To continue using the metaphor of the internet as a reviler of our modus operandi; let us now imagine that you have decided to blog about on a regular basis.
Soon you discover that it requires a fair amount of work, key word research, selecting the themes, the editorial line, the style, the message. It requires reading other similar blogs, selecting your point of view, your particular angle of treating the issue. You need to build a data base with the subject matter that you cover. You need to read the comments on your post and answer them.
You realize that if you want to be able to do it on a regular basis it will require you to get organized and disciplined and establish some processes and routines. These processes will be optimized and automated as you gain in proficiency.
When you want to engage in any kind of change, you need to start with the environment and start replacing old habits with new ones.
If you do not put the new disciplines in place and create a helping environment chances are you will remain under the inertia of established habits and change will not be enacted.
If you are a person who like writing at night or early in the morning, you need to build an environment that will help you sit down every night or every morning and do your 500 words article or post. A helping environment is one that will facilitate the process of writing for you, it will protect you from distractions, it will put everything you need for writing at your finger tip or at arm’s length.
When you are building a facilitating environment you are removing the obstacles to perform the task you want to engage in and you are erecting a fence or making it difficult to diverge to other things.
3- Time management, energy management and peace of mind
Tightly linked to disciplines, habits and routines are your time profile and the way you manage your energy and keep your mind clear.
Your relationship to time (past, present and future) is ingrained whilst you can modify your time profile through training. People who are low on the “future orientation” will have problem planning things ahead and delaying immediate gratification. So if you want to get more disciplined a time management software won’t help, being accountable to yourself via will power will not cut it either, what you need is to improve your future orientation. For a person rooted in the present a to do list is an abstraction, his reality is what’s happening now. So by improving his future orientation he is enabling himself to consider a to do thing as something as real as a phone call he is answering or attending to a task required by someone standing in front of him.
How can you improve your future orientation you might ask?
Well you have to go step by step.
First you will be setting simple goals that you are sure you can achieve within a time frame of 8 hours. Do it for a week or as long as you are able to meet 100% of the goals regularly.
Do the same but now set goals for actions you will accomplish tomorrow.
Do the same for goals you need to accomplish within a week (break goals into daily actions or tasks)
Do the same for actions you need to accomplish within a month (again break these goals into daily tasks).
Make these goals visible and set reminders several times per day till the task is accomplished.
Take the time to celebrate and appreciate the benefits of accomplishing the tasks (for yourself and others).
While you are doing this exercise you need to practice another exercise of practicing delaying immediate gratification and yielding to temptation. Put a box of your favorite sweets in front of you and decide that you will pick one and eat it in an hour.
Your use of time is not the only driver of productivity. A major driver of productivity is how you manage your energy. To manage your energy you need to be clear about what are the activities, situations and people who nurture you and those who drain you. Your relationship to the task is the biggest determined of how well and how fast you are able to execute it.
The last factor affecting your discipline and productivity is peace of mind. If you are not able to clarify your mind you will not be able to focus or attend, or marshal your strength even if you had all the time in the world. Conditioning yourself into the right emotional tone and giving yourself the time to acknowledge what’s preoccupying you is an essential practice.