“Let all things have their place; let each part of your business have its time.” Benjamin Franklin
Order is the word used for the month of September for followers of the Unity Movement. More specifically, it is called ‘divine order.’ They are the creators of the small guide called, Daily Word. My mother introduced me to this small booklet at an early age and reading it has been a part of my morning ritual ever since that time.
As an educator, this time of the year reminds me of ‘getting back to basics.’ This is when we attempt to rein in the children after a long summer of unstructured play. It is a time when bells ring to signal where we should go and at what time. That order is built around a carefully planned schedule.
“Order” is what the judge shouts when the courtroom is about to fall into chaos or anarchy. He or she pounds the anvil to bring things back under control because little can be accomplished without a level of systematic order. Some refer to it as ‘getting our ducks in a row’ and following some design.
Each day, I create a ‘to do list.’ I only write conceivable goals and I strike them off as I complete each task. For example, I would never say, write four chapters today. But, I might say, write one chapter today and two might roll out, if the energy around me is right.
Anything that I do not accomplish on that day will be moved over to the next day’s list. Highly successful people have plans which are normally written down for the sake of remembering. We get thousands of interruptions within a day, so a written plan is essential. One text or email can easily take us far from our goals, but the written words bring us back into focus.
Order requires organization. When I sit down to write or grade papers or start on any task, I make sure that I have all of the tools I need to complete that task. Every time I get up to get some item, that is time taken away from the task and I usually set a span of time where I work straight through without stopping. I might say, okay, I will work for two hours before I take a snack break.
I also mute the phones because an unexpected phone call or text can destroy a work schedule. Once the concentration is broken, there is a chance that I cannot get back into the zone nor back on task. Yet, once that task is completed, I make it a point to keep order by putting everything back into its own ‘home.’ I put away the pens and the paper or whatever I am using for that endeavor.
I also clean off my desktop by putting things into their proper folders. As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.“ Once something has been accomplished or completed, the mind is free to move on to the next phase or project.
This brings me the latter part of Franklin’s quote where he writes, “…let each part of business have its time.” This reminds me of my book, A Golden Leaf in Time Revised where the two main characters, Trey and Phoenix, have allowed the carnage of their individual love lives to negatively affect their jobs.
Og Mandino, author of The Greatest Salesman in the World, said,
“I will think naught of my family when I am in the market place for this will cloud my thoughts…There is no room in the marketplace for my family, nor is there room in many home for the market. Each will I divorce from the other and thus will I remain wedded to both. Separate must they remain or my career will die.”
I have seen careers suffer because there was no clear separation between family and jobs. Some families call the jobs all day and several employees have taken way too many personal issues to work. I am guilty of this as well. As Mandino suggests, there needs to be a line of demarcation between the two. Then, order and real fulfillment can be experienced.
However, after a lot more maturity, a planned and organized work schedule and an understanding of keeping the family and the marketplace separate, we can truly bring more order into our lives.
Lynn September 21, 2014