Let’s face it, being disciplined is not always fun. We want to play and celebrate. In addition, as a busy working mom, there are many things that pull us away from what we really need to focus on. SO how do we stay disciplined and focused when life is designed to pull us off track?
Here are some tips that will help you push through and find a way to be disciplined
We all perform better when things are fun. A suggestion is to pair your habit with something you enjoy. For example, maybe make calls and have some of your favorite music playing in the background, exercise while watching your favorite program or listen to a podcast, work on your paperwork while enjoying a great cup of coffee. When you can pair the discipline with something more enjoyable it will be easier to push through. For me, an issue is organizing my office; I pair it with a great playlist to pump me up and keep me in the groove.
If the demands of parenthood are pulling you off, maybe you can pair something with the kids. Pair cleaning up the house with a dance party. Cooking with math homework. Watch something educational to learn while you watch.
Get a partner
It is easier to do something with another person. When you need to work on something that isn’t enjoyable, get a buddy. One thing I did at the office was call days; most do not enjoy making calls to clients/prospects but doing them together as a team made it easier. Everyone was in the game together, supporting and encouraging each other. We found that when making calls with others, they didn’t feel the same sense of fear and dread and everyone performed better and got results.
At home, I enlist my family with tasks I struggle with. My son works out with me and helps me fold laundry. It is something we can do together and bond, plus it makes me complete the task.
Break it down
Having a large task can be overwhelming. When I feel overwhelmed with a task and complete it, I break it down and identify all the little steps needed to accomplish the big task. Having a task in smaller chunks allows me to approach it will lessen stress. I can face it in small increments, such as 45 minutes at a time, then take a break before coming back to the next bit. In addition, when I can look at a task having ( for example) 5 steps, I can take them one at a time based on the time I have available that day; I can look at the task and say “ok based on the time I have open today, I can work on steps 1 and 2 today.” This allows me to focus on progress and not perfection. I can take the task one step at a time.
This has helped me as a mom; I often do not have several hours to work on something, but I can find smaller blocks of time. I can identify what I can get done in small chunks between the demands of being “mom” and know I am still making progress.
Do it first
Sometimes we just must face facts and get the job done. One of the tips I use when I must get a task completed is to just do it first thing and get it out of the way. I find that if I push it off, I feel the dread and anxiety for the entire day but when I just buckle down and do it, 1) I generally don’t take as long as I thought and 2) it’s DONE! And I can enjoy the rest of the day feeling complete and accomplished.
I have tie carved out early in the morning to both identify my BIG task for the day and schedule the time to get it done if I cannot complete it at that moment. Being able to get clear on what needs to be done and then time blocking helps me know where my focus and attention needs to be as I approach my day.
The reality is I still never want to do certain tasks but having some strategies to help keep me focused and energized helps push through the discomfort. Being disciplines may not always be a thrill or easy, but hopefully, some of these tips will help you push through so you can enjoy the rewards on the other side.