How to Stay Disciplined / Focused in the Face of Distraction

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I usually  like to start with the definition of a topic that I’m writing about. Today’s topic is Discipline. The definition(s) of discipline are:

1. Punishment

2. Instruction

3. A field of study

4. Training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character

5. Control gained by enforcing obedience or order

b :  orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior

c :  self-control

6. A rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity

These are all great definitions.  While punishment is a kind of “discipline” we aren’t focusing on the punishment aspect of it for this post.  Discipline is a way of being that helps you gain control and use a certain behavior pattern to control an outcome.  Sounds a little complicated when put that way doesn’t it?

A simpler way to say it is rules or tasks to follow to get to the result you want. There are dozens of posts about how to do that, what stops people from doing that and how to achieve your goals or as some call it around the beginning of the year, new year’s resolutions.

I believe language is more powerful than we give it credit for.  When people hear the words “New Year’s Resolutions.”  It brings up a negative connotation for many because as statistics show, 78% of New Year’s Resolutions fail! 63% will keep them for 2 months. How are you doing on your resolutions at this point into the year?  We are 6 weeks in now.  How many of those resolutions have gone out the window never to be seen again?

Why do so many people fail at successfully keeping their resolutions?  Because they don’t have a disciplined approach put into place to make sure they won’t fail.

Here are 7 things to consider to help you be disciplined with your goals, intentions or resolutions.

  1. Identify what sabotages you.  You know what sabotages you.  Is it your thoughts?  Your busyness?  Your being distracted. Knowing what it is will help you be able to change it.
  2. Gain discipline by starting with the small stuff. When I was in the military we were trained first to learn discipline with the small things.  Aligning your shoes by your bed, making your bed a certain way, putting the things in your drawer spaced evenly apart.  We even had a money list that we had to update every time we spent money and got new money.  It required us to write the serial numbers of each bill on a “Money List” and keep it on our person.  We could be asked to pull it out with our money at any time.  If it was wrong, there were consequences.
  3. Find out what sort of consequences work for you. If getting a reward works for you and the consequence is not getting the reward, do that. If having to explain to an accountability partner why you didn’t do something works, get an accountability partner.  Do what works for you, not what someone else says to do. Otherwise it’s a waste of time.
  4. What system works for you?
    1. For me it’s my most important things list along with writing things down in a plan. I have a 6-10 most important things to do list (working on that right now, writing this blog post is one of them). Being able to check things off the list gives me a sense of accomplishment.
    2. Have a MM or group you can talk to like our Virtual Community. If you are a member you can email me anytime if you have questions.  Check out the information about the community here: http://eldonnalewisfernandez.com/online-store/  If you email me at eldonna@thinklikeanegotiator.com and ask, I might give you a better deal!
  5. What distractions do you need to eliminate or plan to keep focused?

You should know what distracts you and pulls you off course.  I am able to go down the rabbit hole really easily.  Let’s see, need to go to YouTube to pull the link to a video, hey look at this one on this topic!  Before I know it I’m several steps from where I need to be.  In order for that to happen less, I plan my distractions.  I take a break and do something like watch some mindless videos or play a game.  Planning this keeps me on task and less distracted.

  1. Be OK when you have a meltdown, shutdown or work stoppage.
  2. Too often people think they have to keep on hammering and use every single minute effectively or they are failures. Be ok with completely detaching and shutting down, even if it comes in spurts here and there or a week at a time.  Also make sure you have vacation time even if it’s a staycation.  Plan time away from working to recharge and rejuvenate yourself.

These tips will help you be more disciplined in your day to day life.  My suggestion would be to start small and build on that.  If you are interested in being mentored in this area, please get in touch for a needs discovery session.  It’s complimentary and will get you on track to being more disciplined in your life.

To Your Success,

Eldonna

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez

Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at www.EldonnaLewisFernandez.com

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