“I am not an organized person. But I am a disciplined person. My routine is the key to me getting things done.” - Fred Wilson
I like this realization. I become more organized through discipline. The more organized I become, the more productive, and the more I can fall into routine - which doesn’t end up feeling like routine, as it’s overall fairly fluid and feels like serendipity. It gives to allowing prioritizing to become a fluid function as well.
“I am actually thinking of routines as a source of happiness” - Rohan
From experience, if you don’t have routine then you dwell on things that you don’t necessarily need to dwell on. So the best way to stop dwelling on anything is to start a routine doing anything. Essentially you’ll “get your mind off it” and get back to doing something you find enjoyable or rewarding and get happiness from - meanwhile creating the space your mind needs to help you subconsciously figure out whatever it is you’re dwelling on.
Andy Swan mentioned he just carries a mental list with him, though he in fact does have a routine, however that routine surrounds his children.
I’m glad I don’t have kids yet - though I hope I’ll have time in the next 3-5 years to start a family.
I find having something to guide your routine - like your kids’ schedules - is beneficial to then allow your own schedule to fit in where it can. I think it’s a good idea to have a routine that’s specifically for yourself, so you’re at least checking in with yourself, where you’re currently at / what your current baseline is, etc.. This is why I maintain a regular yoga practice. When this practice slips then my balance, routine and its benefits start to degrade.
Fred’s been a critical part of my education and learning since I first started coming to AVC, almost daily - except for some ruts here and there. It’s allowed me to evolve my own theories, to learn language I didn’t previously know though know I need to know, to reflect and write out my thoughts.
Donna Brewington White, who’s career is hiring-related, brought up an interesting point -
“Interesting that in interviewing we are often more focused on someone’s organizational ability rather than their discipline and as I think about it, the latter seems to be most consistent in determining success.”
She posted another comment that resonated with me strongly;
“It’s amazing how interesting something as mundane as someone’s daily routine can be.
Yet, I know that success is often made up of a lot of little things coming together in the right way so I am always looking for ways to tweak my lifestyle.
As someone who did not grow up with a lot of discipline and structure, I have spent my entire adult life trying to capture this — so anytime I get a peek into “how it’s done” it is extremely fascinating.
I am really struck by the distinction between being organized and disciplined. There is so much emphasis placed on organizational ability and yet as I think about it, the people who seem to accomplish the most are not necessarily always that organized. Many of them hire someone to be organized for them. But I don’t know that you can hire someone to be disciplined for you.”
This brings to mind, is it better to ask potential hires if they are well-organized, or find out if they are disciplined and comfortable with change (agile; unfixed to pure organization/structure), and managing that self-discipline and routine?
My own routine allows me to work hard when I am in the mindset, and then my work schedule is fluid so I can opt to do something that comes up serendipitously - and then I get a break, able to do something I’d enjoy.
Right now I am in a slightly tired / burned out - just need to rest a bit more. My body lets me know.
When I am feeling burned out I usually just rest more, eat tons of high-energy food (pistachios, lots of fruit), and then do a 90-minute Bikram class to get blood and oxygen through my body, etc., and in fact to keep myself needing to rest so I keep my mind at bay; Part of the recovery is having no expectations as to when you’ll be rested again, when the burn-out subsides.
Becoming aware of your cycles is important for better self-regulation, which leads to better decision making, higher overall efficiency and productivity.
I had a conversation with Greg Gortz where he thought it was interesting that I had mentioned listening to my body. He too found that he listens to his body and that helps him maintain balance.
Many people are “stuck in their head” - meaning they are in their mind thinking, and not in their body (perhaps not connected at all) - not feeling their emotions or signals from their body. There are many reasons why someone can be stuck in their mind thinking - usually distraction from feeling emotions that want or need to come up; Emotions could be suppressed from early childhood (3+ years old) and be affecting your adult behaviour (keeping you in your head), and only once exploring those to open them up and deal with them will make it easier to feel safe and comfortable being in your body.
There’s truth to the wording of people being “grounded” and why it’s seen as a positive thing. :)
The better I take care of myself the more I realize health gives you exponential gains - physical and mental energy wise, overall happiness capability and enjoyment of life. You attract this same energy as well, which acts as another amplifier effect. It’s pretty fucking awesome. It’s one of my goals to help everyone be able to reach this level of productivity, happiness.
If you tire during the afternoon, one way to help efficiency return in the afternoon is a nap. It’s hard for me at times to let myself be in a routine for a nap. I get stuck in the excitement and stimulation of the hustle bustle of the day, though when I am able I’m usually more productive overall - even taking the time away of nap-time.
So have a disciplined-fluid life that involves taking care of yourself, with a focus of maintaining and improving your health and wellness, and you’ll feel and do just fine in life.