Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.
Earlier today I watched an excerpt from a question and answer session with Jordan B. Peterson. For those that don’t know, Jordan B. Peterson is a Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. There’s a section in the video in where Jordan talks about organising your schedule, below are my notes or takeaways from his advice paraphrased:
Don’t use Google Calendar as a tyrant; you should use your calendar as if it’s your confidant or advisor. Sit down, open your calendar and design a week of days that you’d like to have, schedule events that you would consider to be meaningful and productive on a daily basis so that you feel that your life is justified by having a day like that. The goal should always be to make progress day by day rather than falling further behind which you can accomplish through establishing disciplined habits.
The reason this advice stuck out to me was that I am, like many are, in the mindset of cramming too much into my schedule, never completing everything and then left feeling dissatisfied with the day and how much I’ve accomplished. My lack of achievement (in my eyes) wasn’t due to me not focusing, or working hard enough; I would just overestimate how much I could achieve in a given day, or severely underestimate the length of time taken to complete a given task. If you allow this kind of behaviour to continue, you won’t gain much ground towards your goals which can then lead to all kinds of physiological effects depending on your personality.
I would consider myself a progress driven person. I like to finish each day with having made progress towards one, or all of my goals. Greg McKeown wrote an excellent book titled: ‘Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less’ which I thought would be worth mentioning here. If I had to sum the book up in a sentence, it’s main premises is focusing on a small number of goals and making a huge amount of progress towards them daily, rather than making little progress in a million different directions. I like the rule of three, so one example of setting goals could be in the broad categories of business/work, athletic pursuits, and personal projects (travelling, reading, relationships, etc.). If you’re an artist, you may wish to add the category of ‘artistic endeavours’ too.
Bring this article full circle, achieving your goals lies in your day to day habits and routines. To go far each year, you must do something significant each day. Creating a schedule in this way keeps you aligned to your goals and on your path in life.