Tag Archives: self-discipline

How to Deal with Distractions At Work

Distraction, procrastination and time-sinkholes comprise the terrible trio of the epidemic afflicting today’s working population.

Individually, we are pressed for time, scattered in our focus, and always trying ‘just to catch up.’ Collectively, we dribble away millions of man-hours of labor and lost productivity, and are left with an exhausted, anxious and fed-up work-force.

What can you do — on your own terms — to turn things around?

  • First, take rightful ownership of your time.
  • If you’re working for someone, they’re paying you for results.
  • You discipline yourself to get those results with the least amount of strain or stress you can, you’re half-way there already.

Get to those results, and you control the time you save yourself, for yourself. Look out for number one, that’s the ticket. They get their results, you get your control and ownership of that freed time — to live your life, you know?

You keep training yourself to manage your energy and time, to approach work with a calm and clear head, you cultivate a habit that will help you handle stress in a healthier way.

Result: You will still possess your time, it’s really a matter of training yourself to see how to partition it clearly to get the best results for yourself.

 

How to turn things around.

Be ruthless. Workplace pressures are difficult to influence. Unclear and haphazard business practices, a negative work environment, co-workers who don’t pull their own weight… there will always be things you can’t quite screen out at work, but what you can do is use the pressure to focus on what is in your power to change: your mind-set and your attitude. That is where everything starts — in your head.

In your head, you can imagine your actions and responses. You not only think, but predicts, assess, plot, and practice.

See, reactions happen in reflex. Something happens, you react.

Responses are thought out. Something happens, you take even a few seconds to breath and think about what is happening and how best to handle the situation, and you respond.

Planning and preparing ahead are vital, because it’s usually the small, regular irritants that suck us dry, and the rarer out-of-the blue events that can derail our day. Prepare ahead of time.

If you know what’s distracting you and you don’t do anything to deal with them, all the bitching in the world won’t change a damn thing. You have to take an active role in dealing with the things you don’t want to get the things you do want. No one else will do it for you. Continue reading How to Deal with Distractions At Work

Set Yourself Up For Success

Setting yourself up to succeed
When you read the following sentence: “I was framed,” what do you imagine?

Something criminal going on, right? There’s this poor guy going about his business, when all of a sudden, he’s taken in by the authorities because all the evidence points to him as the perpetrator of a crime. Exciting to watch on TV, but nothing you’d want to go through in real life…

Or would you, if it means success?

 

We’re not advocating criminal acts here. We’re just asking you to think of frames differently.

  • Picture frames showcase and pull attention to the picture they hold.
  • A framework makes the support for something, a structure, an outline.
  • To re-frame something means to present it from a different perspective.

So setting yourself up –to win, to accomplish things, to get done what you want to get done, mind you– shouldn’t be that hard to wrap your brain around, right?

  • You act and provide reliable evidence to prove that you were responsible for getting something done.
  • Do that repeatedly, you establish a pattern.
  • Build reliable patterns, you have a framework of positive habits that support you on your way to your goals.
  • Build the strong internal structure to support you in you choices. Make the external changes to manifest your will. Frame yourself to succeed. It sounds a little clunky, but can you dig it?

Continue reading Set Yourself Up For Success

When You Spend Time Like Money

13 January 2013 by A.Cedilla

We of homo sapiens are a visual race. We evolved to be, and hardly anyone ever really notices we talk in images and metaphors, because that’s just how we were wired.

Here’s proof of what I mean:

When someone’s in trouble he can’t handle, he’s in over his head. When we’ve moved past a particular situation, we’re over it. Hot and cool mean the same thing when it comes to current trends in fashion and music;  either you’re in, or you’re out.

So when we think of someone spending money like it was water, we get a very definite image. Something like someone throwing his money away, or throwing good money after bad –and is there really such a thing as bad money? Aren’t those things sunk costs? Or maybe what’s being referred to are things not worth a plugged nickel?

So when we think of money and time being the same thing — resources and things to guard zealously, the natural thing is to think of the two in the same terms, when they’re not. One is a non-renewable resource, the other we can print more of (and drive everyone nuts.) Continue reading When You Spend Time Like Money

How To Make Discipline A Habit

20 May 2011 , by A. Cedilla

Discipline is a habit that, like muscle, gets stronger the more often you use it.

Yeah, so that probably sounded all worn out and hokey, but it still stands. Aside from leaving you with a sense of accomplishment, discipline helps you grow: from “I don’t think that’s possible,” to “Well, yeah, I’ll try…” to “I did that? I did that. Whoa.”

Enough of this, you get a sense of strength you can’t get from just making plans, but from carrying them out to fruition.

Discipline builds self-confidence in your capability, your capacity to do things, and to get them done. You grow stronger in your good habits, and those habits stand stronger in their support of you. So how do you make discipline your strength? Continue reading How To Make Discipline A Habit

The Power of Reviewing Your Day

05 December 2010,by A. Cedilla

(Inspired by Trent Hamm’s post on “making dramatic change” at The Simple Dollar.)

We all daydream everyday, in between appointments, while waiting in traffic, while taking lunch or going up in the elevator.

Some daydreams are just idle musings, while some might be re-runs of your old favorites: winning the lottery, getting the gumption to tell off that obnoxious jerk who keeps shooting everyone else down at meetings, or chancing on an old flame while looking fit and fabulous…you know, the usual.

Think about all your daydreams – about having the millions in the bank, having the body of your dreams, the perfect job, the perfect career, the perfect house, the perfect life, the perfect spouse.

Think about where you are now, what you have now and what you want for the future.

Okay?

Try to build a bridge between the two extremes, your life now and the one you want. Go on. It’s alright, fantasizing is a great way to spin plans: you never run out of money, energy or time. You can have do-overs, split screen multi-cam POV, the works. What do yo plan to do to make it to your dream life?

Now, put these things side by side: Reality vis-a-vis Fantasy to see which one “measures up.”

The catch here, if you haven’t seen it by now, is the illusion that fantasizing and daydreaming is enough to make it happen. Without action, there’s nothing THERE to measure. You’re just jogging in place. It’s a great way to get the heart pumping, but it doesn’t get you anywhere worth going.

So what do reviews have to do with daydreams? Well, reviews are to reality as daydreams are to theory. You can spin all the pretty pictures you want in your head, but if you don’t commit to concrete action, these pretty pictures are just pipe dreams. Review can help you take solid steps to making thing real and making real progress. Continue reading The Power of Reviewing Your Day

How To Use Scheduled Reviews To Stay On Track With Your Goals

12 November 2010, by A. Cedilla

In previous articles here on the JRox.com blogs, we’ve mentioned the importance of goal-setting, and of using your priorities to reflect, guide and support the goals you make for yourself. Today, let’s talk about how to stay on track with your personal goals.

First of all, let ‘s start with the premise that all important goals are deeply personal.

Even if you work within a company, or live and function as part of an extended family, or have a nuclear family of your own, when you set goals that are important to you, it’s not just because these goals can help the company, or your family, or the other important people in your life.

The goals you set that you value are valuable precisely because they reflect dreams, desires and targets that you deem important. The fact that they also serve, say, the company or your loved ones, is a reflection of your priorities, and a very beneficial parallel.
Continue reading How To Use Scheduled Reviews To Stay On Track With Your Goals

How To Manage Impulsive Decisions

25 October 2010, by A. Cedilla

Generally speaking, hardly anyone has ever made it to the age of majority or moved past it without having made decision’s they’ve grown to regret.

For what it’s worth, the deep issue with making impulsive decisions does not just end with their results, which by themselves can’t be taken back, but lies with the control and discipline necessary to harness the impulses behind these decisions, and the willingness to learn from the aftermath.

Being able to control your impulses are tied in with you having important personal goals and a sense of direction…If you don’t know what you want, any old thing that catches your fancy can trip you up on you way to who knows where. And that’s sad.

Children and teens can get away with this to a certain extent because they’re still learning about themselves, and trying to find out how they fit in the world. Past a certain point, though, you just have to have learned enough to stand on your own and make an informed decision as to how and where your life will go. The great part of growing up is the mastery you can attain with every difficulty you conquer and every new skill you earn.

One important skill to master is to learn how to manage and control your impulses. But how?

Find the factors and environments that contribute to the most common impulsive decisions that keep tripping you up. Assess those factors. Then act to lessen their influence. Sounds simple, but in practice, it isn’t so easy. Continue reading How To Manage Impulsive Decisions

On Adapting To Change

28 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

  • “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” – popular military saying
  • “Prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.” – yet another popular military saying
  • “Don’t forget to bring your towel.” – Douglas Adams’s fans*

Of these three sayings, the one about the towel captures the gist of this article perfectly. It’s when the plan hits the real world that you need to keep a clear head –and your towel close. Whatever life throws at you, when you know where your towel is, you’re good to go.

Goals are not plans.
Goals are the end point, plans are what you refer to guide you there. If the terrain sudden changes on the way to your goal, you need adjust and very probably go off-book.

Forcing reality to adjust to your plans is a waste of energy. Accept the situation for what it is, without judgment, and get going. What can you realistically do to deal with the situation and turn it to your advantage? Where’s the silver lining?

Plans cannot translate to real life without action.
All the paper and diagrams in the world don’t mean squat if you do nothing to bring them to life. Your monthly goals, your yearly tracker? You still have to fill those up, they won’t write themselves. Continue reading On Adapting To Change

Small Changes, Big Impact

13 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

Whether you’re counting pennies or minutes, the small stuff can build up to something big, but also pay attention to the one thing that transforms the seemingly insignificant into the significant: Time.

Time can do wonders with small change and small changes. Time leverages small changes into big deals. After all, what else are big things made of but small things?

Use time and awareness to make the small things work for you. There’s less stress involved in handling small things. No big production, no huge budgets. You don’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself for something so small, so…mundane.

And therein lies the thrill.

How many little adjustments can you incorporate into your routine? How creative can you get with tweaking your routines just that little bit?

The trick is to find the best use for the small things and the small slices of time in your life. First look around (take a good look, you might miss something), and then think of what you can do with what you find to improve your life.
Continue reading Small Changes, Big Impact

No Time To Move?

05 May 2010, by A. Cedilla

When you’re feel like you’re under fire and about to leave the trenches, keeping these tips in mind can help you keep your head in the heat:

Don’t over-schedule.
Know your priorities and organize your day, week or month around them. Face it, how many times were you ever able to fully cross-out all the things on your To-do list and have everything go precisely according to schedule?

Jamming things into your day for the sake of a “full day” makes for unrealistic expectations and unnecessary hardship, and self-inflicted ones, at that. Build some lee-way in your day.

Leave room for things to happen on their own.

This is very important. When you leave room for things to happen on their own, you don’t force things into play once you’ve got the ball rolling. Hurrying things along only shows impatience and poor planning.

If you have a plan and you’re working things out from it, trust in yourself and your actions, and that you’re doing what you can. Don’t force it.

Focus.
Know your major goals for the day, or the week, or the month, and don’t get distracted by sudden surprises or daily tedium. These goals are part of the structure with which you are building your life, you could waste valuable time and energy trying to make up for mistakes you make when you’re not paying the right attention to the important things.

Know your most productive periods. People have their own internal rhythms, their peak hours. Know yours, and take advantage of these times by using them on your most important issues.

Clean up your mess. Rather than waste energy hunting for the things you need for work, keep a neat workspace. Deal with clutter ASAP.

Even better, prepare for the next day at the end of your current workday. By laying things out in advance, you carry over un-addressed issues to a fresh day when you’re better prepared, and by knowing what you’ll need for the next day you save time.
Continue reading No Time To Move?