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  • Writer's pictureMaria Stefanidi

The Power of Self-Discipline!

When it comes to academic success, having self-discipline is key. Self-discipline involves making hard decisions now so that you can benefit later.

But, many higher education students resist discipline because they think they will lose their freedom or spontaneity, but that is not true.

In fact, developing self-discipline can be liberating and allows you to focus your energy on important things while avoiding distractions.

Making Self-Discipline Part of Your Life.

Incorporating discipline into your academic life doesn't have to be daunting or overly demanding.

Here are six tips to enhance your self-discipline while working on your dissertation:

1) Remove distractions.

The best way to stay disciplined is to remove any distractions that may hinder or prevent your progress.

Try these tips and see which one fits best: 💡Turn off all notifications on your devices. 💡Create a designated study space free from distractions. 💡Close all tabs in your browser unrelated to your dissertation

2) Simplify routines.

Rather than trying to do everything at once, why not simplify your routines by focusing on forming easy, tiny habits that you can accomplish consistently? Don't rush; take whatever steps are necessary to create a simple routine while working on your dissertation. Soon enough, those little habits will become second nature!

And while you start building your routine, remember to keep the bar low and manageable, so your routine is never overwhelming.

With a bit of effort, consistency will soon lead to discipline.

Try these tips and see which one fits best:

✏️ Create a Study Plan - Having a plan for when and how to study can help you stay on track. ✏️ Get Organized: Having an established system for organizing notes and other materials is key for staying on top of your studying schedule. Keep all of your materials in one place, so they’re easily accessible when needed, and use labels or folders to keep everything separated by topic or course. ✏️ Prioritize tasks according to importance and urgency, focusing on the most important ones first.

3) Personal Discovery.

Learning about yourself is the first step to developing self-discipline as a student. Taking the time to really consider your hobbies, learning styles, and schedule can help you create tailored strategies!

Think about when you feel most energized and productive during the day - that might be the perfect time for more challenging tasks.

Little by little, tiny bits of information build up the larger puzzle of who you are, and this can make creating an effective self-discipline plan much easier.

So why not start gathering the puzzle pieces today? Ask yourself these questions:

❓ What are my strengths and weaknesses as a student? ❓ Have I developed any strategies or techniques that help me study more efficiently and effectively? ❓ What areas can I work on in order to become a better student?

4) Expect Resistance.

Whenever you attempt something new or challenging, there will always be resistance - whether it is fear of failure or simply feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead of you.

Expecting resistance helps you stay ready for any challenges that come your way so that you can overcome them quickly and efficiently without giving up too easily or getting discouraged by setbacks.

Try these tips to see which one fits best:

📚 Embrace Self-Compassion - It's important to take a step back and offer yourself some self-compassion when dealing with failure. Acknowledge your feelings of disappointment, frustration, and sadness, and remind yourself that these are normal reactions to an unexpected setback.

📚 Reconnect with Your Goals - Reorienting yourself to the goals that motivated you in the first place can help you regain focus and keep you on track. Evaluate the feedback offered to you in relation to your project’s objectives. Brainstorming creative solutions can also help shift your perspective and get you back on track.

5) Build momentum.

Once you start making progress toward your goal, don't stop! Keep going!

Building momentum keeps you motivated because you know that even small victories add up over time, eventually leading you closer to finishing your dissertation!

Try these tips to find out which one fits you best: ⭕ Make a timeline with achievable milestones: When it comes to completing a dissertation, planning your timeline is essential. Break down the larger goals into smaller, achievable milestones that you can complete on a regular basis.

⭕ Spend time each day doing something related to the dissertation: Even if it's only fifteen minutes, dedicate some time every day to making progress on your dissertation. This will keep your momentum going and help you stay focused on meeting your deadlines.

6) Track and evaluate progress.

Finally, track and evaluate any progress made during your dissertation journey.

Create a system where tangible evidence (such as word counts) is documented every step of the way, so there's proof you are making progress.

Try these tips to see which one works best for you:

⏰ Keep a record of your accomplishments so you can track your progress toward completing the dissertation.

⏰ Try out various applications to track your time, like Toggl, Forest, Pomodoro, etc.

Dissertation writing may seem overwhelming, but don't let it scare off potential progress.


Self-discipline isn't a hard concept to get your head around, and if you follow the six tips outlined in this blog post, you should be able to have greater self-awareness and control over your actions. If you found these tips helpful and want to uncover four additional ones in order to reap the rewards of self-discipline, just send me an email at with “Self-Discipline” as the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!

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