Discipline And The Power Of Habit

Brad Merrill
A free video tutorial from Brad Merrill
Entrepreneur, Journalist, & Bestselling Instructor
4.5 instructor rating • 8 courses • 70,293 students

Learn more from the full course

Modern Productivity — Superhuman Focus In A Distracted World

Boost your productivity, reclaim your focus, and achieve your goals with this proven approach to personal productivity!

01:46:21 of on-demand video • Updated August 2020

  • Develop a productive mindset and stay motivated
  • Develop strong self-discipline and use the power of habit to your advantage
  • Understand the difference between busy work and productive work
  • Minimize the many distractions of modern life
  • Understand the truth about multitasking
  • Break your compulsive social media habit
  • Take charge of your time and stop living on other people's schedules
  • Identify your peak hours for productivity and become an early riser (if you want to)
  • Set long term goals and break those goals down into actionable tasks
  • Conduct annual, quarterly, and weekly reviews of your life
  • Use a task manager to plan and organize your work
  • Develop a strong work ethic
  • Stop procrastination in its tracks using a very simple strategy
  • Increase your efficiency with deadlines
  • Avoid burnout by changing the way you work
  • Understand how music affects your productivity
English [Auto] Before we go any further we need to acknowledge an important truth and that is as you set out on this quest to maximize your productivity you're not going to be super motivated all the time. Motivation often comes in waves. You're really stoked and excited about life one day and the next day you feel like you're not making any progress and you just want to stay in bed. That's normal. The solution is discipline. Discipline is continuing to work continuing to make progress. Out of habit even when you don't feel particularly motivated. Discipline trumps motivation. Every single time this is arguably the number one variable that separates the world's most productive and successful figures from everybody else. Stephen King famously said Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration the rest of us just get up and go to work. That's exactly what I'm talking about. It's about habitual progress every day without fail no matter what. This is a skill that's developed over time by learning to consciously change your patterns of behavior. Have you ever heard the phrase we are what we repeatedly do. It's true. I also love the way Gretchen Rubin puts it what you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while. You don't achieve any goal by working on it when you feel like it. The way it gets done is through constant relentless action every single day. Some people think productivity means doing a lot of things in a day and sure are productive people have the ability to do more things. But when you get down to it productivity is more about doing the right things consistently and that is the result of discipline. You might want to write this next part down because it's important and I'm going to keep coming back to it. Momentum and inertia are the key determinants of consistent productivity. I want to say that one more time. Momentum and inertia are the key determinants of consistent productivity. Let me explain what I mean by this. Isaac Newton his first law of motion states that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted on by an outside force that is inertia and that law is just as true in the realm of productivity as it is in physics. Think about it if you just sit there like a bump on a log. You're not achieving anything. You're not moving in a meaningful direction. But if you're in constant motion. If you're doing things every day that are moving you toward your goals you're going to keep moving in that direction indefinitely until you ultimately achieve them. And in fact your momentum is actually going to accelerate because seeing your own progress will add fuel to the fire and give you some of that internal motivation to keep moving. So how do you become a more disciplined person. Like I said discipline is a skill. It's like a muscle that you have to exercise and develop over time. A lot of the principles we'll talk about in this course will help you develop stronger discipline. But if I had to give you one actionable tip that you can immediately apply to all areas of your life to improve your discipline it would be this. Choose solutions over distractions. So what does that mean. Well as you know life has an infinite supply of problems. And as long as you live it's going to be throwing problems right at your face. Some of those problems are expected. And as a result they're pretty easy to deal with. Others are unexpected and a little more difficult to deal with. You don't get to choose which problems life sends your way but you do get to choose how you react when people face problems they react in one of two ways with a solution or with a distraction for easy problems. Most people automatically react with a solution and that's the end of it. But when things get tough it's very common to turn to distractions. Distractions are activities that make you forget about the problem or at least dull the pain that the problem is causing you. These activities range widely from just zoning out on the couch watching TV or playing video games all the way to things like alcohol and drug abuse. So there's a wide spectrum. But they all fundamentally come from the same place distractions temporarily take your mind off a problem without actually solving it. So every time you're faced with a problem you have to choose whether to respond with a solution or a distraction. And these choices turn into habits. Every time we choose a solution it becomes a little bit easier to choose a solution for future problems. Every time you choose a distraction it becomes a little bit easier to choose a distraction for future problems. If you choose either one consistently enough it becomes a habit either a good habit where you're always taking action to solve your problems or a bad habit where you're always using distractions to hide from your responsibilities. So here's the actionable part. My challenge for you is to start making a conscious effort to choose solutions over distractions until it becomes a concrete habit. Now if you're currently accustomed to choosing distractions it's not going to happen for you overnight. It does take some practice and repetition but with time you will be on your way to a far more disciplined and productive life.