Are you having trouble staying focused on the job in front of you? Join the club! We all go through these patches, but here are some time-tested tips for building discipline:
We all struggle with the difficult work we’d rather avoid, and there’s one easy way to cut through that jungle: Discipline.
Do You Have the Discipline to Succeed?
Success is a mix of clear goals, seized opportunities, and then, most importantly, the commitment to capitalize on both. Without your determination to do the work, the work won’t get done.
Here in this video, Michael Polzler helps you get back on the road to long-term gains through short-term discipline:
1) Center the Small Stuff
Corporate culture tends to prize what managers call “the big picture” or “the vision,” the idea that leaders dream up creative solutions and leave the details to the worker bees. But even leaders have small, repeated tasks to manage, and no one should be above the actual mechanisms that run the business.
Take a moment to think about the stuff that happens every day at work – the emails, the billing and accounting, the online posts, even cleaning up around the office. These may not feel like big, consequential activities, but collectively, over time, they’re what makes the business a success and satisfies your customers.
2) Break Up Your To-Do List
Part of the commitment to daily discipline is knowing the difference between objectives and tactics, and this is because big objectives can’t be checked off the list in one sweeping move; you meet them by accomplishing a series of smaller tasks.
When setting your agenda for the day, try to avoid writing down things like, “Expand our social media reach.” Instead, break that down into bite-sized bullets like, “Follow 20 influencers,” “Share six posts,” and “Participate in two trending conversations.”
3) Practice Your Routine
We’ve already seen how repetition and discipline are almost one and the same – when you do something productive every day, it instills a sense of commitment to get that job done and recognize its value. Get into the habit by designing a routine you can eventually memorize.
Start with a short burst of daily tasks to finish before noon – things like clearing the inbox, responding to voice mail, and answering social media comments. Then plan out some small tasks for the afternoon that contribute towards two or three longer-term projects. After repeating this for a while you’ll fall into the discipline of finishing this essential work!
4. Be Open to Diversions, But Not Distractions
A wise person once said that no battle plan survives a battle, and no matter how well disciplined you are, your neatly ordered tasks for the day are likely to change as the hours tick by and surprises walk through your door.
It’s important to be open to these course diversions as they pop up – if you lift your head up from your work you’ll discover potential new clients, new ideas, and new ways of doing things. But don’t follow every interruption down the road and forget to come back; discipline is about staying on course, even when something pulls you away for a moment!