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The need for Self-Discipline

As a freelancer there is just a lot of moments when you can be just yourself and do whatever you like. Of course, I know that you’re really focused and all, but let’s face it, there are times—and there are just many of them—that you can get off guard and just waste away the day thinking that tomorrow there will be more time to work on your project.

And that’s fine if you do have a lot of time to spare or if you have only one client or project to work on for the moment. But what if you have a lot of things to do and you need to finish a lot things? What if your kid is bugging you to take him to the carnival or what if your wife is asking you to take her to dinner ( and you never say not to your wife)?

You need to really have self-discipline where and when you need it. So I’ve whipped up a few things that you can work on and apply in your own life, ‘coz they made a difference to mine in so many ways.

Exercises to enforce self-discipline in your life

1. Save—not for the rainy or sunny days—but for both. Just take it from me—really. I’ve been a bad user of money. Well, I thought that since I worked hard for it, I should treat myself like a king when I need it. So I went about this routine and this thinking for many months. But soon enough, I was beginning to really like it a lot and I treated myself to good things even before I did something good or even before I received my salary or my remuneration.

Bottom line, I went broke and had to live form payday to payday. That I tell is not a very good scene to picture out. I had bills to pay, and a family to take care of and provide for. In short, I learned my lesson. And I wouldn’t advise that you learn from your mistakes. That is a good way of learning. The better way of learning is by learning from others’ (like my mistakes) mistakes. You know what is the best way to learn? Learn from others’ success.

I’m sure you have a friend or a mentor who has succeeded in this are of concern. So ask them and let them guide you.

2. Work even if you don’t feel like it. Just do it, dude. I mean you know what will happen if you don’t. It’s just so easy to get complacent about not having to work for a boss. Sometimes, I feel that I am made to work for a boss just because I need the discipline to really push myself to do the things that I need to do, coz man, I am just lazy!

But hey, I like the rewards that this work gives, and so I had to trust myself that I can do it. And besides, I am old enough to just be by myself and really work. Freelancers are some of the most mature people on earth. Most people work because they need the boss to tell them what to do, and when, and how. So tap yourself at the back and smile, ‘coz you’re okay. Just do the work and you’ll be fine.

3. Update your skills. No question about your skills, but please don’t trust that your skills now will be of value ten years from now. I mean, the fundamentals will be, but since everything is being married to the internet, then technology has added a few extra things that make a certain skill better. So you need to continue learning so that you grow as you work.

Your thoughts

What are the things that you do in order to keep your self disciplined? How did you realize that you had self discipline or that you needed it? What experience made you say to yourself that you needed this attitude? What do you like to add?

Let us all know in the comments!

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About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →