Discipline is something we are taught from an early age, but as we start to grow up, we we tend to fight it and eventually become pretty lax about it. Then something interesting happens. We start to realize that there are a lot of benefits to being more disciplined. The main one is that you just plain get more stuff done. You also get it done in a lot less time, leaving you more hours in your day to play.

How do you become more disciplined? Try this simple lifestyle hack and see if it works for you.

Make a Deal With Yourself

Start by making a deal with yourself. Pick a project. This could be that home improvement project you’ve been thinking about for weeks, or something you really should be wrapping up at work. Pick something you’ve been putting off for a little while. It’ll be good practice to be more disciplined.

Then make a deal with yourself. Promise yourself you will get it done by a certain date. Setting a time limit is important. Otherwise you keep pushing it further and further back each day you don’t want to do anything.

Put it in writing. I find it helps make it seem more “official” and there won’t be any confusion about what exactly I promised myself I would get done and when it would be done by. Keep a notebook, write it on a piece of scrap paper and leave it in your desk or night table, or make a note on your phone. Just write it down and move on.

Remove Temptation

There are things and people that will tempt you away from finishing that project. Lock away those video games, and close the door to your craft room. Tell yourself that laying on the couch and watching a movie is off limits until you make some serious progress.

If losing weight or eating better is your goal, get rid of the junk food. Get all those tempting cupcakes and cookies out of the house. The rest of your family can live without them for a while.

Bribe Yourself With Rewards

Last but not least, let’s not forget about a little positive reinforcement. As you start to make progress, reach milestones and definitely when you get a project finished, make sure you reward yourself. Think of them as little personal bribes. Make your “treat” something you enjoy. For example, if you go clean the gutters, you can spend an hour playing that new video game you picked up. Or if you’ve been good all week sticking to your diet, go out and buy your favorite tea, or get your nails done.

The more you practice self-discipline, the easier it gets. Think of it as a muscle. The more you work out, the better you perform and the longer you can run. It works the same with discipline. The more your hold yourself to the deals you make with yourself, the easier it will be to stick to it and get it done.

Here’s your assignment for the next few days:

Pick a project you need to get done. Write down your deal, remove as many temptations as you can and don’t forget to work in a reward at the end as well. See if you can get done in time (or even sooner).