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Discipline is -at least in my opinion- the key to changing behaviours and increasing productivity. Pomodoro, GTD as well as other techniques are methods that need discipline in order to consistently use them and increase your productivity.

One simple tip to increase productivity is to award yourself after finishing a task instead of awarding your self before executing the task. Again, this requires discipline. This also holds when you want to change a behaviour. Changing behaviours requires you to force yourself to use this new behaviour for 21 to 30 day (depending on how you choose to belief) before it becomes a real behaviour. Once again, disciple!

How to improve your discipline behaviour without having discipline? (Not enough discipline)

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4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You have to do the action everyday for ca. 30 days. A good tip:

  • get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall
  • get a big red marker

For each day you do your task, make a big red X for this day.

"After a few days you'll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You'll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain."

This is a tip from Jerry Seinfeld read more about this: Jerry Seinfeld’s Productivity Secret

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+1 for Seinfeld making it to this list! Who would have thought! –  milesmeow Dec 5 '11 at 7:45
1  
This is a good solution... which brings a big problem. See the blank spot on your calendar? That day you didn't/couldn't stick with your method? for not-so-disciplined people this is enough demotivation to want to stop or try something else. –  Gabber Nov 8 '12 at 15:53

All our actions are driven by a desire to achieve a goal. If the desire is strong enough, we work hard to reach the goal. This hard work requires certain form of discipline. This discipline comes automatic without thinking about it or attempt to force it.

Having multiple goals requires setting priorities. In most cases, the priorities are dedicated by the strength of the desire to achieve each goal.

Based on the above, any discipline we struggle with is probably an artificial discipline we don't need but we want it for some reason not related to our goals.

In other words, artificial disciplines may be counter productive. It does not pay to fight ourselves.

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Discipline is built slowly over time. For many they already have enough discipline to be able to utilize rewards as a motivator for changes they want to make or tasks they want to accomplish.

For those who do not have this much discipline it would be good to start building it. and the best way to do it is to build from an anchor point where they already have a kernel of discipline. Start a daily checklist and put it near where there are already successful patterns in place. If a person has a solid habit of brushing his/her teeth this may be a anchor. During this time think about what needs to be done. Think about successes and failures with set goals. Follow helectronic's advice and put a full calendar in the bathroom to help. Essentially instead of trying to muster some discipline from nowhere, start where you already have discipline and build from there.

If no daily anchor points can be found, I think the best bet is to have an accountability partner. Find a buddy who is also concerned about discipline and productivity and make it part of your social friendship to check in on one another and see how you are progressing towards your goals. The act of checking in on a regular basis will also build discipline.

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Consistency in action, constancy of purpose.

Discipline is consistency. I use reminders to keep me on task; chimes, vibrating alarms, etc. that are tied to various tasks/goals/etc. If I'm not reminded, I won't be consistent.

Discipline is constancy. It requires a reward system favoring long-term over short. Make working towards long-term outcomes more pleasurable than short-term rewards ("distractions"). Being reminded of why you're doing something, at the same time as being reminded to do it, reinforces both.

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