Thursday, April 3, 2014

Organisation & Productivity

'We are at a critical point in human history where those that lack any active self-discipline will be eaten alive by the deluge of distraction that grows with each day.' (source)
This might be a bit of a preachy, 'self-help' post but these are qualities which are integral to succeeding and building a skill to any sort of professional level. Working as a freelancer requires being your own boss, and that requires a great deal of self-discipline and organisation. (I think it's important to delineate between the two - a person can be organised but still not get anything done, and a person can be self-disciplined but extremely disorganised. Unfortunately I struggle with both.)

Willpower definitions:
The ability to control or reject unnecessary or harmful impulses.
The ability to arrive at a decision and follow it with perseverance, until its successful accomplishment.
It is the inner strength that enables you to refuse to indulge in unnecessary and useless habits.
It is inner power that enables you to overcome inner and external resistance and obstacles.
It is the antidote to laziness and procrastination.

Self discipline definitions:
It is the companion of willpower. It gives you with the stamina to persevere with whatever you do.
It is the strength to withstand physical, emotional and mental hardships and difficulties.
It stands for perseverance and tenacity.
It is the ability to reject immediate satisfaction, pleasure or comfort, in order to gain something better, even if it requires effort and time to gain.

If you lack these, you can find yourself in the same, self-destructive ruts, such as :

1.) You feel overwhelmed
2.) You procrastinate
3.) Work piles up
4.) Go back to 1.

or

1.) You feel uninspired and demotivated
2.) You don't manage to achieve work to a standard you are happy with
3.) You feel unhappy with your work and want to get away from it
4.) Go back to 1.

Neither are at all good mindsets to be in, but it can seem very difficult to escape them.

There's lots of self-help gurus on the web right now who make a living writing about all these amazing ways to 'change your life' and your habits. I spend a lot of time reading up on them, but in the end it's a matter of consistency and putting into practice everything I read.

Here are some links to a few to keep in mind in the future. Each guru usually has their own 'style' and approach to the topic - some are more intense and unforgiving, others more sympathetic and relateable. All include great points to consider.

5 Simple Ways To Get More Self-Disciplined:

11 Proven Ways to Increase Your Willpower and Self-Discipline

7 Simple Acts of Daily Self-Discipline that Will Make You a Better Artist / Ninja
- this page has great advice on ways to compartmentalise your day so you can work and play in a focussed, efficient, pain-free manner.

The Art of Self-Discipline (and why it's actually easy) 
- I really liked this article as it views self-discipline as an act of 'letting go' rather than this struggle to overcome distraction. 'Self-discipline is the art of choosing what to be attached to and what to be detached from.'
Some examples of letting go in action:
    • Someone succeeding on a diet lets go of his “need” for unhealthy foods.
    • Someone succeeding in writing an annoying research paper lets go of his perception that it’s a dreadful project.
    • An athlete who surprisingly made it to professional sports has not only chosen to let go of everyone who said he couldn’t do it, but he’s also chosen to let go of his own internal voices that said he couldn’t do it.

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