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Self Discipline - An Active Ingredient during Uncertainty

by Laura O’Connell on 15-03-2021


Feeling controlled and restricted during a time of uncertainty can lead to unhealthier habits and behaviours for some. This then leads to choices and decisions being influenced by feelings. And, when we are influenced by our feelings, we tend to spend or waste more time thinking and debating about them, which leads to lack of focus and no where near thinking about the goal or the outcome.

Self discipline is important and helps us to make better informed decisions, helps to keep focused, not led astray as easily and helps us move forward. Self discipline separates the impulsivity from the feeling to allow for more rational flow of thought. Therefore, essential to benefiting your time.

So if you’re wondering why your time management is off, check in with your self discipline and become more aware of your decision making process. Is it rational and serves you well? or, Is it impulsive and feels like you’re going around in circles?

There is plenty of research and studies in this area. People with better self discipline are more content and productive than those without.


Over the last 10 weeks I decided to cut out alcohol, sugar and carbs. I’m an all or nothing person!

The pandemic was radically shifting my behaviour and mind to allowing myself continuous treats and rewards to help me feel better. This is the example of the feelings getting in the way of the thought process. I started the back and forth thoughts with "will I", "won’t I", "sure I deserve it", "sure everyone is doing it", "there’s not much else going on" etc. All rings a bell with you, I’m sure. However, the amount of time I was wasting in my head and going round and round when I could be focusing my thoughts elsewhere to more productive habits was phenomenal.

So I cut it out, and I cut the alcohol, the sugar and the carbs out. This was the start of my self discipline practice. It wasn’t for weight purposes (although a bonus!) it was for time and focus and achievement purposes. It was the start to kickstarting healthier choices, becoming more active physically and mentally. Being more present. Feeling more in control. To some it seemed huge, a punishment even. For me, it was removing all temptation, to allow me focus on the process and to achieve better results. The results so far has been phenomenal. Yes some weight loss, better eating habits but more importantly creating more time to focus on what I need to focus on. Better productivity and performance all round. The bonus was even better ie. feeling like this pandemic wasn’t taking control of everything about me.

Will I stay off the “not so good stuff” long term?, probably not. I will stay on this track though until I know I have better self control and can avoid the temptations. I will reward myself but mindfully reward myself. The results speak volumes.

Get more comfortable with your self discipline, befriend it, reward it and move forward in the right direction to stay focused and on track.