Good parents know that routines, boundaries and firm but loving discipline are the keys to successful parenting. It worked when you were a kid – so why shouldn’t it work now? As an adult, you have the freedom to make your own decisions and to run your life as you see fit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from learning to parent yourself. Here’s how to do it in order to see more success in business and in life.
1. Give yourself a bedtime
It might remind you of being a child and being forced to go to bed before you thought you were tired, but there’s really some value in it. Lots of adults don’t get the amount of sleep they should (about seven to eight hours a night, depending on the person), and that can affect you in many negative ways. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, irritability and, in turn, reduced productivity. If you’re having a hard time sleeping or getting to sleep earlier, try exercising more frequently or more vigorously than you currently are.
2. Practice healthy routines
Parents know that having kids stick to a routine helps the kids feel more secure and successful. When they know what is expected of them, they’ll tend to rise to those expectations. As an adult, routines can help you, too. If you’re struggling to juggle too many tasks in your life at work and home, scheduling the time for each task will help you set realistic expectations of yourself and help you avoid worrying about when you’ll have time for this thing or that thing. When all of your daily duties are worked into your schedule – another word for routine – you’ll probably find that you get better at fitting it all in.
3. Set boundaries for play - and work
It might have seemed like a drag to have your parents limit the amount of fun time you were able to have with your friends or to force you to do chores before you could go play – but that was teaching you good habits and giving you a sense of reward and accomplishment. Do it for yourself now, too. Limit yourself to one or two nights out on the town each week, for example. The same goes for work. You might be tempted to work all that overtime to make more money – but that’s also going to affect your work-life balance.
4. Self-discipline when you step outside the lines
Whatever boundaries you set in terms of play time and work time, stick to them. Like your parents might have done for you, set up a discipline strategy when you don’t meet your goals. If you overspent your budget one week, spend less the next week, for example.
5. At the same time, reward good behavior
Also remember the concept of positive reinforcement – something parents also practice. When you’re sticking to your schedule, meeting your goals and generally staying on a good path, reward yourself for good behavior. Subconsciously, that will help you continue making good choices.
As an adult you may have left your childish ways behind, but you can still benefit from learning how to parent yourself to make you more successful.