Self discipline – A key learning from the lockdown

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If you are reading this, consider yourself exceptionally lucky. You have survived the Covid 19 , the lockdown but more importantly (except if you have been a frontline warrior) you have been fortunate to have been gifted a once in a life time opportunity, to have all the time in the world to do very many things that you did postpone in the past for lack of time. Look up your New Year resolutions that you outlined not too long ago. Go through your checklist of pending tasks and the ‘to do this year’ tasks. So, how much did you achieve during the lockdown? Do you regret that the lockdown opportunity was not grasped by you?

If you have very many regrets that you wasted your time and the opportunity to get a lot of things done you have only yourself to blame. More importantly you have to blame your poor self discipline for having wasted this opportunity of a life time. Well everything is not lost. From all indications, the lockdown may get extended for many and so it is time to become self disciplined and at least now make use of the time at our disposal more fruitfully.

Here are some tips to be self disciplined:

Have a good routine for every day – The first thing to keep in mind is that a lockdown is NOT a holiday. In fact it is a regular day for you and for quite a few who are not on work from home, the only issue is that there is no specific job to be done. That is precisely why you need to have a good routine so that you fill up the available time doing all the important jobs you kept pending. It is also a time to give yourself more time for pursuing your own pursuits that you kept in abeyance because you lacked the time. Do you have an hourly schedule drawn up at least for 8 -10 hours. You can add your normal commute time in addition as bonus time. Now you have a clear cut agenda for yourself. Inbuilt time to pursue your hobbies, to learn a new skill, experiment with something that you have craved for etc.

Visualize a motivation to follow the routineYou will find it hard to follow your routine unless you have some strong motivation that pulls you to do it. Obviously in most cases the real motivation will be intrinsic motivation since you do not get any major tangible outcomes for doing what you are passionate about. In fact, the trick to be motivated is searching for and identifying the intrinsic motivators for every task you commit yourself to. You will find that the quality of your work is always much better, the urge to do it well much stronger and the outcomes always positively stimulating. Alternatively it must be driven by a fear that you have ( which could be as simple as committing to your kids or your better half or significant one that you hope to do xyz next day). You can be sure they will follow up on your progress and fear of failing them would be a good way to be self disciplined.

Minimize distractionsThe most common cause of lack of self discipline is pleasurable distractions. For the tech savvy generation gadgets of all types, with the mobile phone being the chief culprit are the major source of distractions. Then there are other distractions like lure of indulging in any activity that gives instant gratification be it light reading or playing games or indulging in personal hobbies etc. The best way to overcome distractions is to make a serious effort to distance the source of distraction from you. You should ensure that your mobile phone or the sports gear or the light reading material is never anywhere close to you when you are following your routine. The more difficult it is to access it, the higher the chances of you being self disciplined. Incidentally, ensure your work environment is conducive to productive work. The work environment must be well lit, well ventilated, neat and tidy etc.

Experience the’ feel good’ from the progress made The progress made because of self motivation must not only be experienced by you but you must learn to cherish it. Every little progress is a step forward towards success. Value every small success because it motivates you to remain focused and self disciplined. Be aware also that initial progress can be slow, takes a lot of effort and the output barely noticeable. That is when yourself belief will keep you on course. Your self belief is what helps beings the journey and your progress and success is what helps fuel your self discipline.

Make no excusesNo matter what the situation, never make an excuse for not committing to your routine. Like marriage vows, in good times and in bad, in good health and in sickness, you are married to your commitment. No excuse can be tolerated. In the rare instance where you miss out on your commitment make up for it by working more at the first opportunity. Remember that self discipline means self sacrifice too. Your time is finite and you have to allocate it appropriately, often at the cost of more agreeable alternatives that you need to sacrifice.

Be self disciplined and achieve anything you set your mind to.

Try these:           

  1. You are to commit raising a certain amount as your contribution to a relief fund. You decide the amount but no amount can be contributed from your personal funds or by raising funds by disposing off your belongings. You have to raise the amount as donations from anybody without giving any commitment to them about you returning the favor or indicating that this is a task you have taken up as a challenge.
  2. What would be a real surprise for your best friend or spouse? There be a significant cost or effort  by you attached to the surprise Can you ensure you surprise them on any occasion before the year end?
  3. What is the one thing new you gained because of the time you got all for yourself during this lockdown. It should not be materialistic but it could be in terms of new knowledge, skills, relationships, insights, self discovery etc.

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Bobby Jacob

Bobby Jacob

‘ He hopes to have a positive influence on his readers through his blog posts’

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Maddali Laxmi Swetha

    Excellent Article

    1. Bobby Jacob

      Thank you for your appreciative feedback. I hope you have subscribed to the blog so that the new updates can be got by you in your email inbox. Jacob

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