How to structure your day.
How you structure your day not only says a lot about you but a lot about who you wish to be. Unfortunately, the question of who you wish to be is different for everyone, and different for you throughout your life. That is why I’ve stopped asking it, and instead, ask; who should I be. I did this for several philosophical reasons, but the main one being the shift in one’s external outlook on life.
Who should you be?
Having grown up Catholic and gone to a Catholic school, plenty of people have told me what I should do throughout my life – from my parents, siblings, teachers, and friends. Unfortunately, when I was a child I mistook what I should do for who I should be – an error I have seen too many people make. Later on that.
The idea of what you do is who you are, lead me to study the habits of very successful people, because if my thinking was correct then I wanted to be on the top of the totem pole. Some of the habits and routines I noticed are “best practice” habits for day to day living, but some things can’t be adopted by everyone – including me. This is something I didn’t understand at the time. Everyone has a varied range of personal handicaps unique to who they are, and this imbalance of talent will factor into your success of what you choose to do. If you base who you are off what you do, you will end up devaluing who you are, because you will always fall short what could do.
No one can do anything perfectly. They may do it well, but not perfect. And in this lies the difference between doing and being. Doing can later be simplified into it was done, getting done, or it was not done. What about being? What could it later be simplified into?
This question prompted me to study various philosophies and religions, some right and others wrong – ultimately coming to the conclusion, while researching Augustine’s philosophy behind his City of God, that the Catholic church gave the best answer with the soul.
You can’t always improve your career, sometimes you will just be in a dead-end job that you can’t get out of, but you can always improve your soul because of vice. This leads to the conclusion that you should be someone who strives to be virtuous.
The heart of the matter.
People tend to think of a virtuous person as someone who has no fun, bound by restrictions. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone who has thought about this deeply or spent a great deal of time reflecting on their action can attest to this. Once you gain self-discipline you are exponentially freer. Freedom and virtue are synonymous with each other. And you can bring this freedom into your personal life, no matter where you live.
I will say that this schedule is idyllic and given some peoples state in life may be unachievable. Though it is very Catholic oriented, things can be substituted so it becomes generic enough for people of all backgrounds and flexible for all stages in life.
First thing in the Morning
- Prayer (I prefer The Chaplet of Divine Mercy because God’s mercy is something we all need)
- Cardio exercise (could be as short as 15-20 min., get the blood pumping)
- Take a cold shower (this helps regulate your hormones to their optimal levels)
- Make your bed
- Have breakfast
In the afternoon
- Weight train (engage the muscles)
- Have supper
- Prayer (preferably your Daily Rosary in an Adoration Chapel)
Last thing in the Evening
- Clean your room
- For 30 min. read or journal (I suggest alternating given that reading is more about learning and journaling is more reflective)
Implementing this only consumes 3 hours of your day, giving you 13 hours to get done what you need to get done (assuming you get 8 hours of sleep) – 30 min reading, 30 min cleaning, 30 min in prayer/reflection, and 1.5 hours exercising.
The more predictable your life is the more stress you can eliminate, focusing your time and energy on your job or those you love. I’ve started to make a lot of these changes to my own life and am seeing great changes to my overall well being. I’m excited to see what happens when I am able to make all the changes – how my life may flourish and the relationships I share grow. I encourage all who read this to strive to implement, if not this one, a schedule to help them eliminate the chaos in their life and unlocking the freedom that self-mastery gives its user.
Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.Vince Lombardi