Does your day start with a host of good intentions? Do you plan to accomplish everything on your list, yet find yourself getting distracted more and more as the day goes on? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, I could say welcome to my world!
Self-discipline and focus are qualities we all want to have, but seem to be increasingly elusive in our fast-paced, gotta have it now, world. When you spend a large part of your day on social media sites, it can feel like both of those qualities have gone on permanent vacation.
Fortunately there are actions you can take in order to improve your sense of self-discipline. Here are a few examples for you:
1. Write down what you plan to accomplish.
Whether it’s long- or short-term goals, plans, or just the day’s to-do list, writing it down will help you get it clear in your mind and have a visual reminder. It’s a lot harder to get distracted when the list is sitting right in front of you.
2. Set time limits on your social media platforms.
The best advice I ever got from my more experienced social media colleagues was to set a timer. After a week of working without one, and getting nothing else done I found out why!
Social media tasks will always take longer than you plan if you let them. You’ll start a conversation, or get involved in a tweet chat or a fan page party, and before you know it your whole day is gone. Even with specialized groups just for social media interactions and networking, the day can get away from you if you let it.
Now I set it for 15 minute sprints. One per group or platform. And a max of four in a row before I have to go and do something else. I’d still sit here and play all day long, but that doesn’t get products created or blog posts written.
3. Get help when you need it.
If you have a support group, or even one person you can go to when you need help staying on track it makes the job much easier.
I would go so far as to say, if you don’t have an accountability partner, get one! I had one for a long time, but the life and other commitments got in the way for both of us and I am really missing that early morning interaction.
I would email her my goals in the morning, every morning, and if I didn’t get them done or if she noticed me going off in another direction during the day, she wouldn’t hesitate to give me a virtual butt-kicking to get back on track. And I’m not too proud to say I need that because I have a very short attention span.
After years of working in isolation in front of my computer, I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to my own self-discipline to know that help is just a skype or an e-mail away if I feel myself floundering. It’s also a real boost when I achieve a goal, to have someone there to share the success!
Just because you have a strong sense of self-discipline doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.
4. Most importantly, have enough faith in yourself to know you can do what you set out to do.
You do know you can do whatever you put your mind to, right? If you have any self-doubt on that score, think back to when you were a kid and were determined to have the latest and greatest. You knew without a doubt that you could do it, and nothing was going to stop you.
Tap into that sense of self-belief again and you will find yourself achieving your goals in no time!
There is no secret science to self-discipline. It really is nothing more than a combination of the ability to stay focused, the strength say no when you have to, and the determination to take action and to say yes to doing what needs to be done. We often make it harder than it has to be, but by putting these strategies to work for you, you will find that staying disciplined comes much easier, you won’t get lost in the never-ending maze of social media sites, and those good intentions you start the day with become your reality.
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