If I have learned anything from post-grad life, it’s that unless I absolutely force myself to do something, it will probably only happen every 5-6 months.
Since graduation, I have written exactly one complete story and have revised absolutely nothing. This is devastating because I am not doing the very thing I went to school for 5 years and earned two degrees to do.
And it’s much too easy to convince myself that I am just too tired after my six hour work day to go for a 30-minutes run.
The hard truth of it is that in school, you need very little self discipline because you have hard and fast deadlines to adhere to. Post-graduation, that’s just not the case, so one must develop some serious self-control in order to actually get things done, even things you legitimately want to do (because there will always be an excuse not to).
How do you go about cultivating some self-discipline?
According to the first link I found on google, one must:
1. Develop and Follow your Priorities
2. Make a Disciplined Lifestyle Your Goal
3. Challenge your Excuses
4. Remove Rewards Until the Jobs is Done
5. Stay Focused on Results
For me, personally? I’ve made a few strides in getting myself to actually get things done, and the number one reason is this: I adhere to a schedule. And I don’t let myself slow down or blow it off.
I am finally in the office every day, so when I come home, the work day is actually over and there is a separation between work and play. This is particularly crucial because after working from home for 5 months, the lines began to blur and I started to seriously resent my living room couch.
So now, when I come home, the first thing I do is: sit for a moment, have a small snack, drink some water, and then I immediately go for a run. I’m usually tired, kind of want to make dinner, and really just want to watch tv–but no. It’s 30 minutes, I have no reason not to go.
When I get home from my run, I shower and feel like I have accomplished something.
And it is that that feeling of productivity that keeps me going. Without feeling productive during the day, I get depressed, feel down on myself, and then proceed to accomplish NOTHING.
It’s all about inertia. A body in motion tends to stay in motion, so start your day by being productive and keep being productive.
Come home and go on your run. Come home and write your story. Sure, take a small break, but don’t turn on the TV, don’t lay on your bed–keep yourself in the mindset that you aren’t done for the day just yet.
Because the minute you sit down and stop, you stop for the night. At least in my experience, it is really hard to get moving again, and that’s what has been killing my productivity. Don’t let it kill yours too.