There may be nothing wrong with you,
The way you live, the work you do,
But I can very plainly see
Exactly what is wrong with me.
It isn’t that I’m indolent
Or dodging duty by intent;
I work as hard as anyone,
And yet I get so little done,
The morning goes, the noon is here,
Before I know, the night is near,
And all around me, I regret,
Are things I haven’t finished yet.
If I could just get organised!
I oftentimes have realised
Not all that matters is the man:
The man must also have a plan!
The World’s producers outstripped other people because they had productive work habits, habits that helped them do superior work easily. Whether or not they were born with genius, they nevertheless worked like geniuses & got geniuses’ results. Not many of them stood at their work, but they all had certain essential work habits that are worth reviewing:
1) They had the habit of planning their work not only for tomorrow but also for goals in the future. They worked for a purpose, & that purpose carried them through hardships & over obstacles.
2) They had the habit of working on things that counted. They avoided enticing distractions.
3) They had the habit of saying no to things that would not help them produce. They kept on the main highway, off the detours.
4) They had the habit of reading books & magazines that would help their work. They kept priming their heads with ideas, facts & inspiration.
5) They had the habit of doing the unpleasant job first. They did not paralyse present activity by letting past work hang over their heads.
6) They had the habit of making themselves work. They kept their effort alive.
7) They had the habit of deciding trifles quickly. They did not putter around trying to make up their minds what to do next.
8) They had the habit of starting vigorously & promptly, often early in the morning. They did not let the grass grow under their feet.
9) They had the habit of working like craftsmen. By working for quality, they got more done & received more satisfaction than if they had rushed for quantity.
10) They had the habit of using their spare time, the habit of using both hands, the habit of doing two things at once. They used each minute before it had disappeared forever. Doing nothing was the most annoying thing in the World to them.
11) They had the habit of getting others to help them. They trained others to be extra hands, eyes & heads for them.
12) They had the habit of working for more than money. Pride in a job well done, in accomplishment, was more rewarding to them than a big bank account.
13) They had the habit of taking on more work. They kept expanding their abilities & achievements. They caught up on work quickly, could take on more work easily. They kept out of ruts by broadening the highroad. They put pressure on themselves to do or sink.
14) They had the habit of requiring production from themselves, of not accepting their own alibis. They cracked the whip over themselves instead of feeling sorry for their lot in life.
Wisdom consists not so much in knowing what to do in the ultimate as in knowing what to do next.
Self-discipline is when your conscience tells you to do something & you don’t talk back.
Instead of letting a mob of hoodlum tasks surround & trample me to death, I force them into a single file & handle them one at a time.
It is better to say, “This one thing I do,” than to say, “These forty things I dabble in.”
If life be short, then moderate your worldly cares & projects; do not cumber yourselves with too much provision for a short voyage.
Don’t sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.
People don’t plan to fail–they just fail to plan.