[June 14, 2022] Today in America, it’s Flag Day. So, what did I do differently? I made a conscious decision that by getting up early, I could write this article in honor of this special day – and do so without distractions. My wife and dog are still asleep. My neighbors are probably asleep as well. No car noises and no lawnmowers disturb my concentration.
Good habits are what successful people do that help push (or pull) them in the right direction every single day. Good habits can make you highly efficient in your life. In addition, this efficiency makes you more effective at what you do, which is a good thing for you and perhaps your family. It’s good for your family because when they need you to be with them, your responsibilities are complete; nothing lingering in the back of your mind distracts you from your family.
I decided a long time ago that I would try to live a life of responsibility, which meant understanding what I had to do to support my family and add value to my community. My community benefited from this because I was not dependent upon others and did not create problems by letting the weeds grow in my lawn, allowing my house to deteriorate, or inviting criminals into the neighborhood. That is not trivial. It’s essential, even the tiny things.
I did my best to be someone who could be depended upon. If you were a friend or a neighbor and had a problem, they called, and I was there for them. I could do this because I completed my work as early as possible. I did not procrastinate. And those around me would always say, ‘Wow, Doug, you never let undone jobs lie in wait.’ If something needed doing, I got on it right away.
Now, you may say, ‘Hey, you’re just one of those guys who gets work done, and that’s your personality.’ Wrong. My brain wants me to be lazy. It wants me to delay work, to put everything off until tomorrow (and then the next day), and my brain wants me to lay in the sun and relax. I found this does not work for me. After a day of being lazy, I’m a pitiful person. I know that, and I run from that lazy me.
My best advice for folks who have difficulty getting things done in their life they wish they could do is to start with getting up early. Write down what you must do. Use a checklist. Start on it right away and check off those things you accomplished. Even if you do these things poorly, continue this habit every day. It will take some time, but you will find that waking up early is a good habit that pays off quickly.
Get ahead by getting up early. And honor Flag Day in America!
Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).