Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Discipline

Let's chat about discipline. Do you have it in your life? Do you want it? Because I'll be honest. I've been resisting it hardcore. (And I'll talk about resisting next week for sure because that's a super-good topic to take a deep dive into!) But I'm super glad I've buckled down and inserted some discipline into my life. No joke. I never thought I'd say that. Really.

Remember what I said last week?

Discipline is key.


I wasn't kidding around when I said that. It wasn't some catchphrase I decided to throw at the blog post. I meant it. Yeah, we can get stuff done even when we don't have a schedule or a clear plan. I was living that life for a long time once I moved away from editing quite a bit. When I started working on my own writing, I had a goal of how many words I wanted to write in a day. But I didn't have a deadline. Just the idea that it should get done before the end of the day. And I hit it most days.

But not until the very end of the day. Like right before bedtime, and even then I was sometimes struggling to type those last few words in bed while Husband was falling asleep.

Not good, y'all. Not good.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Because if you're in that boat right now, where your work is literally taking you all damn day to do it and you're exhausted from head to toe when it's done, then you need to listen up. I bet your work isn't actually taking you all damn day. I bet you're doing all kinds of things within your day and working when you can. If you're a work-at-home person like I am, or even if you're building a business outside of another job, you probably don't use your time all that wisely.

You know why? Because no one's keeping an eye on you. You aren't accountable to anyone but yourself. And we're pretty damn good at not working hard enough to hit our goals even though we think we really want those goals. How messed up is that? Our brains are strange like that.

Actually, our brains are wired to keep us out of trouble. They will do anything to make sure we don't fail. And this thing we're eager to work hard for is possibly setting us up for failure. Which means your brain, despite what your heart is screaming, says, "Hell to the no. You can't do that. Scroll on Facebook instead. Binge-watch the new season of New Girl instead. Message your friends and ignore your dream instead. Because we're not gonna possibly fail. No way, Jose."

That's why you need to buckle down and implement some discipline.



If you're like me, you may think that discipline sounds restricting. That was certainly my thought. If I scheduling things to be done at a certain time, then I'd have no room in my schedule for flexibility and spontaneity. If I forced myself to work, it wouldn't come out right and my writing would be garbage. If I stuck to a schedule, I'd get bored and quit.

No. Just no.

Little did I know that adding some discipline into my life would leave more time for everything else! I actually have a life now that I schedule work time. I don't feel guilty when I go for my morning walks now for sunshine and exercise. I don't convince myself to just do the laundry tomorrow because I have too much work to do. And I don't get bored with the work I'm doing. Not even close. I'm more inspired than ever when it comes to all the projects I'm working on and what I want to produce in the future.

Discipline has done me so much good.

I get even MORE done in a day now. I'm not slaving away at the computer for 14 hours a day. I'm not scrolling through Facebook, either, and that makes a huge difference. But scheduling work time (even if it's not specifically for certain tasks, just time blocked off for work) has made me buckle down and get work done in a timely, efficient manner. Then I can close the computer at the end of the day and not feel like I should still be working.

Okay, I still feel like I should still be working, but at least I can push that out of my mind because I got everything I needed to get done done. Sometimes I even have time to start the next day's tasks or those "maybe I'll get to it" things on my list. I'm accomplishing WAY more and doing a lot more for my businesses thanks to discipline. You can do this too!

There's no magic pill or secret sauce that'll get your work done. It's up to you.


You truly have to make the time for it. And you have to focus. Scheduling focused work time has made ALL the difference for me. And it's not just scheduling. It's following through. Follow-through is difficult when no one's holding you accountable (and maybe accountability will be a future blog post!), so make sure to use tools available to you to stay accountable.

If you have to block social media, you can use browser extensions and apps to keep you off those things. If you need to totally unplug your Wi-Fi to write, do it. And if you need peer support and accountability, I'd suggest a website called Focusmate to schedule your work time with other like-minded people who also want to get things done. That tool has been the single most effective thing in my work-at-home arsenal as of late. I schedule my sessions, get work done because someone else is counting on me, and then move on with my day. Between sessions, I do laundry, eat, get some sun, clean the bathrooms, and rest before another session. It's been really instrumental.

But you have to find what works for you.

I can tell you all day what works for me, and I hope you try some of these things. But you have to figure out what kind of discipline you need in your own life to achieve your dreams and reach your goals. Unfortunately, really wanting something to happen won't bring it to life. You have to work for it, and most of us just won't get that done with all the distractions life offers us. So take advantage of tools at your disposal to hone your discipline and create accountability. You got this!

Vibe high, friends.



PS - I release a new book yesterday. It's all about using positivity, kindness, and productivity to live your best life. I wrote it pre-Focusmate, so discipline isn't covered as extensively as it should be. But lots of other really useful things are. So I hope you'll check it out! It comes in paperback and ebook form. Let me know what you think. <3
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