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The Power of Self-Discipline: How to Master Remote Work

Прочети на Български ==> Read in English (US)

In this post, we'll review tricks that will help you reveal the power of self-discipline and upgrade your skills for remote work.

Working from home comes with a new set of responsibilities, and as a freelancer, you must create a strategy to keep yourself running smoothly.

It's a fascinating career and taking the right steps will help you be successful and motivated. One of the most important qualities you can grow in your character when you decide to join the remote work market is self-discipline.

Although it sounds serious, it's just a skill you get to learn using tricks and known tactics.

The Power of Self-Discipline: How to Work Better from Home

  1. Relax during work
  2. Create a comfortable space
  3. Say "I'll do it now!" instead of "I'll do it later."
  4. Finish a day or two before the deadline
  5. Creating a Schedule: Pros and Cons
  6. Set short-term and long-term work goals
  7. Get motivated by your end goal
  8. Learn how to solve problems efficiently
  9. Make your priorities clear
  10. Time management trick to boost your self-discipline
  11. Multitasking - Yes or No?
  12. Manage distractions wisely - or don't!
  13. The "No other choice" hack
  14. Your motivation lies in the future
  15. Self-Discipline FAQ
  16. Final Thoughts about the Power of Self-Discipline

the power of self-discipline

In this post, we are going to explore the widely-known, as well as the less popular self-discipline hacks that you can use daily to boost your work-life routine. Are you ready? Keep reading!

1. Relax during work

It might sound counterintuitive, but you will be more productive when you are less stressed. Relaxing will let you keep focus, and prioritize better.

Avoid constant pressure to let your body function properly, and this will reduce the mistakes you make. Remember, errors in your job are a normal part of your daily tasks, and the less you are upset about them, the better you will become.

We are all guilty of being tense during work at some point. The face becomes grumpy, the muscles are tight, and your brain is desperately trying to concentrate.

The best results come when you are relaxed, early in the workday as a consequence of your efforts to stay focused and motivated. Productivity is a result of your dedication to have enough rest from work.

2. Create a comfortable space

If you have a cozy home office, you will be eager to start working. Make it a place of peace and motivation.

You can add items specifically made for relaxation: waterfall decorative fountains, stress balls, candles, etc. You will be surprised by what variety is offered nowadays for making your home office a great place to be in.

If your chair is with the right softness, ergonomic, and a pleasure to use, you will want to sit there even outside of working hours. Make sure you invest in creating a workspace that attracts you with its benefits, and you will want to spend your time there.

3. Say "I'll do it now!" instead of "I'll do it later."

Create the habit to quickly jump to work whenever an assignment pops up. If you are available, start working as soon as the work email arrives.

Postponing is tricky, and you want to avoid doing it because it will potentially slow you down. The word "later" is very vague. Later can mean anytime, including never. So be careful how you approach it and use it in your self-talk.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.

~ Aristotle

In short, if you can do a task "now", just do it, and avoid finding excuses. The more you put your job as a priority, the stronger this habit becomes. In time, it will be easier for you to do it without delays. 

4. Finish a day or two before the deadline

Imagine you received a task that takes three days to complete, and you have a week to do it. Which one are you:

        ⇒ Wait until four days pass and then start working to complete the task right before the deadline.

        ⇒ Start immediately and complete it four days before the deadline.

Well, the correct answer is somewhere in the middle. Of course, it's great if you can complete everything in the first three days. But if you have other customers or projects, it would not be possible.

The best approach is to always finish a day or two before the deadline as leaving things for the last moment is risky and you'll feel under pressure.

5. Creating a Schedule: Pros and Cons

You started working from home, and your job is flexible allowing you to distribute your hours throughout the work week. However, you have a choice: to have a schedule with specific time frames to help you complete your work during this period or to decide on the go.

It's up to you whether you want to have a routine and follow it strictly or loosen up a bit, and see what happens. For a newbie, it's better to start with a schedule and then experiment to find out what best works for you.

Advantages of Creating a Schedule

If you choose to have a daily routine, you will benefit from the following:

        ⇛ You will always know when your spare time is and it will be easier for you to plan your other activities during the day.

        ⇛ It will be easier to cope with procrastination as your work is set to start and finish at a specific hour.

        ⇛ You will think about work only during the designated time, and no need to plan daily when to start.

Disadvantages of Creating a Schedule

If you chose remote jobs for the lack of schedule you might experience any of the following:

        ⇛ Having a schedule limits your freedom. Flexibility is one of the major advantages of remote work, and the daily routine reduces it.

        ⇛ You might develop a dislike for your job if you know that you must follow strict timing. 

        ⇛ A firm schedule can cause you to delay personal assignments and prevent you from maintaining healthy relationships.

6. Set short-term and long-term work goals

The power of self-discipline is tightly connected with the goals you set in your job. If you have a direction and final destination, it's much easier to keep walking.

You can have short-term goals like completing a project with an average daily accuracy of 90% or more. Another goal can be to speed up your work and manage daily tasks faster which will ultimately increase your pay per hour.

Short-term goals are related to your immediate performance at work and can provoke your improvement. Make sure you have at least one short-term goal in place at all times. 

If you have something to strive for, it almost turns into a game. You must achieve the small goal to get to the next level and continue your growth towards your long-term goal.

Having short-term goals is not enough. You also need a bigger goal to keep you running. Long-term goals are related to your overall performance in time - increased income, better customer satisfaction, improved credibility, etc.

7. Get motivated by your end goal

This is a great self-discipline hack that will help you stay on track. An end goal is defined by you, and it is similar to the long-term goals you want to achieve.

For example, you want to earn enough money and start investing. Financial freedom is a popular end goal among freelancers, and many people strive to achieve passive income as their end goal.

If you visualize what your life can be when your dream is fulfilled, you will be passionate about the tasks you should do to achieve this standard of living. It's a matter of how strongly you desire to make things happen.

8. Learn how to solve problems efficiently

Here is a hack I learned from my experience. And it works perfectly fine for me. Some problems require your immediate attention and such that can wait.

You have little choice and influence on urgent matters - you must do them to continue your work. However, it's a different story for the non-priority ones.

Take advantage of the wait time. If you tried to solve a problem, and it took you 20 minutes or more without any success - leave it.

I'm serious, at this point - this is the best you can do. Trying to solve something difficult right away will only bring more frustration. Here is what to do instead.

As you leave it and stop being bothered with it, stop thinking about the issue altogether. At a later point (the next day or a few days later) you can try working on it again. When you do that, your mind will be fresh, and new ideas can come up to you and help you fix everything.

9. Make your priorities clear

When it comes to priorities, work should be on one of your leading positions. It provides you with the financial means to maintain your lifestyle, and it gives you satisfaction about your effort being useful to society.

Putting your job on the deserved level will help you care about its importance and priority in your life. You always have the choice to slack in your job, but it's your priorities that can help you make the best decisions.
Having self-discipline isn’t just about consistently doing something, it’s instead about systematically regulating, correcting, and adapting your behavior to the changing conditions and circumstances of your life.

For example, playing video games is a much lower priority than your job, and you can play when you complete your job duties, and not before that. Entertainment can be okay within limits, and as long as it has the right place in your routine.

10. Time management trick to boost your self-discipline

One of the main self-discipline boosters is managing your time wisely. A good approach is to determine a task to complete within a specified period. The amount of time you assign should be achievable and allow you to complete the work with full concentration.

Here is how and why this trick works in practice:

        → If you don't set a timeframe, you risk taking more time than needed. You can get distracted with other activities, conversations, etc.

        → If you set more time than required by the nature of the task, you will end up being bored and again, distracted because the job will be too easy for you.

        → If you set less time than needed, you can end up being overly stressed trying to do work on the edge of impossible.

How to determine how much time you need for a job?

Luckily, that's an easy one. Sit comfortably in a quiet place (preferably your home office) and use a stopwatch for calculating your time. Then start working on a task using your full concentration, and once you complete it, check how long it took you.

You can do this test 2-3 times or more for similar tasks to determine an average. Then use your findings to improve your time management skills in your daily routine.

11. Multitasking - Yes or No?

The answer to this question is "Both". Multitasking is a method you can use when the job you do is easier than usual, and completely avoid when the tasks are hard and require your full concentration.

If you are doing repetitive work that you are used to, you can engage in another activity with ease. An example would be when you work on a project for a couple of months and your job is almost automatic.

However, as you expand and accept new opportunities that require research, you should avoid multitasking if you want to grasp the information more quickly.

12. Manage distractions wisely - or don't!

Your point of interest becomes what you focus on. If you concentrate on distractions, you will lose track of your tasks, and then you need to go back to where you left off.

A home office and silence are usually two different terms. While it can be quiet in a home office, you should consider noises like construction work outside, family members doing the chores, neighbors talking inside or outside of the building, babies crying nearby, etc.

If these noises bother you (which is understandable), they can reduce the quality of your work. You should put them in the background of your brain and hearing - that's where they are supposed to go to stop disturbing you.

How do you do that? By focusing on your task, and deeply immersing in it. Avoid working when family members are at home as these are the hardest to cope with as they require urgent attention.

In what cases should we allow distractions?

The general rule is clear - pay little to no attention to work distractions. However, there is a specific case, when you become so obsessed with your work that it leads you to perform worse than normal.

This happens if you are a perfectionist, and in your effort to deliver completely error-free results, you lose a lot of time in unnecessary stuff and tweaking. That's when you need to deliberately distract yourself with something fun, talk with a friend, play a game, etc.

To get out of the obsession, you need to combine it with a different activity. That's how you break the cycle of taking work too seriously.

13. The "No other choice" hack

The trick here is to believe that you don't have a choice. You just gotta do what you gotta do. That's it. The fact that you do have a choice is irrelevant, the importance is on what you believe.

For example, you have a project you must complete by Friday, and it's already Wednesday. If you truly believe you are out of other options - you need to get your job done with no excuse, then you will do your best to complete the tasks on time.

If you allow your mind to look for alternative ways, that will shift your focus from what's right to what's easy. Given the choice, you will always take the path that looks easier.

Consider that your only choice is to do your job in the best possible way, and you will strive in your freelancing career. It's a method that works!

14. Your motivation lies in the future

The future hack is very powerful because it lets you see the big picture. Here is what to do:

In 10 years from today, if you look back to your work and efforts as of now, what would you think about yourself? What would you say? Were the things you did enough? Did you do your best or you were wasting your time?

We want to have a good opinion about ourselves. That makes us feel better. You can use this fact as your motivation. Do your job today in a manner that will assure your future self has a great opinion of your current self.

Self-Discipline FAQ

① How do I use the power of self-discipline and avoid procrastinating as a freelancer?

You can use a variety of techniques to be more focused on your tasks. Some of the most powerful are creating a routine, achieving time management skills, setting up a comfortable work environment, etc. 

The beginning of gaining self-discipline is your mindset and dedication to working on this character trait. Anyone with the right attitude can achieve it as long as he puts effort towards this skill.

② What is the importance of self-discipline in freelancing?

To manage your work and life responsibilities, you will need self-discipline. It's the willpower you have that moves you in the direction of your plans and helps you navigate tasks more efficiently.

In the freelancing world self-discipline is a crucial part of their personalities. You are your own boss, and you must make yourself start working.

③ Why is self-discipline so hard to get?

Self-discipline might seem hard to get in the beginning. Each new skill you gain requires extra effort as you start building it. Once you establish a habit of being disciplined, it will be much easier to achieve your goals and follow your deadlines.

self-discipline hacks for freelancers

Final Thoughts about The Power of Self-Discipline

For a newbie, self-discipline might feel uncomfortable and difficult, but that will change as you upgrade as a freelancer.

It's compulsory to build this skill and apply it, especially since there is a lot of competition for remote work.

Stay positive, make little steps every day towards being more organized and disciplined, and results will follow. Remember, each new skill takes time before it turns into a habit.

The benefits of using the power of self-discipline are numerous. You can learn many new skills by just obtaining the ability to manage your goals and plans.

Time management, confidence, motivation, and organizational skills are all related to being able to control your desires to a point where you focus on a goal.

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