A lot of people believe, somehow, that mental discipline is automatic.
It comes with the brain. :-) Unfortunately, it doesn`t, and it`s a
skill pretty much like anything else.
Being a writer, I`ve heard pretty much all the stories, tricks, and
systems people use to stay focused. "Pick a time and write between
those hours. Get in the habit." Sure, sounds great on paper, but then
all kinds of things interfere, get in the way, look interesting, sound
like a better idea, and so forth.
One key issue is that when our mind wanders, it`s usually because we
really don`t want to do whatever it is we`re trying to do. Not everyone
really really loves writing up a business plan! LOL! In fact, most
people probably really really hate the idea! But it`s gotta be done
So how do we make ourselves do something we don`t want to do?
One way is to bully ourselves into it. That`s a fancy way of voting
"against" something. It`s using pain, threats, torture, and doom as an
incentive. Not very good, I think.
The better way is to develop a positive reinfocement system---an
incentive program. An important part of this is to also reduce the
"large" to the "small." See how small you can break down the process.
For example, instead of saying, "I need to write my business plan
today," why not say something like, "I need to come up with 5 topic
headings I`d like to use in my business plan someday."
You might also say to yourself that if you can get these 2 pages
written, then it`s okay to go out shopping for that thing you really
The problem, though, is still the underlying issue of not liking what
it is you`re trying to do. Another part of that is not being able to
easily see the real and immediate benefit to yourself.
I don`t mind doing dishes, but I really dislike dusting. It`s because
when I wash dishes, I see them getting clean right there in front of my
very eyes! But when I dust....so what? I can`t see much of a difference
unless I put on my glasses. So I leave things until they get so dusty
it`s immediately evident I cleaned them. I also sneeze a lot. :-)
What would be an immediate benefit to having a business plan? I don`t
mean that you would breathe a sigh of relief and say, "Well THAT`s
done!" I mean in the real world, with actual events?
Yet another option is to "trick yourself into working," using a sort of
diversionary tactic. For example, I have a book I want to write, but I
get all caught up in lots of other things. So instead of writing a
book, I`m "jotting down some notes." That`s easy...not hard..and
there`s no particular time limit. I`m just writing a couple of things,
But lo and behold, without actually paying attention to it, I have just
about a whole book. And I like editing a whole lot more than coming up
with original content. So now I just have to edit my notes. Not so