Feeling lazy and tired.
- Watching late night tv.
- Watching youtube.
- Lack of motivation.
- Feeling sleepy after breakfast or afternoon meal.
- Not able to focus.
- Running errands at odd times.
- Distracting phone calls.
Once you have identified the cause, ponder over each one of them and try to figure out how you can keep them from distracting you. In most cases the solutions are pretty simple and the only thing required is will power.
2.) Get Yourself a White Board
The white board changed my life and I am not kidding.
Making to-do lists on paper/notebook can be counter productive at times. You might lose the paper, you might have difficulty striking things off the list or replacing old items with new ones, so on and so forth.
A white board on the other hand is super convenient. You can write and erase things off the list easily. keep the board near your work desk and the board is always there for a quick reference.
If you want to keep track of things, you can always couple the white board with a notebook.
So if you don’t have a white board, get one and hang it at your work place and you are sure to reap the benefits.
2.) Meditate to Fine Tune Your Mind
If you find it difficult to focus then there is no other practice that can help you as immensely as meditation.
Meditation helps you build better control over you mind. The more control you have over your mind, the more you will be able to keep it from being distracted.
Ever seen a race horse with blinkers? These horses are made to wear blinkers to force them to focus on the target and block out all the distractions. This is exactly what will happen to your mind after a month or two of meditation. Your mind will no longer be susceptible to distractions and you will be able to better focus on the job at hand.
I say this because I have seen this work in my life. I found it difficult to focus on one task for more than a few minutes. After that I got bored and had to check mails, watch youtube videos or something else before I could get back to my job. But after meditating for around a few months I could see noticeable difference in my ability to focus.
Meditation can also help you identify and clear mental blocks, attract better ideas and increase your brain power.
The meditation I find most useful is ‘focus meditation’. Simply focus your attention on your breath or a mantra like OM. Keep focused for as long as you can. Even if your mind drifts back into thoughts, bring your attention back to the breath/sound. Do this for around 15 to 20 minutes every day to sharpen your mind.
3.) Move Your Body
Just like meditation is exercise for the mind, your also need to do some physical exercise to help the body shed that lethargic energy.
Research proves that moderate exercise releases feel good hormones in the body that makes us feel fresh and energetic.
Some simple exercises like stretching your body, skipping and jogging should do the trick. Go a step further and include some deep breathing exercises in your daily routine.
Make sure to exercise at-least for 30 minutes on a daily basis to start reaping the benefits.
4.) Get Your Sleep in Order
If you have a disciplined sleep schedule, you will automatically have a disciplined life.
Everything starts with how well you slept and how fresh you are when you wake up.
A deep, restful sleep can do wonders to your energy levels. You will wake up with mental clarity and will be able to get things done quickly without feeling bored or lethargic.
You need not necessarily wake up early, but you need to wake up fresh.
If you have clarity of mind and a healthy body, you can complete a task that would usually take an hour within 10 to 15 minutes.
Here are a few articles that will get your sleep in order:
- 7 Ways to Overcome Daytime Sleepiness
- 5 Simple Secrets to Wake Up Early (And Be Relaxed and Energetic)
5.) Eat Foods that Enhance Productivity
Junk, salty, fried and processed foods dull you down.
These foods increase your stress levels and make you feel mentally and physically fatigued. How can you stay disciplined if you lack clarity and feel fatigued all the time?
A simple way to eliminate this issue is to make a list of all the bad foods that you generally consume and replace them with healthy foods.
- Water rich foods like watermelons, berries, celery, cucumbers etc.
- Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids like walnuts, salmon, avocados etc.
- Foods rich in anti-oxidants blueberries, oranges, plums, dates, artichoke, dark chocolate etc.
- Foods rich in Vitamin B and C like oranges, lemons, grapefruit etc.
- Foods rich in minerals like oatmeal, brown rice, fish, lean meats etc.
6.) Stay organized
Staying organized is half the battle won when it comes to staying disciplined.
Organize the files in your computer into neat identifiable folders and do the same for files/items on your work desk.
Keep your work space neat and clutter free. Use inspirational signs. Allow natural air and the sun light to come in.
My biggest inspiration when it comes to having a organized work space is Casey Neistat – the youtuber. Take a look at the video below to know what I am talking about.
In the words of Casey,
Every minute that I spend looking for stuff, is a minute I am not doing something productive. So why not build an infrastructure that supports that rather than the one that encourages the chaos.
7.) Take Mini Deep Breathing Breaks
If you are feeling a sense of frustration with the job on hand, take a mini ‘deep breathing’ break. Breath in deeply and exhale out slowly. Do this for around five to six breaths while focusing all your attention on the breathing. This gives your mind enough relaxation time and you will be able to continue your job without having to take a break.
As with everything else in life, you get better with practice.
Keep working at becoming more disciplined, even when it feels like it is not making any difference. You can start working on incorporating just one of the above techniques or all of them at once. Eventually you’ll realize your self discipline is getting better and better until you eventually won’t need to think about it at all.