Portrait of the Artist as a Man
January 18, 2015

A Week on Order

Week 3: OrderWeek 3: Order

He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night. Poor Richard’s Almanack

When I do not hydrate enough, which I do when I don’t got to the gym and whn I drink too much whisky, especially, late in the evening, I sleep so poorly that it is Herculean to rise at 5am according to my desired scheule. I am not Hercules; I’m probably closer in metaphporical relation to Gregarious of Gyro Wurld(1): minor importance, full of tzatziki.

Little changes in a day can make a difference. For instance, I sleep with Breathe-Rite strips because I have generalized congestion in the evenings. The previous two weeks, I had been using one tpe of strip and sleeping beautifully. This week, I used a different style that didn’t adhere as well and I sleept poorer. waking up at 5 was a chore and, not sleeping as well, racked up sleep deficit that impede each morning further.

I haven’t been able to go to the gym after an injury on Monday. No gym means bad hydration habits - exercise reminds me to drink actual water in an evening. Not gym reduces my mood and not enough water increases my nighttime congestion. So I sleep worse.

Whisky is an diuretic, it flushes water from your system.

You see where I’m going. All of these things compounded into a mediocre week. I didn’t have much energy or willpower to keep my daily or weekly goals in mind.

If we take Frankin’s meaning for Order by his short expression of it:

Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. I have been pretty good with the former and abysmal with the latter (on two fronts for the latter).

I’m pretty good at keeping an organized house. Alyska takes care of much of the tidying up and I try not to add any disarray by cleaning up after myself in the evenings. Most of my messy activities are confined to the kichen the nights that I cook so this week and the last, I’ve been making special effort to clean up the dishes the same night they’re used.

I mostly kept up with that. We had a few later nights because of errands and other plans(2) so did not clean as much as I intended. I played a little catchup on Wednesday but we were out celebrating Alyska’s birthday on Thursday and didn’t finish. Last night, I caught up with dishes but neglected other stuff about the house.

Ultimately, I think my issues with Order are more an issue with Resolve, which is the focus of next week. I am bad at sticking to a plan becaues of unforseen things happening in a day taking energy away.

Refering back to Franklin’s definition of Order as a productivity tool, when much of your work is generated through other people, keeping productiv control can get messy. I manage both my QA team and part of the R&D team (sort of)but have no real autority over the latter from whom I inherit my core job responsibilities. I can only plan so much of my time so far in advance which is becoming increasingly problematic.

My job presents me with many (good) challenges and, as the company expert in a few areas, I’m regularly pulled into escalations with customers or governmental bodies. I enjoy it but it is stressful and pulls me away from other tasks. I’ve hit a point now where I must drastically reduce my responsibilities in a few areas so I can better manage my team and my ownership areas(3). It’s been a slow realization but I’ve got the ball rolling and I think by February I’ll be better able to own and execute the stuff I need to.

Suffice that it is nearly impossible to maintain Order in your business when you have to address lots of fires in a day. And having to shift between what other people need and what I need saps my will and reduces my effectiveness in everything I’m doing.

This week has made this starkly obvious. On Wednesday,I was starting to think I was just a shitty planner and resolutionary bungler. Today, I’m not so sure. I don’t plan as defensively as I could given what a typical workday resembles like plus the regular need for catchup(5). Attempting to do that plus stuff for Bunny Rope or clean the house or what ever else I am totally going to accomplish when iplan it at 6am is over-zealous.

It’s all a question of balance between resolution and relaxation. Yes, doing the dishes and tidying the house makes me feel good but sometimes I need Alyska and tacos and DVDs in bed.

We can addresss the frugality of that need later.


  1. From Hercules the TV show. Herc gets a job at the Gyro Shop. There’s a bunch of bad jokes about the pronunciation of gyro” which sounds like hero” the latter of which is Herc’s desired job. Gregarious is the owner (4).↩︎

  1. Tuesday night at a cigar bar with friends which ended in a bad night for temperance but a damn fun night for me. From my twitter feed: I’m as bad at temperance as I am good at whisky.” No truer words tweeted. ↩︎

  1. While still leaving space for some other opportunities I see on the horizon. I’ve been working more closely with our company’s Chief Privacy Officer who keeps recommending more to help with more of his responsibilities. ↩︎

  2. I could pull off that beard. ↩︎

  1. Honestly, this is the biggest, brightest, nose-runningest symptom that I am overcommitted; and, rather than looking at it as a personal failing, it is healthier to see it as a chance to adjust priorities and responsibilities and get myself some help. ↩︎

Wrestling with Franklin

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The Original GTDer The precept of Order requiring that every part of my business should have its allotted time, one page in my little book contain’d the following
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A Week on Order He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night. Poor Richard’s Almanack When I do not hydrate enough,