What it means to be disciplined: setting and sticking to a plan of ACTION.
Being disciplined isn’t about being perfect; it’s about committing to – and actually doing – the things you say you’re going to do.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. ~ Jim Rohn
How do you do this?
Stick to your plan.
I’ve already shared my plan for productivity with you, which includes the steps you can take to put a plan in place.
Now that you have a plan for productivity, let’s create one for discipline.
A plan for discipline
In order to become more disciplined you must identify and remove distractions and excuses before they become distractions and excuses.
This starts with taking a step back, looking at your work environment, and acknowledging and admitting to some things that might be pretty tough for you to acknowledge and admit.
When you’re able to do this, sticking to your plan becomes much easier.
We also must come to terms with the fact that being an entrepreneur, creating the life we want to live, and accomplishing our biggest goals requires that we make a lot of sacrifices.
We have to learn to say no to things that might give us immediate satisfaction in order to achieve what we want to see in our future.
Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t. ~ Warren G. Tracy’s student
You can do this.
Step 1: Describe your work environment
Set a 10 minute timer and write out a description of your work environment.
When I say work environment, I mean whatever space you go to and use to work on your business.
Here are a few questions to help you get started:
- How does my work environment make me feel?
- What about my work environment would I like to change?
- What does my work environment “look like” when I’m most productive?
If you have multiple work environments (maybe you go to a co-working space or a coffee shop some days, but other days you’re at home or in an office), then write out a separate description for each.
Step 2: Identify and remove distractions and excuses
Set a 10 minute timer and write out all the things that have distracted you from making progress in your business in the past week.
Your list might include things like:
- House work;
- Wishing I were someplace else;
- My roommate / house guests / family / children;
- Too many tasks / feeling overwhelmed;
- Having multiple tabs open in my web browser at once;
- “Personal stuff”.
Once you’ve completed your list, admit to yourself out loud that every one of your distractions is an excuse you’re making to not stick to your plan of action.
Then, it’s time to find a way to remove these distractions so they don’t interfere with the plan of action you have in place.
If it’s a distraction you can easily remove by making sure it’s taken care of before you sit down to start your workday, then write it down as a part of your morning routine and make it happen.
This would include things like house work or having multiple tabs open in your browser.
If it’s a distraction you can’t simply “remove”, like your roommate, house guest, family or children, then it’s time to take an extra step back and gain control of your own situation.
This starts with setting boundaries with your roommate, house guests and family, and planning ahead with your children.
Let your roommate, house guests and family know the hours you’ll be working, and ask to not be disturbed during those times.
Think about ways you can maximize time with your children, and also have time for yourself when you can work on your business.
This might involve:
- Researching daycare options 1 day per week;
- Setting aside hours before your children are awake, during naps, or after they’ve gone to bed for your work; or
- Making arrangements with a family member to babysit for a few hours over the weekend.
Wishing you were someplace else, feeling overwhelmed, or being distracted by “personal stuff” is all within your control. Always remember that you choose how you respond to any given situation.
Wish you were someplace else? Then start being more disciplined so you can create the life you want to live and be in that place every day of your life!
Feeling overwhelmed? Then start being more disciplined and actually stick to your plan of action so you don’t have so much on your plate!
Distracted by personal stuff? Talk to someone about it.
Step 3: Practice saying no
I can promise you this: creating the life you want to live does not happen without sacrifice, and being able to say no to short-term pleasures is what will help you accomplish your biggest goals for the future.
Now that you’ve removed distractions and your work environment is primed for productivity, practice saying no to the things that will prevent you from accomplishing the things you’ve said you were going to do.
This is not easy, but it is necessary, and no – it does not make you a bad person to say no.
It might seem like a night out with friends or a weekend getaway is totally harmless, and that you’ll “make up for it” after. And yes, sometimes a night out with friends or a weekend getaway is totally harmless – and yes, you WILL make up for it after if you want to accomplish your goals.
But you have to pick and choose.
If you have a huge launch coming up, or you’ve been working to get your website live for weeks now and it’s still not ready, or if you’re working on your first sales funnel that is actually going to help you start generating revenue, then the answer to invites should 99% of the time be: no.
Recognize that every time you say yes to something outside of your business, that you’re saying no to accomplishing your business goals.
Step 4: Take action
Set a timer for 30 minutes and commit to being disciplined.
You have your plan laid out in front of you with the exact tasks you need to complete in order to accomplish the goal you’ve set for the day; you’re in a productive work environment; and you’ve removed all distractions; only thing left to do is get to work!
The Mastery Journal
If you’re ready to start setting and sticking to a plan of ACTION every single day, then head over to TheMasteryJournal.com for your own physical copy of The Mastery Journal.
The Mastery Journal is your daily guide to mastering productivity, discipline and focus in 100 days.