Hey everyone, and welcome to Go Health Guide. Today, we are going to learn about 10 brain hacks to master self-discipline. Now, let’s begin.
1. Resisting Temptation. Self-discipline relies, not on your ability to avoid temptations, but on your ability to resist them. Anyone can avoid watching TV if there’s no TV in the room. But only a disciplined person can resist temptations when they’re staring right at them. That’s why so many people struggle to maintain self-discipline over time. You learn how to avoid time-wasters, but you never learn how to resist them. If you want to master self-discipline, train yourself to be productive, no matter how many distractors are trying to steal your attention. You can build distraction tolerance by working in busier public spaces, like coffee shops, where it’s easy to get distracted by random stimuli. It takes time to develop your tolerance, but it’s worth the wait. If you can control your impulses and resist temptations, you’ll build self-discipline in no time.
2. Emotional Mindfulness. Emotional self-discipline is another area where people struggle. You may have trouble controlling your anger. Maybe you get excited and spend too much money on things you don’t need. In either case, mindfulness is your most powerful tool. To be mindful is to increase your awareness of yourself. That means reflecting on your actions, zooming in on specific behaviors, and understanding, on a deeper level, why those behaviors exist. By practicing mindfulness, you can pinpoint specific cues and temptations in your life. For example, some people spend too much money because they’re unhappy with the way they look. Other people get angry all the time because they are unsatisfied with their careers or relationships. Most of the time, your bad habits are a manifestation of a deeper issue. Once you’ve found the heart of an issue, you can design more constructive routines to control your behavior. In other words, mindfulness allows you to understand your impulses, personalize your habits, and change for the better.
3. Create Priorities. Imagine you’re having a busy day at work. You’ve got so much on your plate; you don’t know where to start. So, instead of tackling any number of tasks, you get distracted. You seek an easier, more pleasurable distraction, and you fall behind on your work. If this sounds familiar, what you need is a list of priorities — one document that tells you what’s important and what’s not. At the beginning of your day or even the night before, write down all your tasks on a single sheet of paper. For now, the order of those tasks doesn’t matter, as long as you can see everything in one place. Now that you understand everything on your plate, it’s time to arrange your list. Put everything urgent at the top and everything trivial at the bottom. That way, one look at your list tells you exactly what to do. This priority will save you hours of stress and procrastination. No more paralyzing decisions. No more task overload. When you’re busy or stressed, just look at your list, and you’ve got all the information you need.
4. Designated Distractions. Many people fail to eliminate bad habits because their new routines are too radical. You don’t need to quit social media or give up TV entirely. You just need to organize your bad habits, so they don’t interfere with your productivity. This is where designated distraction blocks come in handy. Set aside small chunks of time throughout the day reserved exclusively for time wasters and distractors. For example, every day at 1:00, you can pull out your phone and browse social media for 30 minutes. You might think it’s strange to build time-wasters into your day, but it’s actually a great way to improve self-control. When you give yourself space to enjoy time wasters, you’re less tempted to procrastinate during your workday. It’s also like working on a deadline. It’s easier to work hard and stay focused when you know there’s a break right around the corner.
5. Weekday Rituals. How do you trick your brain into being productive when it’s feeling lazy? For example, let’s say you’re working on an important personal project after work. You have no problem motivating yourself during the workday, but you lose all motivation in the afternoons and on weekends. If you struggle to motivate yourself at home, you can trick your brain into adopting a more productive mindset. Simply, act like you’re going to work. Do the same rituals you would before a day in the office. Wake up early. Take a shower. Get dressed and put shoes on. It may feel weird getting ready just to sit at home, but this simple brain hack can stimulate all kinds of productivity.
6. Creating Obstacles. Do you spend too much time on your phone throughout the day? Most of the biggest time wasters are easily accessible. You can waste hours of your time on games, social media, and other platforms without batting an eye. So how do you stop yourself from engaging with your devices? Make them less accessible. Create obstacles that stand in your way. Make it difficult for you to use your devices, and you’ll find you’re less likely to get distracted. If you’re always on your phone, for example, place it far away from your desk or bury it inside a drawer. If you can’t stop browsing the Internet on your laptop, use a web blocker or simply turn off your Wi-Fi. The more obstacles you create, the more chances you get to make smarter, more productive decisions.
7. Strong Foundations. If you want to master self-discipline, you need to lay a strong and consistent foundation by improving other parts of your life, like your sleep schedule, your diet, and your morning routine. Each of these variables contributes to your emotional and psychological strength. When one of your habits is inconsistent, the rest of your routine suffers. If you have a disorganized sleep schedule, for example, it’s more difficult to control your bad habits. How are you supposed to make good decisions when you’re groggy and tired? The same goes for your diet and other daily rituals, which impact the amount of energy you have each day. In other words, before you can master self-discipline, you need to develop an energizing and uplifting lifestyle. Because your lifestyle is the foundation of everything you do. If you can develop a healthy and consistent routine, you’ll discover that self-discipline comes naturally.
8. Write Your Feelings. What do you do when you’re tempted to embrace a bad habit? Here’s a brain hack you can use to avoid the most tempting timewasters. Grab a sheet of paper or open a blank document on your computer. On the page, write down all the things you feel like doing right now. If you don’t want to work, what would you be doing instead? You might write something like, “scrolling through my phone,” or “playing a game.” But when you see these things on paper, you realize something interesting. You don’t want to do any of these things. All you were looking for is a distraction. With that obstacle out of the way, you get to focus on your work without temptations weighing on your mind.
9. Advanced Decisions. Many people suffer from something called decision fatigue. In highly stimulating environments, like department stores and supermarkets, you are surrounded by temptations. Your brain becomes overwhelmed, and your resistance to temptation fades, increasing your chances of making a bad decision. Luckily, there’s an easy way to stay strong in the face of temptation. Whenever possible, make decisions ahead of schedule. For example, if you want to limit your expenses when shopping, create a list ahead of time. That way, when temptation strikes, you can stick to your list and make intelligent choices.
10. Intensity Training. Your ability to control yourself often hinges on your ability to stay focused. In other words, if you want to master self-discipline, you need to improve your concentration. Intensity training is a technique you can use to tighten your focus and develop your self-control. To use this technique, set a timer on your phone for 10 minutes. During those 10 minutes, concentrate on one thing and one thing only. When your time is up, put your assignment away, and don’t look at it for 15 minutes. Do something else. Occupy your mind. Then, when your break is over, sit back down, set your timer for 10 more minutes, and repeat the process. This technique creates short windows of intense concentration, almost like an athlete running sprints at full speed.
You alternate between 100% focus and 0% focus, flipping your concentration on and off like a light switch. The more you practice this technique the more control you’ll develop. So, practice this technique every day, and you’ll develop unshakeable concentration before you know it.