Yes, Adapting These Disciplined Habits of the Successful Could Change Your Life
This past weekend I read an article about the desks of successful people. The article discussed how specific people like Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Einstein, and others functioned in their workspace. An infographic told how they organize their lives, schedule their days, and what they have on their desks. It was interesting and I learned a few hacks (I posted the article in my social media accounts over the past weekend if you’re curious about the infographic, which you can find links to at the end of this article).
One of the people featured was, as I mentioned, Albert Einstein and he was noted as having a messy desk and a disorganized work area, while Elon Musk was noted as being someone who strictly plans his daily tasks in five minute intervals, once had his desk at the end of the Tesla car assembly line to inspect the cars himself, and appeared as to be very orderly in relation to the genius Einstein.
Some disorder is supposed to be good for those that are creative, highly functioning, and on the genius level. Yet, I caution in deciding that having disorder will make you those things. Instead, I believe such people are busy with other tasks and so deeply in their thoughts they find organization as a waste of time that could be used creating and discovering. So, with all that Einstein was into, including a very active social life, I’m willing to accept his lack of organizational discipline as likely true and likely necessary because he clearly wasn’t a slack.
In this day and age though I think letting organizational discipline fall from a priority status is putting yourself onto the path of chaos. There is so much to do, so much to learn, so much to keep up with, and if we don’t maintain our home space and our work space then it will get out of control. You are constantly in a state of figuring out where things are, what you have, and what you need. It causes waste of both money and time.
It doesn’t surprise me that Elon Musk is disciplined in how he schedules his day. I’ve read before that he is orderly, tidy, and doesn’t want to waste his time. He has accomplished so much and has more to come it appears. He’s changed the auto industry. He has every car manufacturer and others such as Google and Apple chasing him in regards to the autonomous or self-driving car market. He is pushing for renewable industry and has made major changes in pushing cars into battery operation and homes as well. Have you seen his new line of products for solar panel roof tiles? It’s amazing that it took so long for someone to take away the big cumbersome solar panels and make each and every roof tile a solar panel. They are attractive, affordable, and easy to install. We’re going to soon be seeing those on all newly constructed homes. He’s a major player in changing industries and markets.
Elon Musk is an example of how using your time wisely and working within disciplined rules can put you on a successful path toward accomplishing your goals. Oh, did I mention he has designed a tunnel that will move your car on a conveyor belt at high speeds between major cities and that he is already building one? Also, I think I failed to mention that he has developed a reusable rocket that is going to change how we travel into space, and it is already being used, and out-performing the competition.
I’m not saying that we all need to be like Elon Musk, but I think we have something to learn about people that are successful because they use their time wisely. For example, it is said that you see Mark Zuckerberg wearing the same outfit so he is comfortable and doesn’t have to consider what he will wear each day. He wore that same basic outfit back when he was bicycling to work each day and spent many a night sleeping at his office. It worked, so he stuck to it. I don’t believe it is a lack of fashion sense, but an awareness of limiting time waste.
Steve Jobs also dressed in his same basic attire to keep the need to make choices to a minimum. The quote that he was busy “in my garage changing the world” was possible because he kept his mental energy for important things, and not on which color shirt to wear, which tie, and other daily mental depleting tasks. He kept his life as orderly as possible to allow energy to be invested where the return was the greatest.
Which brings me back to Einstein’s messy desk. Few of us are Einstein. It’s more likely we have goals that in line to succeed like the Elon Musks, the Oprah Winfreys, the dedicated, focused, visionaries that will have an impact on their lives, their communities, and maybe the world. To do so, it is going to require organization, discipline, and focus. It’s time to get serious and make changes. We need to eliminate the waste of resources, and the most valuable one being time.
Be mindful of where you put your time. How long do you spend trying to decide what to eat for lunch? How long do you spend browsing through the channels on television each night? How long do you spend trying to decide what to wear to work the next day? How much time do you spend looking for a file you need? How much time do you spend sifting through junk email?
It’s time to claim your right to success and to a life where you thrive. A good place to start is your desk, then your workspace, then your car, and then your home and onward. Your time is valuable, and adapting a habit of being disciplined, orderly, and spending your time where a valuable investment return is greatest is important.
Instead of looking for a file somewhere in your office, spending half of your morning deciding where and what you want to eat, or sitting down in front of the television to vegetate, consider how you could make choices in a more simplified, organized, timely, disciplined manner. Perhaps it all starts with having a tidy desk and moving on from there to our workspace, our cars, and then our homes. It could reserve our energy and our time.
Adapt the habits that have worked for successful people and in doing so you could thrive and enrich your life, maybe reinvent an industry, change the world, save part of it while you’re at it, and inspire others to greater achievements of their own. Unless of course you are the next Einstein, then do your thing, but maybe you’d be better than Einstein if your desk was in order every day before you started, so make it happen.
Thank you for reading — it means a lot to me. I appreciate your sharing as well. Please follow me on Medium, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn — I’d love to connect and be a part of your network team. On social media I share my own articles, but also those that I find helpful and relevant to business, success, entrepreneurship, leadership, community enhancement, and personal development. You can find out more about me at SherryHBlue.com.