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Author Topic: i'd like to buy some discipline please.  (Read 19650 times)
nudone
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« on: September 19, 2006, 02:01:42 AM »

here's my confession:

i've read the books and i've embraced the philosophy - but i still become bored with certain tasks and so put them off to do other things.

i have doubt in my mind so i have to admit i'm not a 'true' believer (maybe i'm just lacking vigor this morning).

here's the problem as i see it (and that i keep repeating to mouser whenever i get the chance, which he already knows so it can't be of any help)...

buying a self-motivation (time management) book isn't buying discipline. that's all i need - that's all we need - discipline. well, self-discipline.

where can i buy some from. has anyone got some spare that they don't really need - name your price - if i comes with a guarantee i'll pay.
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tomos
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2006, 02:30:33 AM »

I'm finding I'm now posting here instead of finishing my plan for the day which i should have done last night ...*

BUT,
I do notice, the more I put into effect, well, I am getting more disciplined - slowly, but i notice it.
I think its a bit like programming ourselves to work in a different way to previously.
Again,
BUT,
maybe we first have to do a bit of deprogramming to help us on our way?

To that end I have a "chuck it in the bin" list on my desk - mainly ideas re work:
I need to do this
I cant do that

The other idea i came across (& have also just started), is to write in a journal/notebook when you're struggling with anything. Have already found it helpful but have to add it to the system yet (will i ever read it again - with that I'm not even sure its necessary)

*so maybe I'm not qualified to talk?! Dont think I have enough discipline to sell any on at any rate smiley
Anyways, just thought I'd throw those ideas out here anyway
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Tom
app103
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2006, 02:44:50 AM »

Like I said in the IRC channel:

  • You can buy a book on how to clean your house in 20 minutes.
  • You can read that book on how to clean your house in 20 minutes.
  • You can know how to clean your house in 20 minutes.

But that still doesn't make you want to clean your house.

Short of some heavy duty brainwashing of ourselves into thinking we actually like and want to do these things, I don't see a real solution.
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nudone
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2006, 03:06:23 AM »

oh dear. we are doomed.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2006, 04:39:19 AM »

Here comes the positive guy:

Well... Since this experiment started, i've managed to at least, actually DO something. Even if it is just make lists or get out of the house to buy a calendar. I guess that's something.
I've also tried numerous methods, that while they were novelty for me, did work and actually helped me to get something done.
I guess my problem is when i get bored with them. Maybe my problem is that i can't have a routine.
I would definitelly buy discipline, but i also can tell you this: although it sure would be more productive if i could work from the moment i wake up to the moment i go to sleep, i'm not sure i'd like that.

That's why i am not always thinking about getting things done.
I'm trying to get things done but without rushing into things. I'm trying to slowly start getting more stuff done, since it's impossible to just start getting everything done from one second to the next.
And the method i've found more productive is by doing the stuff i feel like doing. If i'm doing something and i'm thinking "damn, i don't feel like doing this, i'd prefer being surfing the web or watching tv", i won't really put all my focus into it and it'll come out a pile of c**p.

I guess the best system is just to be conscient that stuff needs to get done. And that's where this experiment is a winner. Debating about it and reading about it sure has been a big help!  Thmbsup
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nudone
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2006, 05:01:59 AM »

yes, good. you are right. i know i am doing more than what i have done in the past and it is certainly to do with the commitment to this experiment. i am just dissappointed i haven't yet become superman with the will power to match - so, things that i am beginning to lose interest in are becoming an ordeal.

i certainly cannot deny that i am more productive because of the experiment. i do not have moments of sitting around wondering what to do. i am still procrastinating but it seems it is better to be busy and do the wrong things rather than to do nothing at all.
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2006, 05:05:53 AM »

i am still procrastinating but it seems it is better to be busy and do the wrong things rather than to do nothing at all.
I'd say that most definitelly it is. The most important is to have work method. If one has a work method, the only problem will be replacing the "wrong" work with the "right" work. And that's way easier than replacing rest (or shall i say boredom?) with "right" work!  Wink
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tomos
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2006, 05:35:28 AM »

something else I'm trying this week is to plan my day (in great detail)

Its unsucsessful so far for the whole day, so I'm starting to break the day down into blocks of 2hrs & plan them one at a time (I'm on a break now so will shortly plan the next 2hrs)

One side of the page I have things I want to do today (including 4 x 30min blocks of the "Boringstuff"), also when I want to finish.
Other side I do the planning. I'm finding this good (the 2hr thing) cause it keeps things fresh.

I find in general I'm doing more things that are at least work-related (I mean as opposed to idle surfing or trying out that new whatever)

Quote
The most important is to have work method.
That one still needs a bit of "work" smiley
« Last Edit: September 19, 2006, 05:39:41 AM by tomos » Logged

Tom
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2006, 05:41:12 AM »

I'm spending way too much time comparing systems and reading around.
I think it'd be easier to do a 'shareware trial'...
For 30 days, just do 'to the letter' what the system says.
Do not try to add new stuff
Do not compare it with others
Believe it as if it was DOGMA

(I know this is tough. We are all trained, and like to, compare things and test hypotheses).

After 30-days of being a true believer... evaluate. Was it worth it? If yes, stick to the system. If not, uninstall from your brain. Try other things, or nothing at all.

That's all the discipline you'll need.

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tomos
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2006, 05:47:08 AM »

I'm spending way too much time comparing systems and reading around.
I think it'd be easier to do a 'shareware trial'...
For 30 days, just do 'to the letter' what the system says.
Do not try to add new stuff
Do not compare it with others
Believe it as if it was DOGMA

That a big one for me as well - last week was a real struggle trying to work AND take in all this new stuff & reading different responses/variations from people in internet.
(This week is a struggle too for that matter)

But, I guess even if you pick ONE, you will probably have to adjust it to your needs ...
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Tom
app103
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2006, 05:50:32 AM »

Before this GOE idea came along, my method of getting things done was very simple:

Do what I want, when I want, for as long as I want.

My life was a series of "Keep-Me-Busy's"...and I got stuff I wanted to do done, for the most part.

With the huge range of interests I have it's not hard to have stuff to do to keep me busy.

But lately I feel like I am not getting anything done, and my desire to do things has gone out the window.

I think the more I think about getting things done, and try to get more done, the less I am actually accomplishing.

All this making and defining goals and putting things in writing...making lists of things that I don't even know what to put on the lists...it's frustrating me...and making me very unhappy.

Before all this started, my main goal in life was to not be bored...everything I did was to fulfill that goal...and it worked well for me, I think.

I wasn't bored...and I was about as happy as I could get, all things considering.

Now I have the attention span of a cat and feel quite depressed.

My email is backing up, my projects are not getting done, I am 3 pages behind in unread forum posts here, I have produced no new art, my doodle pad is blank, and all I want to do is sleep.

Maybe I already had the method that worked best for me and just didn't know it.

Maybe I need to stop all this and go figure out how I was doing it before and go back to it, because this just isn't working at all. It is having the opposite effect of what it was intended to do.

I miss my old more productive life.  Sad
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momonan
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2006, 06:01:46 AM »

@app103.  Please cheer up

Whatever you were doing WORKED for you.  That's so great.  We love your programs, your energy and your creativity.  I hope you can forget all this and go right back.  These systems are only useful for those of us who are struggling with either not getting done what we think is important or not knowing what's important to do.

Maybe you can just ignore these struggling posts.  Or, if you want to participate, filling us in every once in a while on what gives you pleasure about what you do.
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nudone
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2006, 06:34:40 AM »

app, it certainly sounds like you aren't in need of a 'system' like this experiment is trying to find.

you were happy without trying to implement rules so i really see no use in doing something that takes you away from that.

i'd recommend just forgetting about this experiment - see if you are back to doing what you did in a couple of days. just let it flow.

Mark Forster's second book, 'How to Make Your Dreams Come True' is a far more relaxed approach to achieving goals - you might find it interesting but to be honest it sounds like you had already worked out what he was trying to say in the book.
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Arjen
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2006, 07:42:20 AM »

I've been thinking and reading about what self-discpline really is. To me it still sounds like a dirty word - it sounds like I must do something, to being forced to do something. I don't want to be forced to do things; I want to do things because I like doing them, because I have a passion for them.

But you can ask yourself: who is forcing who to do something? If you're talking about self-discipline, it would be me "forcing" me to do something. So who is forcing who? It basically just means I'm deciding for myself I'm going to do something. Let's say it this way: self-discipline means I'm using my own power, my inner power, to get things done. That sounds a lot better. :-)

Steve Pavlina has some interesting things to say about passion vs. self-discipline in this article.

He also has a whole series of articles (six parts!) on self-discipline. Here is part one. He defines self-discipline as "the ability to get yourself to take action regardless of your emotional state."

Here is a very practical tip I found helps me. It comes from the book "Do It Tomorrow" by Mark Forster:

  • Every night, make a list of tasks you want to do and are sure you can do the next day.
  • Put a line under the list so you can't add more items to them. Really, do this!
  • The next day, do it.

Of course the third point, "do it", is the most important one. Working in short "bursts" helps with this. So use an egg timer or on the computer, a program like InstantBoss to do this. Here is the procedure:

  • Decide which task on your list you want to start doing.
  • Decide for how long you would like to work as the first "burst" (say, 20 mins.) and set the time on your timer.
  • Feel how that feels. :-) If you get this really ugly feeling in your stomach or if it feels like someone is grabbing you by the throat, go back to the previous step and choose a shorter period. Repeat until you say "I can do that!", then... 
  • Do it!
  • Take a break. Also decide how long your break will be, and time it, so you won't wander off.
  • Repeat and try increasing the time of the "burst".

I've been doing this the last week or two and although I must say I've only completed all the items on my list once, I do notice it keeps me more focussed and I am improving.

Where I wander off most is (surprise) the internet. It's so easy to just keep browsing and "just look up one more thing". Does anyone have a tip on how to deal with this? I see some people post a lot on these boards and I can imagine they spend a lot of time on this - or maybe not, maybe they're just very efficient. I'm interested to hear how these people deal with this.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2006, 07:44:50 AM by arjendk » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2006, 08:06:22 AM »

great post arjendk.

i find this intriguing:
Quote
Decide for how long you would like to work as the first "burst" (say, 20 mins.) and set the time on your timer.
Feel how that feels. :-) If you get this really ugly feeling in your stomach or if it feels like someone is grabbing you by the throat, go back to the previous step and choose a shorter period. Repeat until you say "I can do that!", then...

to me this seems clever because (as forster points out) often the hard part is just STARTING.  once you get started its not as hard as it might feel.  so this is sort of a trick to make it possibile for you to kickstart the thing, even if you end up telling yourself, ok im just going to work on this for 2 minutes.

as for internet addiction and procrastination - it's very real and i suspect many of us hear suffer from it.  make sure you read this:
http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=5287.0


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nudone
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2006, 11:49:28 AM »

this is worth reading http://www.stevepavlina.c...elf-discipline-willpower/

Quote
So if willpower can only be used in short, powerful bursts, then what’s the best way to apply it? How do you keep from slipping back into old patterns once the temporary willpower blast is over?

so, if you accept what Pavlina is saying, then if you are waiting for self-discipline to finally kick in and take over your life every single day - forget it, it ain't gonna happen.

i find this shocking. i thought, to become super disciplined would be the conclusion of this DC GTD experiment. clearly this is where i'm going wrong. i'm trying to achieve something that isn't possible.

i've not read everything Pavlina says on the topic of self-discipline yet but i think he's onto something...
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urlwolf
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2006, 02:50:48 PM »

Nudone, are you changing your view on Pavlina?
I almost sense a new convert smiley
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app103
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« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2006, 02:57:05 PM »

I think the problem is abrupt extreme changes.

I think it works better if you make small changes you can live with and don't change more till you have adjusted to the first ones you have made.

The abrupt extreme changes are what cause most to fail.

Giving up the bad habits all at once makes you feel deprived and miserable...as if you are trying to be someone you are not...so you revert back to your old ways.

But if you made one change, like giving up one bad habit and replacing it with one good one, instead of a million changes, it is easier to live with that change...then add others 1 at a time as you can accept them.

I think 3 months is too short of a time to reinvent yourself...the changes won't last.

For me personally, a change or 2 a month is about all I can handle without losing my identity and becoming confused & depressed.
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nudone
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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2006, 12:54:04 AM »

app, what you say makes a lot of sense. i'm just wondering if perhaps a 'shock to the system' with an abrupt change might also help?

i can see that changing things too quickly is going to hurt, but that's why Pavlina is recommending to change your environment so there is less chance of failure. avoiding depression i'm not so sure of.

Quote
Nudone, are you changing your view on Pavlina?

i'm not sure. i've always liked some things he says and disliked others. perhaps my prejudice is that he tries to cover EVERYTHING, so i expect an answer to EVERYTHING. like the revelation about 'self-discipline', he tells me something i didn't expect but doesn't give me the complete answer i'd like to hear. i appreciate that is my problem and not his.
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Arjen
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2006, 05:05:51 AM »

so, if you accept what Pavlina is saying, then if you are waiting for self-discipline to finally kick in and take over your life every single day - forget it, it ain't gonna happen.

i find this shocking. i thought, to become super disciplined would be the conclusion of this DC GTD experiment. clearly this is where i'm going wrong. i'm trying to achieve something that isn't possible.

Well, according to Pavlina, willpower is just one of the aspects of self-discipline.

I don't think you will be self-disciplined as a result of implementing a system like GTD. I think it's the other way around: you need self-discipline to implement the system. The goal of systems like GTD is having more focus on what you want to do, so that's the desired result.

Of course, once you get going on being more focussed and doing things that motivates you (gives you passion) to keep going. But you'll still need self-discipline to keep moving. (As described by Pavlina in "Passion vs. Self-discipline".)
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nudone
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2006, 05:33:01 AM »

so where do i get self-discipline from?

before starting any of this GTD stuff i knew that self-discipline/motivation and will power where the essential elements to doing what you want to do - the actual systems that are floating around don't really strike me as anything special - hence so many people never fully mastering them or abandoning them after a while.

it seems you are either self disciplined or you are not. is it possible to change from one to the other, well, of course it is - but without some kind of external force training you to become disciplined then how are you going to achieve it on your own.

anyone can be disciplined for a short period or during some exceptional circumstance. i'm not interested in the techniques that allow you to achieve that - i think they can be labelled as snake oil.

i know what i should be doing, i know what i want to be doing, so why am i not doing it. during the novelty period things are fine but it's nothing to do with being disciplined.

i'm going to stop here as i'm not contributing anything other than bad vibes.
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mouser
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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2006, 07:46:32 AM »

nudone, here is what i suggest we add to your challenge for those of us who feel they have willpower issues.

you set a deadline of this month.  those of us who would be inclined to wait until last minute, DONT.  We need to make part of the challenge that we not wait until last minute.

So i challenge you to add one extra element to this, based on previous post ideas and the "little and often" stuff.  Let's make part of the challenge that you must spend at least 5 minutes per day from now until end of month (7 days), focused on this task.  5 minutes is nothing, but at least you are attending to it.

Even if it just means sitting without distraction thinking about the task, i challenge you to accept this extra piece.  SO, today is the first day - find 5 minutes to work on your chosen task.
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Arjen
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« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2006, 08:32:25 AM »

it seems you are either self disciplined or you are not. is it possible to change from one to the other, well, of course it is - but without some kind of external force training you to become disciplined then how are you going to achieve it on your own.
According to Steve Pavlina (and I'm sure he's not the only one) self-discipline can be trained. I think you can train this on your own by taking something small you can do and gradually increasing the size of the things you pick.

Techniques like the one from DIT I described above help you pick such tasks. Have you tried this? I'm doing this, and it doesn't make as productive as I'd like yet but it helps me focus.

Don't worry!
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nudone
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2006, 09:06:33 AM »

5 minutes a day - noooooo problem.

but i admit i'm half way through the day and haven't spent five minutes on the task yet.

plenty of time left.

i think you have made an important addition to the 7 day challenge - definitely do not leave it to the last minute. enough of the positive phrases and niceties - if you leave it to the last minute then you are a fool, a complete and utter idiot - forget about being a procrastinator - you are a total jerk. and it's so easy to be the opposite - just don't leave it to the last minute/day.

arjendk, as for the techniques in DIT, i agree they are wonderful - when you use them - and that is part of my low discipline problem.
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2006, 09:17:36 AM »

I think this issue of leaving things for the last minute really deserves some serious attention.
Let me explain part of what i think my problem as been - over the years i have become *good* at leaving things to the last minute.  I think forster talks about this - how some people wait until the last minute and use all that pressure at the end to motivate themselves.

I think it's easy to get addicted to this strategy.. and the problem it's just not a viable long term strategy, especially for big projects.  Those of us who have fallen into this habit absolutely *must* train themselves not to wait until the last minute.
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