Willpower < Habits

If you have to decide every time you wake up, whether you'll get up early and go to the gym, you are forcing yourself to make that decision every single time. And with a limited amount of willpower, as you wrestle with that question, you will more often give in, then if you......Develop a habit.

Discipline is merely forcing yourself to create habits that will be right and beneficial for your life.

 If you make a commitment to getting up early every morning, eventually it won't be difficult anymore, it will be routine. Once you have eliminated the opportunity for you to make a choice; When you aren’t giving yourself an option, then you can start to develop a habit.

As humans, we don’t really like change. So if you can change once, and then stick with it, then you can let  routine take over instead of relying on your willpower and good decision making skills every time. As you work more with habits and less with willpower, you'll find you have the capacity to create a better life.

Mindless Productivity

We all experience stress. Our heart races, we tense up, we get flustered, and distracted. When we start to experience stress we generally resort to a mindless activity that calms us. For some its comfort food, TV shows, yelling rampages, and the list continues.

I suggest that instead we should create habits that will become our mindless activities when we get stressed out.

Good examples would be: exercise, reading our Bible, cleaning,  a random act of kindness Etc...

If we put habits in place, we can be productive even when we aren’t thinking about it

What's Your Capacity?

This is a truth that revolutionized my life. "Humans only have the ability to make a certain number of good decisions per day." When you are tired, your cognitive brain doesn't function as well, and you start to make bad decisions. By that point you've exhausted your mental capacity for that day. That's why a lot of binge eating happens late at night, that's why when you get home after a hard day you order takeout for dinner. So the solution is, not to resign yourself and just make bad decisions, but to limit the number of decisions you have to make each day by setting systems and habits in place.

Hopefully, now that you're aware that you are literally burning up brain cells deliberating, you may spend less time and energy on things that could be put on autopilot. Try implementing routines that create habits, so you automatically make good decisions, and never run out of brain power!

Why are you doing that?

It's so easy to get into a slump, to stop pushing yourself and just coast. This happens often because we forget why we do something. Habits are great, but sometimes you need to revisit what the purpose is of those habits.

You start to lose focus when your unclear on your reason for doing something. When you start to give yourself permission to slack off, to not concentrate so well, to not work as hard, then it's way too easy to continue that way. It becomes very difficult to get yourself back to where you were with routines, schedules and hard work. So keep in mind why you have developed these habits, and that will make it easier to stick with your resolutions.

Procrastination Say “Hello!” to Execution

I’d always thought of myself as great at execution and I’d never considered that I could be inclined to procrastinate Unfortunately, I began to notice a pattern in my life where I constantly had a number of projects that I wasn’t completing. After some analytical thought, I realized I did indeed subtly procrastinate.

I have always loved busy work because it gives me a sense of accomplishment. So every day I would complete all the quick and simple tasks first because it felt more like achievement when I had checked off a long list of things rather than having tackled a large pending project. Although, I was working hard, at the end of the day I would have completed many tasks, but none were truly worthwhile. I had spent my whole day feeling delightfully productive, and yet had actually been frittering away my time!

I want to use my time wisely and do meaningful work rather than pointless tasks, so I came up with a solution.....

  One Important Thing:

I started by setting a rule for myself, to pick one important thing to do each day. Regardless of what my schedule was, I would designate a chunk of time to tackle that job. At the end of each day, I’d completed at least one valuable task. This helped to instill the idea of a hierarchy of work. Some projects are more important than others, and i needed to identify those and prioritize them.

Set Deadlines.

Next I set deadlines. Instead of allowing projects to remain uncompleted for long periods of time, there was now a specific date for it to be finished. For me it was as simple as deciding when, telling a friend (accountability) and setting a reminder in my google calendar. With a pending deadline, I tended to prioritize better, and just attack projects instead of leaving them looming.

Recap: To avoid procrastination you need to establish good habits for execution and time management. These two simple methods have helped me immensely with accomplishing difficult or time consuming work and developing those good habits.