The importance of self-control

All learning habits and study skills depend, to some extent, on self-control. We may know how to do a math problem, but it won’t get finished if we can’t tear ourselves away from that new video game! Self-control is what makes it possible for us to resist doing really fun things until we get the things we need to do. Another way to say this is ‘delay gratification.’

It turns out self-control is really important in life. People who demonstrate it, tend to be more successful in all kinds of things. One major study that showed this link involved children and marshmallows. You can learn more about it here:

I find that making my daily list of things to do helps me avoid wasting time. How do you practice self-control? Please share your thinking in the comments below!

46 thoughts on “The importance of self-control

  1. One thing i do to practice self control is, when i am doing my homework, and i think it’s really boring, then i just think how mad i will be at myself before i go to bed or when i wake up.

    • So you give yourself a little pep talk or lecture about what will happen if you don’t do your work? Consciously thinking about this kind of thing can be very effective.

  2. One way I practice self control is that my wifi is set to go off at 9pm on my IPad. So I have to manage the time with the h.w online.

  3. Usually I play a game with my homework next to me and then I get so frustrated because I want to play the game but not do my homework then I get so frustrated that I eventually will de my homework.

  4. One thing I do to train my self control is, when I come home I try to do my homework instead of spending hours on the Internet. But, when I am done with homework I reward myself with Internet.

    • Oscar,
      It sounds like you and Katia are both practicing versions of the old, FIRST/THEN routine: first, I’ll do my homework; then I’ll reward myself with something more fun…that can really be effective!

  5. I like this video very much because there were really funny moments,and I think ye it’s true that every people in the world should control there are selfs.

  6. 28 September,2015
    I practice self-control when I determine myself to finish my home works before I do any other activity.

    • You know, Katia, the old, ‘First/Then trick is one of the best ways to practice self control. FIRST I’ll do this! THEN I’ll do that. Sounds simple, but it’s one of the best ways to get difficult things finished.

  7. Usually I identify the consequences/rewards of my decisions before I make them. If I do this, then this will happen.

    Also if I was put in that situation, I would’ve played with the marshmallow instead of eating it.

    • Olivia, I think it’s great to think about the rewards/consequences. It can help put things in perspective, as well as be a good motivator! I have no idea what I’d have done about the marshmallow; I never liked them very much, so it might have been easy to leave it!

  8. I have an Prather of things I first do my H.W and than I can play and do what ever I want. Some times if I have a lot of H.W I take a brake in the middle.

  9. Sometimes, when I’m watching TV or something like that, I try to figure out what time I do my homework, but sometimes I get carried away and I then forget to do my homework.

    • It is easy to get carried away and forget, Akira. Some people set an alarm to remind them. Others don’t start the fun until they’ve done their work.

  10. On the weekend I have a routine that I finish my homework after lunch so I have the whole morning to do stuff and then a homework break then relaxation time afterwards. \(^~^)/

  11. first I do my homework. But if I don’t know how to do the work then I play my ps4 till I think I got my answer. After I’m done with everything then I have free time

    • Harsh,
      I think it is great to do your work first. And it’s fine to take breaks. But be careful of too much PS4 playing; I find I usually don’t find the answers to the questions I’m asking in video games!

  12. My self control routine for homework is doing one question in math homework or whatever, and then I read one page of the book I’m reading at that time (probably some “Harry potter and the order of the Phoenix” thick book that takes only a couple of weeks to finish,) and then another one and another page until homework is done.

    • Inbar, breaking up your work into smaller steps can be very effective, as long as you don’t get lost in the great book you are reading!

  13. I help my self control on my devices my only giving my self 15min a day on weekdays (not including homework) and keeping my devices in another room that’s not my bedroom.

  14. How I control myself is by having plan for the day like at the beginning of the I would finish any homework I didn’t do yesterday then I would go to school then I would come home and finish my homework (I sometimes get distracted) then I do something fun then I have dinner then I do something fun again then I go to bed.

  15. My self control is when I do my homework when its time. It is a routine of other stuff also. The other thing that is when I get dont talk to someone while someone else is taliking. Also another thing is when I read a book I dont move foward

  16. I practice self control by writing my plan for the day, or put my videogames somewhere else and do my homework. Then I play games for few hours.

  17. My mom told me that every day I need to devote at least one houre for homework. Usually, I’m watching videos instead of doing my homework. But, my mom probably knew that is going to happen so she told me that if I’m watching videos instead of doing what I’m suppose to do , she’ll take my phone. It’s work-I’m doing my homework…..

    • I’m glad that works. Now think what you can do to control your own work, so your mom doesn’t have to take your phone! Maybe you could give it to her yourself while you do your work?

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