Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

A System Is Better Than Discipline

Showing up every day, no matter how you feel, is more about systems than discipline.


Discipline is important and necessary.  It’s just not sustainable.  There will be times when willpower gives way. The gaming/binging/procrastination urge will be too strong. It will overcome you.

You will give in. 

Then you’ll beat yourself up. Guilt.  The “Why didn’t I do this sooner? I’m such a loser” narrative kicks in. You have to start all over again.

So discipline isn’t the way to do this. 

Setting up a system is the way to do this.

Here’s a quick list to get you started:

  • Give yourself fewer choices.

  • Get up at the same time every day

  • Start work at the same time every day.

  • Limit your wardrobe options.

  • Eat the same thing for breakfast every day.

I have a morning routine. When I’m home, there is rarely any variation in that routine.  It starts with making the bed as soon as I get out of it — it ends about 3 hours later when I’ve read, prayed, written and posted a blog and had sufficient fluid and fuel intake. 

I’ll tweak this routine. But it generally doesn’t change.

That’s a system: a repeatable set of steps that produce a result. 

What are you procrastinating today?

What’s the system you need to develop to stop procrastinating and get that thing done?

Then when you do show up every day, you don’t have to spend precious brain power trying to assess and figure stuff out.

Just work the system.