I want you to take a moment and reflect on how your daily routine…
Is it chaotic or does it run like a well-oiled machine?
Are you missing deadlines or getting projects done with time to spare?
Do you constantly ask the question “Where has the time gone?”
Gentlemen, if this is you then it is time for you to take control of your life. A man doesn’t let his life spiral out of control. Like a Marine recruit, a man keeps his life shipshape and under control. They leave nothing to chance and have a time set aside for every project or chore on their list.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t the occasional hiccups or bumps in the road -we are only human after all- but if a man has his life under control, these obstacles will be minimized.
You need to take control of your life on two levels: The micro level (day-to-day/weekly) and the macro level (long term goals). Each level requires a great deal of thought. What aspects of your life are most important to you? What aspects are you willing to give up? Are there areas of your day or regular routine that you can make more efficient?
It is this humble writer’s opinion that you should start with the long term plan in mind and work your way backwards.
What do you want to accomplish in the next 6 months? Year? 3 years?
Write them down. Create a timeline for major milestones on the way to completion. Slice it down to smaller and smaller increments of time until you get to the day-to-day grind.
Now what are you going to do every day to help you accomplish your goals? Be sure to make time for them every day. Don’t leave them off your daily agenda and just say, “Oh, well I’ll work on X whenever I have any free time.” Trust me, you won’t ever find any free time.
Developing a daily routine is just like creating a zero-based budget. Every dollar -in our case, every minute- has to be accounted for and allocated. Don’t leave your precious minutes to float out in the void, never to be seen again. The cumulative effect is truly staggering.
Example Daily Routine
A daily routine doesn’t need to be set in stone nor does it have to be the exact same every day. My routine varies depending on which nights I have martial arts classes, but some factors will always remain the same. My morning and afternoon schedule is all about getting shit done; power working! The evening revolves more around spending time with my family, studying, and preparing for the following day. Here is an example routine loosely based around my very own:
- 5:30AM – Wake up. Morning hygiene routine.
- 6:00AM – Get dressed. Coffee and breakfast.
- 6:30AM – Head to work.
- 12:00PM – Lunch and walk.
- 1:00PM – Work.
- 4:30PM – Head home.
- 6:00PM – Time with kids and dinner
- 7:30PM – Put kids to bed. Read/Study.
- 9:30PM – Lay out clothes and prepare meals for next day.
- 10:30PM – Bed.
Tip: Set alarms on your phone to go off for each segment of your day. It will help keep you on track by giving you quick reminders throughout the day. Just keep the alarms to a minimum, focusing on the big change of tasks, or else they become cumbersome and annoying.
Simple as that. “But Jak,” you may be saying. “What if I complete a certain task ahead of schedule? What if traffic is splendid one day and I get home a half hour earlier? Or worse, what if traffic is terrible and I get home an hour later?”
First, it’s Gentleman Jak.
Second, your schedule isn’t written on stone tablets from atop of Mt. Sinai. A man must be disciplined, but also adaptable. Get into work early? Power through your workload faster and take a longer lunch or leave work early.
Get home late? Time to bust ass and get back on track. Choose what you are going to skip over that night or stay up late. It’s all about priorities and the priorities you choose will determine the path your future takes.
Do you prioritize playing a few more levels of your video game or studying your book on programming?
Consistent. Disciplined. Adaptable.
Those are the traits that will help you gain control of your life.
Additional Reading – Automate Success at Becoming the Monolith