Do Things Your Future Self Will Thank You For: How discipline can better your mental health

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We all lead busy lives and stress and anxiety has increased as we have tried to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic and its many negative impacts across projects and  industries and now with unemployment rising and the economy under severe strain.

This is the second in the series of articles regarding well-being in the workplace, aimed at helping people feeling under pressure as we all accommodate and adjust to changing times. In our first article, ‘Top Tips for Mental-Well-being’, we emphasised the importance of taking action and eradicating bad habits such as procrastination, but of course this is often easier said than done. The purpose of our second paper is to particularly focus on procrastination commonly referred to as the “thief of time” as the delay in action often leads to time wasting; the sooner the task accomplished, the better. We summarise some helpful tips for practicing self-discipline as an imperative to your mental well-being.

Discipline helps to give you the ability to carry things out to completion, these might sometimes be things that you do not want to do, but things that you might need to do to grow as a person, to grow mentally and to achieve your goals and ambitions… or just to get the job done and dusted. To improve yourself and your own mental well-being it is essential to set goals, stick to them and spend everyday trying to be the person that you want to be, one small decision at a time.

I. Overcome excuses and procrastination

One simple commitment per day is the difference between discipline and procrastination. If you do not overcome that obstacle today, you will have to face it tomorrow. We refer to a useful article  that offers further tips on breaking out of this cycle.

II. Discipline comes from within

The idea will not execute itself; remember what you want and work until you become the person you want to be. Why self-discipline promotes psychological well-being is further explained in the linked article.

III. You cannot fail unless you try

Failure is rarely an issue of incapability but mostly occurs where there is a lack of experience and a proper process of development. Failure is essential in developing all skills. You cannot be successful without consistent practice. As explained in the linked article it is imperative to avoid fears of failure to improve yourself… even if you try and fail today, you are better than you were yesterday.

IV. Time is valuable, you should protect it as if it were a commodity

Procrastination holds no benefit. Procrastination throws you further away from your goals costing you time and stopping you from achieving your goals. The Forbes study linked in the heading offers a way to look at time in a different way and exclaims that ‘buying time, buys happiness’.

V. There are five things you can do everyday to be more disciplined:

  1. Write daily goals and overcome them.
  2. Write “stop doing” lists. Discipline is not just what you do, it is also what you can refrain yourself from doing.
  3. Health is wealth. A healthy body is a healthy mind.
  4. Take breaks without procrastinating.
  5. Recap your day and plan for tomorrow.

Disciplined processes will be different for everyone; it is important that every individual can be confident in their own day-to-day processes to master self-discipline which will positively impact their mental well-being. If we can do that then surely we are all better equipped to deal with the stresses and strains thrown at us, whether global changes to society at a macro level or daily pressures and challenges on a micro level.

We are not experts in well-being or mental health. We have picked up these points, tips and hints from reading around articles and webinars from experts in this field which can be accessed via the numerous links throughout this article. Something we are experts in is helping organisations solve their pain points and overcome problems across the commercial contract lifecycle, and this means we do get to see people working to tight deadlines, balancing work pressures with home life and working together, sometimes in difficult circumstances, to achieve goals and deliver results. Afterall, they are the assignments we at Clear like to target and help resolve.

We wanted to offer up these suggestions, tips and sound bites as much as anything to keep everyone talking about how they feel, normalising the conversation to check on your colleagues in stressful times and therefore generally look out for each other.

The key message we have taken as a theme for all of these well-being articles is “Challenge yourself to be better than yourself yesterday and challenge yourself again to keep growing to be better the day after and the day after that”… next in the series we look at well-being in the workplace and how leaders can help to remedy the in-work challenges employees may face throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.