Delayed Gratification: A Self-Discipline Strategy For Digital Creatives

In Stop Saying You’re Fine, Mel Robbins suggests the practice of delayed self-gratification. This is a strategy to outsmart ourselves and beat our resistance to getting things done. We have a natural tendency to keep the status quo and remain within our comfort zone. It’s important to have this in mind when considering goal setting. We need to find ways to stay motivated, self-disciplined, and committed to our goals and dreams. If it was easy, the self-book industry wouldn’t exist. 

Let’s go with a personal example. I’m trying to improve my blog performance and workload. To achieve this, I’m creating a content schedule. I know this is basic advice for bloggers but I never liked the idea of planning and scheduling posts. My approach to blogging over the past few years has been to go with the flow and wait for inspiration to come. I know, I know. You can’t wait for it, sometimes you have to sit down and get a piece of writing done, even if you think it’s rubbish. Yet there is a reason I don’t like to plan and schedule posts: I like to create and then hit the publish button right away. It’s the dopamine high we love so much as human beings.

Click here to read my book review of “Stop Saying You’re Fine” by Mel Robbins

We tend to misperceive being high with feeling good. There is a huge difference between a short-lived emotion and a feeling of well-being. If I sit down, write and publish a post right away, I won’t savor and curate the process of creating and sharing. I create something at the moment but I don’t give myself the time to review or even improve it. I don’t connect with it so much or in the deepest way possible. I only get that immediate creative high, which dissipates soon. 

What I found out is that, if I schedule, I can keep being spontaneous and focus more on the quality of my writing. Having a timeline helps me prepare, create intention and be more consistent. In the past, I have only written when there was a sudden rush of creative energy. In other words, I became addicted to that creative high. I would release the energy through my writing and then never come back to review and edit it. The result would be an enmeshed piece of writing, with plenty of bad-worded sentences. 

A more thoughtful approach to content writing can help digital creatives be more disciplined. A weekly writing commitment invites you to prepare for the creative process. This in turn helps you be more consistent with your writing and improve its quality. All you have to do is to delay the instant gratification you get from publishing your piece right away. That’s the creative high I mentioned before. It feels good at the moment but it’s not long-lasting and it costs you quality.

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8 Comments

  1. I really like how you explained the difference between an emotional spike and longer-term wellbeing. Thank you for a helpful article!

    Like

  2. I love this! This reminded me that I really need to get into the habit of rereading my posts – I’m very good at scheduling but I never actually return to them to improve them! Thank you so much for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s important if we want to improve quality. We tend to improve over time but we can also refresh and sometimes even repurpose past posts. It can be a bit time and patience consuming but I think it pays off 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelly Diane says:

    This is such an interesting topic. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading 🤗

      Like

  4. This is a really interesting blog post. This is very helpful, thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it resoanted with you 🤗 Thank you for reading and commenting! x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Isa A says:

    This was nice, precise, yet comprehensive with the idea. I didn’t think of it that way. I also don’t have a time bound scheduled posts routine. And also don’t write only when hit by an idea. It’s somewhat in between but more towards the latter. And I agree with the discipline. It’s a needed in blogging. Thanks for the thought. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger

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