Organise Your Time

Stoic State of Mind #1

This post will look at how to organise your time. But, first, an introduction. At some point in the past few years, our paths crossed and you accepted an invitation to arrive here in my online homes — my email list, my blog. I am grateful for your visit.

How much time do you have?

I am also aware that your time is limited. After all, you are human and your lifespan is ridiculously short. If you’re lucky, and you live to 90, you’ll get around 4,700 weeks. 

How many of those weeks do you have left? Do you want to spend some of that time with me? 

Maybe you already know you can’t stay. You will scroll down to the end of this email and unsubscribe. Goodbye, dear friend. I wish you an excellent life! If our paths cross again in the future, I shall be happy to see you again!

Maybe you are not sure if you should stay or you should go. You might find my email mildly interesting. You might like me as a person. But that might not be enough. Remember, you only have one short life . . .  

How to organise your time according to Warren Buffet

Look, here’s something that might help. 

It is a story attributed to Warren Buffet which I found in Oliver Burkeman’s Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals. 

Here’s how Burkeman tells the story. 

Warren Buffet’s personal pilot asks him how to set priorities. Buffet tells the pilot: “Make a list of the top 25 things you want in life.” Next, Buffet says, “arrange that list in order of most important to least important.” Next, “the top five items on your list should be those around which you organise your time.” And finally, and this is what changes everything– Finally, “actively avoid all the other things on your list.” 

Make a list. Organise time around the top 5. Actively avoid the rest.

Try it. Whether you make a list or not, or whether you choose the top five or some other number, the underlying point is important. Train yourself to say no even to those things which might seem mildly interesting and attractive, those things which seem like an opportunity, like a good idea. And focus only on those things which will directly feed the excellent life you really want; your life, not anyone else’s. The life you were born to lead. 

Should you subscribe to Stoic State of Mind or should you actively avoid it?

Please subscribe and stay if your TOP 5 wants include:

  • Claiming authority over my life story (with the guidance of the ancient and modern wisdom of the Stoics and other aligned philosophies) and to start living with a deep purpose and meaning that aligns with who I am; the roles I have been assigned or chosen; and what my natural talents are
  • Dedicating time to serve and care for my family, community, planet
  • Creating and nurturing a habit of studying, writing, and training my mind to enhance my natural superpowers of wisdom, courage, moderation, and justice
  • Writing and/or rewriting my life story to examine myself, heal myself, and transform myself
  • Embracing my personal death so that I can focus on living well (through therapeutic writing, bibliotherapy, grief and death writing, death cleaning, preparing my will and funeral, and writing my memoir or book so that I may leave a legacy of personal wisdom)

On Sundays, I’ll email and post here the ‘Stoic State of Mind’ newsletter, which will include a short meditation and an exercise (see below). 

I’ll send some more news about some of the other activities I have planned for 2023. I briefly introduced them in my previous email here.

Let me know how you go with the below exercise. Just send me an email! I may be slow, but I reply to all my emails.

Stoic State of Mind – Exercise:

Use Google to search for the death clock which calculates (statistically) how much time you have left. (There are a number of these online.)
While the clock is ticking, make a list of the top 25 things you want in life.
Arrange that list in order of the most important to least important. 
Organise your time so that you focus only on those top five. You can start by scheduling just 5 minutes a day for each of your top five.
Actively avoid all the other things on your list. You can start by deleting phone apps, cancelling subscriptions, blocking out your calendar with your top 5 so that there’s no opportunity to schedule the other activities and start talking to family and friends about this.