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How do you discipline yourself to work and concentrate.

How do you discipline yourself to work and concentrate. Sigh...i always have this problem of the lack of self-discipline. instead of working on my research assignment, i have spent almost 2 hours browsing the forums and chatting online.

Anyone has any solutions? Confused
Well, if you are a competitive person like me, live by the motto:

"If I don't, I am letting the professor and university win"


"I don't want to be a janitor", works as well...
Very simple man. Just disconnect your internet connection and do your work you can concentrate on your work Laughing
i will eat my breakfast and concentrate to my work... Very Happy
Use the JDI approach:


STOP reading this stuff and go do your work RIGHT NOW!
Nameless wrote:
Use the JDI approach:


STOP reading this stuff and go do your work RIGHT NOW!

lol nice one Cool

Me too lack of self-discipline. Always wanted to do my assignment but end up playing games Evil or Very Mad
S3nd K3ys
I stop work immediately and brows threads at Frihost. Wink
LOL, I have the exact same problem Smile I should be doing an assignment right now (in fact it was due in today, but i asked for an extension till Monday Smile)

I'm hopeless when it comes to concentration (especially when its to do with university) the only way I can make myself do the work I am meant to be doing it to tell myself (out loud) to do it, and to stop being stupid, because if I don't get it done I will fail. Smile having said that, it doesn't work every time and it pays to do it when there is no one else around Smile (they might think you are crazy Razz Smile)
I never have any homework to do--so I can just chat and play all day. Smile
sounds a little weird haha...but get yourself i nice dessert of something...and once your done you can go eat it and surf the'll make you want to work for a reward...and if you eat it without doing your work...have a friend put a password on your computer for the night that you don't know...that'll do the trick ahah!
Think about it this matter what, you're going to have to do your research assignment, so do it sooner then later. That way, you don't have to worry about it...basically, just do it. Razz
Well usually, i do something fun first like playing WoW then I am motivated to work cuz after i will play it again.
hahaha....u guys are really creative. Really appreciate it. well well, i'm gonna try working on it now...... u guys have a great weekend. Wink
I usually set goals or rewards for myself if I accomplish something. Everyone tends to have trouble focusing on things for long times... ADD is really just human nature...
I'm on cable so I can't disconnect unless I pull my cord, and I dont plan on doing that!
my way is :

think about the results that i will have after finishing the task, maybe i will get compliments and appreciations from other people. Then i will carry on with it without thinking of any other things.


think about the consequences if i cannot finish the task on time or do it good. if in school, i may get poor results and that's not what i hope. if at work, maybe i will be scolded by the boss or even get fired... ...

And also,

i will turn off all the entertainment like internet connections, video games, tv etc.......
live by my moto

"Why do today, when what you can ignor till tommorow?"

gets me in trouble but i deal with that tommorow also
I wait till the last moment (when animals are not concerned) and have TOTAL concentration (as in developing a slight "fever" from it, my temperature goes up a degree C) I don't hear anything and don't see anything else. Work gets done very fast, no mistakes and having done it many years I'm very relaxed about it, so no stress.
I punish myself. Somehow Smile
I think the best think to do is ask yourself. Hey come on everyone knows how to concerntrate but what lacks is their control of themselves. I think you should learn to control yourself from going after distractions in your work.
I can`t ... I`m a loser Crying or Very sad
Well, what I usually do is to set a Timeline of what I have to do.Idea

And sometimes I drink beer just to get on and after that I feel the drive working on things I really hated to do.Twisted Evil

But, I don't mean you try it too because you might end to be drunk! Hehe.. Seriously, disclipining oneself should know first Time Management. That's what I'm trying to say. Wink

I imagine this is going to sound silly, but I'm a psych major and a bit of a gadget lover, so this works for me, since I tell myself this organization is why I got my PDA and student software and so on. I take the time to make to do lists and set times aside as appointments in my calendar on my computer or my PDA, sometimes weeks in advance, or even at the beginning of each semester, by looking at the syllabi the lecturers have given us. I even set up a grade-book like spreadsheet for myself before I found software that includes the same functions & syncs to my PDA easily. That shows me the lists of what tests and assignments are going to be needed in each class and when they are due as well as what percentage of my grade in that class rested on each assignment, to give each assignment a sense of importance. “If I don’t study, I might get a D on this test. A D on this test would drop my grade down to a low B or even C and this is the next to last test. I wouldn’t be able to pick my grade back up, so if I want a good grade in this class, I’d better study.” This also helps me keep track of how I am doing in my classes, how many times I’ve been absent, and if I have to decide how much study time I have to allot to each of two tests on the same day, I can gauge which class I need to put the majority of my energy into. I know you didn’t mention disorganization as your problem but for me, being organized helps me control my procrastination, which is the problem you mentioned.

If the fact I have x number of things on my To Do List for the day or that it's time for my "appointment" with my research paper, then I use a simple system of conditioning.

I turn off any distracting stimuli like TV or Radio and shut off all my IM programs or set them to an Away message asking not to be bothered. I start up a play list of particular MP3s that help me study, usually things without words. That's to block out any background noise, serving almost like white noise or headphones to actually help me concentrate.

Then if I still don't really want to do it, I set myself a specific goal. It may be a time limit like "one hour of reading my notes aloud or quizzing myself with my note cards" or certain segment of the work, for example, “All the outline and the first page". I set a reward like "one hour of role-playing or TV" or a treat like making cinnamon rolls and having one with milk or making a sundae that I'll give myself the minute I've met my goal. I also set a punishment that I'll have to stick to if I don't do it, like "no playing Sims 2 for the next 3 days" or "no renting a movie this weekend." You should use whatever rewards and punishments will work for you, pick things you really enjoy as rewards to make success sweet.

After doing it and sticking with it for a while, I usually find that just sitting down and turning on my "homework" play list gets my mindset right and it feels normal to study now.

Environment helps a lot too. Homework that doesn't require my computer, I do in my library at a desk without a computer and with no TV in that room at all. I've even been known to change the desktop "theme" on my computer if I found I was thinking about whatever movie or band my theme featured instead of my homework. Starting by clearing off your workspace and just laying out the books and things you'll be using can be a big help too. For one thing, you won't be tempted to allow yourself to be distracted by looking for materials and reducing clutter you can see seems to help reduce the clutter in one's head sometimes.

Sorry for going on so long, but these are the things that usually help me. So far, I've managed a 3.87 GPA through over 100 hours of college with these tips, some of them learned only after hard struggle. I hope some of it helps you, too!
it depends what work needs to be done... if you like what you do you wont lose your concentration?and if you dont like it than there must be some REALLY good reason to do that thing.
I recommend relaxation videos at
Help me to concentrate when I'm doing my work.
Nameless wrote:
Use the JDI approach:


STOP reading this stuff and go do your work RIGHT NOW!

That's the way I do it!
I use a system of rewards...

If i study for an hour, I get to spoil myself with a piece of chocalate or get to pop some popcorn and watch a movie.

I also am a video game addict, so I reward myself by giving myselfplaying time Smile
Remove all distractions. All of them.
The environment could be a big factor. I couldn't study in my room when I was in college, I always had to go tot he library to get anything productive done.
Nameless wrote:
Use the JDI approach:


My approach as well.
I couldn't help replying to this post, having just read a really interesting New York Times article about willpower and self control.

The article postulated the following two points:

1. Immediately, the more we exercise self discipline in one area, the less of it we will be able to exercise in other area, whether related to the first area or not.

2. In the long term, the more we exercise self control, the more it will "grow". So as to compare our self control to a muscle.

Don't take it from me though, go read the article, which was very interesting. I found it linked to from reddit.

Here's an interesting bit:

What limits willpower? Some have suggested that it is blood sugar, which brain cells use as their main energy source and cannot do without for even a few minutes. Most cognitive functions are unaffected by minor blood sugar fluctuations over the course of a day, but planning and self-control are sensitive to such small changes. Exerting self-control lowers blood sugar, which reduces the capacity for further self-control. People who drink a glass of lemonade between completing one task requiring self-control and beginning a second one perform equally well on both tasks, while people who drink sugarless diet lemonade make more errors on the second task than on the first. Foods that persistently elevate blood sugar, like those containing protein or complex carbohydrates, might enhance willpower for longer periods.

Anyhow, love to all.

Say hi to your moms for me.

Yup I also use the JDI once you stop thinking about it and do it it isnt so hard
I always procrastinate, or almost always. My problem is that I never get around to starting it whatever it is. Once I start doing something I'm rolling untill either I'm done or something important interferes in the middle. But once I'm doing it I usually work very hard and very quickly.
yeah, this is where I epically fail. I get distracted too easily, unless my work is immediately "necessary" =/

I'm mean, when it's crunch time (ie paper/exam in 2 or 3 days), I can work hella hard, but usually I just goof off...

I dunno, I guess I just realized what I need to do and what's most important only when I get hard pressed like that..
I have this problem as well...

if it's been a problem for a long time, and there are other symptoms as well, it could signal a bigger problem that you can't get over on your own. Tell yourself that if you can't get over it on your own in, say, a month, then you will go to the doctor for help. Could be depression.

For me, removing myself from problem habits has always helped. I uninstalled Call of Duty 4 because I was so addicted to it. If it's internet, maybe try installing WorkRave.

But again, don't be afraid to get it checked out by a medical professional, it could help a lot.

Good luck.
Seems like a lot of people have this problem Laughing
I just figure out how much time I need to do the task required then I am able to do anything i want until that required time slot comes up. But things such as removing your games sometimes help, it definitely frees up your time.
Think there is another component that is important. To be physically active. What is that saying about healthy body healthy mind. So if you exercise in a disciplined way, it would be easier to get your mind to be disciplined as well in a focussed and concentrating way.

If there is no exercise, maybe there is not enough oxygen and it is easier to loose concentration as the brain becomes sluggish and more reluctant to cooperate and concentrate.

I once knew someone who was completely organized with mind and body. For every desk-like assignment that he took on, such as becoming a member of a committee, he would take on a new sport. So as to balance out mind and body. The exercise should be something you enjoy doing, not a forced activity although any exercise I would imagine would be good for the body, and through the body the mind.

Think there may be a link there that can help.
Here is a possible logical strategy to your problem . . . I think.


You are really half way there. It is always the same process with everything really. The first step in any problem is to identify it. So many people live in denial. Guilt sometimes is a great motivator to do the denial thing and you don't seem to be doing that. FANTASTIC.

The second step is to analyze. You are doing that as well, you know what the problem is and where it is coming from so now you just need to find a solution. The only other thing you might examine a little bit is how keen you are in doing the research assignment? Can you get excited about it. That helps sometimes.

The final step is finding a solution. It doesn’t have to be a perfect one and if you are still reading this forum looking for an answer I think you should set up a time slot and stick to it. Time for eating, sleeping, entertainment, forums chatting etc and time for your research.

How do you start that? Select one hour increments (one hour increments are really easy to remember even if you are into the hour). Think of yourself in an office environment and you are doing your one o’clock, your two o’clock and your three o’clock appointments etc. Make your appointments important. If you don’t keep them you will really let someone down, like yourself.

Hope this helps. Oh, right also do not beat yourself up over it because this problem happens to everyone.

Reading your topic and thinking about this has helped me get motivated to organize myself more. See it works. Would like to stay and chat with you more but I have to run off to my appointment.

Very Happy
Ah this is a nice topic, maybe I can boast a lot about myself here. I was always a slave of procastination, maybe I am today also, but I have improved a lot from past, there are few tricks which I applied in my life for self-discipline and less of procastination, some of them are:

printing a paper saying "I would not waste time from now on" and signing it and pasting it on the wall, also keeping the soft copy on my computer, It helps a lot because whenever I see the paper on the wall I get motivation And get up from slacked state.

Also Whenever I want to atand up and am not feeling to then I count to 1,2,3 and stand up.

Also I imagine sometimes a virtual rope when I want to get up from my bed.

May be these tricks are only non-existent but these help unconsciously.

Lets get back to work!! Very Happy
I don't concentrate very well, too busy playing small games like DDD Pool. I even get addicted to Freecell! Work comes low on my list of priorities.

I'm kind of a competitive person so I always think about the kind of time my peers put into my classes. (Especially the ones I don't like) Then, I think... if they can do it, I can. They're not better than me. They just work harder. Time for me to work harder.

I think it's 100% mental. At any given moment, there is a productive decision or a lazy decision that can be made and it's up to us to decide which one we'll take.
I don't. I just kind of let myself be distracted until really, it's something like midnight or one in the morning, and I say to myself, Matt, you might want to sleep tonight. I think that by that time, the main distractions are kind of gone, too- with aim, mostly everyone has signed off, and everything else that I wanted to browse/check has been browsed/checked/
Its the nature of human beings to do things that pleases them most. This is correct even when you are working on a serious issue, whenever you are getting a break, you will jump to your loving habits, whatever it is...

The best thing to do is, love your job, love your studies or love what you have to do... Its not an easy thing but if you are done, you won't ask anymore questions !
Meditation (the real thing, not the dime store guru variety) leads to discipline and concentration. Of course it takes discipline to sit and meditate for a certain time every day, so that can be a catch 22. The best thing I've found is a book by Sri Aurobindo called "The Synthesis of Yoga". If you read a few paragraphs you'll enter a state where you will actually WANT to meditate. Then it becomes easier.
I set goals for myself and make them reachable within a short period. All of the goals will then come together to be my final project. So just take it in chunks.
I enjoy my work. that's how.
Being constantly on the move, I have become a professional multitasker. So I have what you could call a modified JDI method. I approach everything with an attitude adjustment as I call it. I automatically say "F@#k it!" and then dive into it. I have come to find that usually gets out what negativity I may have, (sometimes saying it more than once may be required Laughing ). Then once that is out of my system I can be Nike and Just Do It.
I don't. Which is why I'm posting to FriHost right now.
I give myself little rewards.

When I reach a little checkpoint, I will get myself a snack, or take a break and play some videogames!
I think most people have a problem with procrastination. I have a couple of tricks I use that help me.

1. Like the previous reply, I set small goals and reward myself when I accomplish them.
2. I set a timer for say, 45 minutes, then take a 15 - 30 minute break.
3. I concentrate on finishing one task. The sense of accomplishment usually motivates me to do another task.
4. I make a to-do-list, then cross off each item when it's completed.

Good luck!
There's a funny proverb in my country:

"Don't let for tommorow what you can do today, let it for the day after tommorow maybe it will rezolve itself." (Hard to translate in english)

Vladalf wrote:
"Don't let for tommorow what you can do today, let it for the day after tommorow maybe it will rezolve itself." (Hard to translate in english)

I'll try to put that into a little better English, but you did very well:

Perhaps this:
'Don't do tomorrow what you can do today, leave it for the day after tomorrow and maybe it will resolve itself.'

In English we have the first clause of that as a common phrase: "don't do tomorrow what you can do today". If you switch 'tomorrow' and 'today' in that then it's quite amusing as well. Razz

I'm another one who has trouble with procrastination, but I know when my trouble started: when I first got a computer in my room. I know plenty of people who just sit and browse the internet when they have more important things to do.
My explanation for this is that due to the fact that someone would rather not their work they instead wish to do something else. The internet provides a constant barrage of new and interesting images and so provides the perfect interface for procrastination - an absorbing tool, but an easy one. I think there's more to it than this, but I shan't write an essay.

Procrastination and lack of concentration are both huge problems. They cause lack of sleep, stress and just generally waste time, amongst other things.

The 'JDI', just do it, solution already mentioned is good. But not the full 'cure'. You've got to treat the causes of the problem, not the symptoms. So, if it's the computer that's causing the problem use the JDI approach to TURN IT OFF. Then do the work immediately and, if possible, away from the computer so there's less draw to switch it on again.

EDIT: I'm procrastinating right now... The work I have to do is, unfortunately, on the computer. So I shall JUST DO IT, right NOW.
I have trouble getting back to work when I get now! I find I work best if I start the day working right away, and don't delay. Sometimes I need to tell myself I need to wake up early in the morning to work.

Some people like to work when they aren't physically surrounded by other people. I like to work in an environment where I'm physically surrounded by people who are also working, so I can get up and co-ordinate my breaks with other people.
AFriedman wrote:
Some people like to work when they aren't physically surrounded by other people. I like to work in an environment where I'm physically surrounded by people who are also working, so I can get up and co-ordinate my breaks with other people.

I'd just like to reiterate that, I hadn't thought too much about the affect of place on concentration. Very good point!

Personally, it depends on my mood: often I can work well alone, but also when I'm surrounded by others I can be just as content. My work-space must always be organised and uncluttered though. Apparently a mistake people often make is not to tidy up their desk or wherever they work - something I read about in an exam revision help booklet.
Yeah i am always surprised how fast time goes as soon as i am supposed to study or finish something at work (what i don't seem to like). I prefer to watch stupid cartoons over starting the work that needs to be finished..Most of the time it works out best if you just start with it straight away. Not checking your facebook. or even email. i always notice once i start working and continue working, i am not even thinking of checking out youtube or so...
I always think that I must be finish my tasks for that day....
standready wrote:
Nameless wrote:
Use the JDI approach:


My approach as well.

Same here Laughing
but the thing is, this approach comes in only at the very end Embarassed
tkcy wrote:
How do you discipline yourself to work and concentrate. Sigh...i always have this problem of the lack of self-discipline. instead of working on my research assignment, i have spent almost 2 hours browsing the forums and chatting online.

Anyone has any solutions? Confused

play some trance. and don't forget to lock yourself up in one room
I can't focus on anything for too long. And no, I don't have Attention Deficit Disorder, though I fit most of the symptoms. My Paxil has done in my brain for the worse but I am happy. I have to write my objectives in a notebook and try my best to follow it through.
Aah, I have company here, it seems.

I too have a habit of procrastinating and do have a low attention span at times.

During certain times of the day, I do get a strong-concentration kick and try to make up for the lost time (by keeping all other irrelevant issues at bay for that time).
try to accomplish 1 task at a time or if your a multy task person and fast do all 3 at the same time but then on your situation I suggest do the first one thats easy for you...try to settle everything in a day and don't let a day passed without accomplishing's just a matter of time consuming buddy!!! Smile
I find the only way I can get something done is to be have something else that I want to do less. For instance, whenever I have an assignment due or am supposed to be getting work done, my kitchen usually ends up spotless.
I actually read an article confirming the merits of this approach on some freelance website... I thought I was just a slacker!
I can't stand missing deadlines (at university) or quota (at my job) so as long as those are set, I'll work through the night if necessary. For this reason I haven't been on Frihost in approximately a month by the way. But as my points were approaching zero, the quota effect kicked in. Mr. Green
I try to rid myself of distractions... Namely, the internet. The problem is I'm a computer science major and most of my work is to be done on the internet. So I have a greasemonkey script that blocks a bunch of websites I frequent. Also, keeping my assignment full screen seems to help for some reason.
You have a good point there. It's great that we can nowadays use the Internet for our assignments, but the downside is that you're easily distracted. Many assignments have to be downloaded from the Internet, require (or are all about) searching for information on the Internet, and solutions are to be made in a word processor.

You have to be strong not to get lured away onto the information highway. Sometimes, I wish we were still in the age of books. (Which is partially true for my study, anyway.)
I have sometimes had to knuckle down to work without any boss motivating me (I work from home) and it can be hard.

A tactic I have used is to visualise what I might expect or want to get out of my work. So, for example, it could be that I want to earn enough money to go on a holiday, say.

So what I do is print off a picture of the end goal - photo of a beautiful holiday destination, or simply a restaurant table etc. Then have that pinned nearby the computer as motivation. I'm very goal oriented.

Additionally, on the other side you could always have a picture of what might face you if you don't get on with it! (A nice photo of a bailiff might help?)
I really don't know if you call it discipline but I tend to focus on my work each time I encounter a very hard problem to solve. Maybe it's just an IT instinct but it's how I concentrate. The harder the problem, the better I feel to work, the more I am motivated.

A cup of coffee could also help me concentrate. A lot of laughter with my office mates during office breaks. Talking to anyone including our CEO and president. That's just funny because we can to talk to our CEO and president directly, anytime.

Just be happy with your work. It's a good motivation to make you concentrate on what you do.

It's really hard to concentrate on your work. What I do is think about a bad outcome if I don't discipline myself. That does it most of the time. hehe. and if I really need to concentrate, I don't open my computer.
focus on your task first before doing anything Very Happy
kristine wrote:
focus on your task first before doing anything Very Happy

That's so simple and so obvious, but I think if you focus 'properly' then this would actually be very effective.

Thanks for that, I'll try this!
I find that the concentration levels depend on your enjoyment of what you're actually doing.

I work 9-5 in an office job that I don't mind, but ultimately don't love, and so my mind wanders.

However when at the gym, or doing my side hobby of writing, I am totally immersed in the work, and will find my concentration sticks.
Well, to concetrate I chew a piece of gum. And to work harder, I say in my mind: "If I don't do good, or pass, I won't suceed in my life. I need to give it my all. Now TRY!"

Try this, and tell me your results.
Focus on the task at hand, and time manage properly, if you plan to slack off, then do your task first, then you'll have all the time, if your done with your task Very Happy
Hi, I find this page very helpful. I have the same problem.

I have one tip though. To make yourself work you can try talking to people who regularly and seriously do finish their job on time. This will make you think oh my god, they have finished their work and I haven't! This helps, at least it helped me!

Actually I was looking for something like this and googled the subject and found this. That's why I'm replying this after such a long time!
Just tell you concentrate and repeat it .
I am posting this from work at the moment...OOPS!!!

You could try doing your work from your Boss' Office, lol, sure he/she will make you concentrate.

"SShh!! my boss is coming"
i both have this questions and in order to discipline myself ,i would tell myself that if i still like this my life would be messy and i will become a loser in front of people ,i should work hard to succeed.
The thing that helps me concentrate and do my work accurately is Listening to Music while on the job. << It does help me anyways..

As for working @ home doing work? Never had it and I don't plan on it so I don't know what to tell you.

Listening to Music helps me concentrate alot on working on a job.. Its what I do best that helps me do things properly.
My technique is planning. I usually break everything that I need to study in doable portions, then schedule time for it and then commit myself.
my TO DO list is on my homescreen of my mobile phone., I divide it in small sections like chapters of textbook and small parts and do one by one to keep the list uncluttered, as it is on my homescreen it keeps me reminding everytime i touch my mobile which is very often and thi contant reminder gets work done.
Internet is a very big drawback as far as the concentration on work is concerned, they take much of my time away. Just disconnect you internet and get back to work, yeah I know easier said then done!! Wink
For me to concentrate, I try not to sit in front of my computer! haha! I see a lot of interesting stuffs (like stories to read, games, etc.) when I have loads of works to do. I don't know why it's like that. But oh well. I try to resist taking a lot of time in looking at those things.

If I'm interested on my task, I'll definitely execute all of the things that can be an obstacle for me to focus on my work. But it's like a so-so to me, I'll just finish it as soon as possible for me to have a free time afterwards. Razz
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