To put it in short:
Routine, personal common practices and controlled environment.
Setting routines and personal common practices frees you from cognitive decision driven procrastination. In other words, when you know what your day will be like the night before. A simple example would be choosing an appropriate outfit before to going to bed will save you time and headspace in the morning.
In his book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, author Mason Currey examines the schedules of 161 well known painters, writers, composers, philosophers, scientists and other thinkers.
“A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one’s mental energies and helps stave off the tyranny of moods.”
Here are few examples of common elements found by Sarah Green Carmichael from Harvard Business Review outlined in her article The Daily Routines of Geniuses
- Work space with minimal distractions: only have what you need and do whatever is necessary to have enough privacy.
- A daily walk: stuck at something? Go for a walk.
- Accountability metrics: measure the quality of your work and keep count on it.
- A clear dividing line between important work and busywork: set priorities. Answering emails can wait till after you’re done with the task at hand.
- A habit of stopping when they’re on a roll, not when they’re stuck: it doesn’t matter if your juices are still flowing - discipline is more important.
- A supportive partner: goes without saying.
- Limited social lives: social media reflexes is a good example of ill managed social life. If it gets in the way of your work, don’t do it.
Discipline yourself. Maintain a healthy routine, develop solutions to common problems in life and get rid of the distractions around you. It will make you a better men!