Excuse #1: SELF-DISCIPLINE makes life devoid of fun.
Indulging yourself is fun, self-denial is not. Weekends are for sleeping in. After work hours are for screen time. Where is the fun or the thrill in living out of a to do list or sticking to a boring schedule?
Consequences: Piled up deadlines, chaos due to negligence of important stuff , disorganization, material losses, loss of confidence in personal abilities, compromised reputation, comprised fun, rise in negative emotions (guilt, confusions, anxiety etc.)
Fix: Having fun is refreshing and crucial for good quality of work. However, when it takes the form of instant gratifications and is done at the expense of important things, no good comes out of it.
Let fun be fun: Go for rewarding hobbies, sports, things you love to do that can easily go on hold.
Schedules are not boring; they do not mask fun with important tasks or vice versa. They give both individual attention. Don’t forget to take into account the need of relaxation , entertainment and me-times. Schedule the fun in, my friend, and have fun at having fun.
Excuse #2: SELF-DISCIPLINE is not for me. I work best under pressure.
( What?! Are you a coal? How exactly does a pressure of deadline make you more creative? )
The thrill of last minute lets me complete the task better than any other time. And when I can pull off last minute tasks with ease, what’s the trouble?
Consequences: Study carried out by Reg Talbot, Cary Cooper, Steve Barrow, on creativity in business environments, concludes that higher stress means lower creativity. So that is number one.
Secondly the casual ‘I’ll do it later’ usually comes at a heavy cost.
- The “later” turns into “last minute” or “never” which means at times you fall behind, but sometimes you completely miss out on something of value just because of procrastination.
- When you continue to make excuses for your delays, people start losing their trust in you which leads to resentments, hard feelings etc and creates friction between team mates.
- Short-term consequences of urgent tasks carry more weight and the long term consequence and important tasks gets neglected. These unpleasant long term consequences wait for you down the lane.
- You miss out on other stuff which is urgent and important.
- You might really pull the things together in the end and produce results, but they are compromised and mediocre. Even you yourself know that you can do better.
- By not making the most of your skills and talents, you are not being true to yourself and somewhere the guilt starts settling in.
- You start losing trust in your abilities and start giving up on yourself.
Fix: You are supposed to start earlier from the deadline. Only then will you be able to give the task its due attention while also being fair to your skill set. It will also make you stress free when the deadline hits, since you have taken care of the task before hand without compromising anything important.
It’s not just about what you get done or how, but also about what it means for yourself in the long run; how developing good habits would affect your later life. Maybe you have already given up trying to discipline yourself, because the last time you tried it didn’t work well. It is possible that you took a wrong approach. Only through trial and error does one learn and find the best approach to take.
Excuse #3: Exercising SELF-DISCIPLINE is strenuous.
Exercising self control restricts life and limits it. Life is not supposed to be that tough.I prefer to go with the flow and do tasks when I feel like doing them.
Consequences: What comes easy can’t always be rewarding in the long run, especially when it sabotages your goals and dreams and generates trouble. Failing to see the real problem, you start to feel unfulfilled or unsatisfied. Then you start looking for fulfillment in other place. Addictions and other bad habits wait down the road. Procrastination this way takes over the need for self discipline which is not a good exchange.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
Maybe you don’t realize but you have already disciplined yourself in some aspects of life. Don’t you brush your teeth every morning? Go to work every day? Be your best self dealing with authority?There are things we always do, and things we never miss. Self discipline shouldn’t be an issue, because you have unconsciously mastered it in some aspects of life. Similarly you can develop it in other areas too. Sometimes the only difficult step is the first one but once you start, it gets easier. And besides, you can find fun and excitement in anything if you are willing to.
When you plan to get married, do you leave the wedding planning to last minute for the supposed creativity to kick in? Does planning a wedding down to every detail seem to threaten the enjoyment that life has to offer otherwise? Do you let it hang till the last minute to make the necessary arrangements? We all are smart enough to know the answer. The planning would definitely not take out the fun from the event but would add to it by preventing chaos.
We are willing to go through months of planning for an event which lasts for a mere few hours. But then isn’t life a lot more valuable than that to be lived in the same way? With planning and through self discipline?
Do share your valuable thoughts on the matter.