Develope self-discipline

Self-discipline is very important in succeeding at work. It enables you to gain satisfaction and hopefully win justified praise and possibly promotion. Apart from progressing in your work, becoming more self-disciplined can also enhance your personal and domestic life. In essence, self-discipline is an important attribute which can advance many aspects of your life. At work, self-discipline means that you get going quickly, work effectively and finish reliably.
Becoming more self-disciplined is a goal sought by most workers. However, it is frequent and elusive quality. Why? Chiefly because it means the worker may have to learn some new and potential difficult behaviors, like beating procrastination. Becoming more self-disciplined might also involve learning how to be less of a perfectionist or learning how to overcome a stronger fear of failure. These are all lessons requiring hard work.

Becoming more self-disciplined
Get settled at your workspace!

Getting down to work can be a surprisingly difficult task, especially if the job to be done threatens you in some way. Perhaps the job will tax your limits or pose a new and difficult problem which must be solved? In response to these work threats, most of us have sought relief in tasks like sharpening the next half-dozen pencils.
When there is a job to be done, get your materials together and attack the task straight away. Be very aware of devious internal voices suggesting enticing work alternatives. Be firm-get to the task!
Once you are ready for work, stay put. If your mind keeps thinking of other important matters, write the items on a list and deal with them later. The important points are to get to your workspace, get settled and then get started.

Define the task

Having established yourself at your workspace, the next step is to define specifically what is to be done in that work period. Do not approach your work with the aim, I’ll now do a bit of work. Using a goal such as this is far too general and leaves you potentially open to distraction. For example, if you receive a call from a colleague inviting you to go elsewhere for a discussion, you could possibly say to yourself, ‘Yes. I’ve done a bit of work, so I’ll go up and see him’. It is far better to be task and time specific, That is, write your specific goal onto paper and estimate the time needed to finish that task.
Another advantage of writing down a work contract with yourself is that you can feel justifiably satisfied when you have completed the task. For example, imagine the frustration of running in a race but not knowing where the finish line is. Being uncertain about completing the race robs you of that positive feeling of accomplishment as you cross the finish line. The same rewarding feeling is perfectly appropriate to your work setting. Specify the end point of your tasks for each work period so that you can feel justifiably satisfied at job completion.

Divide large jobs into manageable tasks

Imagine yourself as a worker looking skyward at a mountainous pile of work which must be accomplished. Standing in the shadow of such a mountain can be frightening, perhaps even paralyzing. You might be thinking, My God. How will I ever get this mountain moved?
Assuming that your boss expects you to conquer this mountainous job and the request is reasonable, then the task should be achievable. So it’s just a matter of organizing your approach. Where should I start? Is the usual question of workers contemplating a large and perhaps complicated job. Think about the job and try to see it from a different perspective. Just as most mountains are composed of smaller units, usually rocks and boulders, see if you can divide your jobs into more manageable tasks and then get to work on the first part.
By starting with small and manageable tasks such as writing a paragraph, you have the distinct advantage of feeling early in the job that you are making progress. The progress might be small and apparently insignificant at first, but the important point is that you have started and are moving ahead. You have overcome the first obstacle-getting started. Your early momentum should be a considerable advantage as you take on succeeding challenges. The important point is to keep the momentum going!

Establish realistic deadlines

This step is essential self-explanatory as most people try to use deadlines to prompt improved work performance. However, many workers have established job deadlines which have been patently unrealistic. Expecting yourself to do ten hours work in four or five hours is just setting yourself up to fail. And, to fail time after time is discouraging. It’s better to set no deadline than to court inevitable failure.
Depending upon the type of work you do, you may want to establish your deadlines by the hour, by the day, or by the week. If you use longer time periods than one week, you may lose some of the motivating qualities of feeling that progress is being made. As suggested above, look at your work and break the task down into parts. Then set a realistic time limit for completion of the various parts. Once you have established a reliable deadline system, you should be able to reap a bountiful harvest of self-satisfaction from accomplished work.

Set rewards for work accomplished

Developing greater powers of self-discipline can be hard work, requiring at times some psychological pain in order to reverse old and comfortable habits of delay and avoidance. Taking on an intimidating job or trying your hand at a new skill can be threatening, so you will want all of the encouragement you can muster.
The encouragement can be various rewards which you set for yourself. What sort of rewards should you else? Think about the things which give you a lot of pleasure. Make a list of them for variety’s sake. Seeing a movie, talking a walk, eating an apple or contacting an old friend are some reward suggestions. Ensure that the rewards are appealing and worthy of the effort. They should also be scheduled frequently, say every two hours or so to maximize your work effort.
In summary, developing more self-discipline will require hard work and perseverance, but the end result will be very worthwhile. You will need to be rigorous with yourself. Establish an effective routine of getting settled, defining the tasks to be done, breaking the big jobs down into manageable tasks and using enticing rewards to prompt ongoing action.

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