When I was younger I always made fun of my dad and his stringent schedule. He always joked that if someone were to hire a private investigator, after one week they would figure out exactly when he leaves for work, when he arrives home, when he goes grocery shopping, when he sees a movie and so on. Everyday he has dinner at 7PM, not 6:59, not 7:01, right at 7PM every night. The first Saturday every three to four months he stocks up on kleenex, toilet paper and the like so he doesn’t have to worry about it for weeks. He even color coordinates his closet so when he’s looking for that white shirt he loves he knows exactly where it is when he’s getting ready in the morning, so he doesn’t waste time. His life is one, very well organized, perfectly coordinated schedule.
Now, my dad on the other hand is not the most spontaneous person and he doesn’t really like surprises. He does like to travel, which I guess is expressing a more adventurous side of him, but otherwise he sticks to his schedule.
While I was growing up, I have to say I hated sticking with a schedule, I was not the most organized or cleanest person. I even kept a sign on my door that read, “A neat room is the sign of a sick mind.” Really, that was on my door and I was very proud of it. However, I consistently got in trouble about how disorganized I was and how messy my room was that I slowly became more organized and clean as I matured.
The other day I was reflecting on how much I have become like my dad. I clean my house each month on specific days, I go grocery shopping on specific days, I cook dinner a specific amount of times per week so I’m not cooking everyday, I do laundry on specific days, my closet is color coordinated, my dog is walked a specific amount of times each day, which changes on the weekends…need to say more?
Let’s not forget that I keep a planner with a to do list written everyday, appointments and important phone calls are programmed into my smart phone so I don’t forget, I exercise on specific days, manicures and pedicures are done a couple of times a month on specific days…ok, ok you get the picture.
I will say I am much more spontaneous and spur-of-the-moment than my father, especially on the weekends. I love surprises! And I’m willing to move around my schedule when it comes to important things or for family and friends.
I realize that everyone’s different and one person’s cleanliness is another person’s mess. However, I feel there’s something empowering about my schedule. I feel a greater sense of control over my life, which creates a sense of contentment. I feel incredibly successful, even though I am still working towards a certain level of success in my life.
I know that it takes a certain amount of time and concentration to live your life like this, but because it’s done once a month for the month ahead, once a week for the week ahead and a quick few minutes on a daily basis for the day ahead, you actually have more time and can relax. You’re not fretting over the fact that you forget to buy butter, or when you are going to find the time to exercise, or what you’re going to cook for dinner every night!
So try it! Start living your life on a schedule, I really believe you will feel more empowered. You will feel on top of the world, in control, relaxed and happy.
Here’s a great article on Inc.com about getting organized. It’s more focused on business people, but I feel you can apply this no matter who you are: 6 Keys to Getting Organized by Peter Economy.
One of my absolute favorite planners is by Moleskine. Go to their site and check out all their awesome journals and planners.