Get Scheduled, Establish a Routine

By | April 30, 2022

[April 30, 2022]  Achieve your life’s goals that you voluntarily create by creating a set of smaller sub-tasks to accomplish them.  Do so by creating a schedule and routines.

A schedule is unbelievably helpful in achieving your life’s goals; those goals you create voluntarily.  To reach your goals properly, establish sub-tasks in support of those goals.  There could be 5 or 50 tasks to every goal, so put them into your schedule.  Consciously create a schedule.  Make your schedule realistic and attainable.  Avoid piling up too many or impossible-to-achieve tasks.  And, do not create a prison for yourself with the schedule.  The objective is to lay out a doable, responsible set of tasks that, if achieved, will lead to your life’s goals.  This is the way of a winner.

Set up a schedule that would be the best possible day for yourself.  It includes a bit of responsibility and reward.  The schedule is created so that it allows you to review the day and determine how well you achieved those sub-tasks.  It does not mean that you have accomplished all tasks or even half of them to be better at the end of the day, but that you have completed as many as possible.  Today, you may have only accomplished half.  Tomorrow, work to achieve 60 percent or 51 percent.

Do better each day, and do not collapse if you fail one day.  50 percent is better than zero.  It is the long haul that matters, and you can succeed by getting better incrementally.  Regardless of how small, each step accomplished is a move in the right direction.  Sometimes, even a wrong step is good if you recognize it and take corrective action.  Learn from those mistakes and make them part of your routine to overcome.

Using a schedule can be challenging.  But it gets easier once you have the internal motivation to use it daily.  This is accomplished through daily routines.  Brush your teeth, take a shower, shave, put on clean clothes, and get your mind ready for the day.  These are not on a schedule but are part of making each day count in a positive way.

Make good habits part of your day.  Routines are one of the ways successful people do so well.  Routines help make us healthier, more efficient, have more control over the day, motivates (less procrastination), and establishes consistent expectations of what happens when those routines are followed.

Keep in mind that 1) you should be better off at the end of the day than compared to yourself at the beginning of that day.  2) Your schedule and routines are not unrealistic.  3) There is room for flexibility and room to fail.  4) Work, school, family, reading, exercise, and thinking should be balanced with your abilities and needs.  In this way, you will have a productive and good life.


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

27 thoughts on “Get Scheduled, Establish a Routine

  1. Anya B.

    I’ve been living this my entire life and found there is no alternative to getting things done in your life with any level of efficiency. If you don’t get scheduled or have routines, your life will turn upside down quickly. Maybe there are exceptions when you are retired but I doubt it.

  2. Dee F

    If you don’t get scheduled, you’re screwed. 👀

  3. American Girl

    For the past few weeks, Gen. Satterfield has created a number of powerful blog posts that present, I think, a better reflection of his thinking about some of the important questions on life. The answers boil down to taking responsibility for yourself and others. Do that and you will have a great life. Fail to do it, and you become a ward of the state.

    1. E.T.

      I agree with you American Girl. Powerful articles, indeed.

  4. Tom Bushmaster

    Reasons Why Planning & Scheduling are Important
    1. Goals Become More Achievable
    2. It Keeps Your Costs Down
    3. They Prepare You for Unexpected Problems
    4. Everyone is on the Same Page
    5. Progress is Easier to Track
    Just a little reasoning to go along with the excellent article from Gen. S. Thanks all for being part of this leadership forum and helping focus our ideas about leadership.

  5. Army Captain

    Excellent article, once again, Gen. Satterfield. You’re on a roll. Keep it up. I just sent your website link out to a lot of my army buddies. They love it.

    1. Big Guy

      Happy to see you posting again, Army CAPT. Always read your comments.

  6. ZB22

    Been a busy year dodging the tyrannical rules of our government. Too bad they are in the full tyrant mode. What gives? Like we don’t notice? Yeah, I have my schedule and daily routines. That helps me and my family survive day to day. Worth it? Yeah. But not the most important thing I do.

  7. Unwoke Dude

    Work – hard work – is an American idea. It is based on the original colonization of America and the need to be very very proactive. That culture has filtered down. Now, sadly, we are like the rest of the world – complacent! Go figure that it took the communists 100 years to figure it out and American socialist like Joe Biden and K Harris only a year.

    1. Maureen S. Sullivan

      I’m not sure what you’re trying to get at here Unwoke Dude but I think you mean that our “frontier spirit” is now gone. Is that right?

      1. Unwoke Dude

        Yeah, sorry for the miscommunication, Maureen. Sad that we have lost that and the American spirit. That is what happens when you reward laziness and other bad behaviors.

      2. Janice Fuller

        I was thinking the same thing. Oh, hey guys remember to support Gen. Satterfield by getting his book, ‘Our Longest year in Iraq.’ Good stuff to read, entertaining and educational. You won’t be sorry.

        1. Drew Dill

          👍 Thanks for the reminder. I have my copy. Read it twice. Best book around.

  8. Harry Man

    By having your schedule at the top of your mind, your calendar acts as a filter against distractions. If someone comes up to you while you’re working, you can ask them to come back later when you’ve finished a scheduled piece of work. When you know that you’ve a set amount of scheduled time to do something, it allows you to stay focused so you can get everything done within a specific time. If you don’t, you’re going to have to reschedule everything.

  9. Eduardo Sanchez

    Daily Planners help hold you accountable; if you have written reminders of where you’re supposed to be and what you’re supposed to be doing, it’s more challenging to ignore.

    1. Doug Smith

      Here’s an outline of the five must-have’s to include on each task in your daily planner schedule:
      Other people involved
      Contact information
      Notes/Any other relevant details for the commitment

      1. DocJeff

        If you want to be productive, you must embrace the power of scheduling your tasks. You have two main tools that help you do this: your to-do list and your calendar. Gen. Satterfield didn’t cover the to-do list but that is very important.

  10. Pumpkin Spice

    “Make good habits part of your day. ” That way you don’t have to think about what you need to do. Concentrate on those areas that need your focus. Schedules and routines are good but be careful not to be trapped in them.

    1. USA Patriot II

      Pumpkin SPice, good point about not getting trapped in a schedule. We can get too comfortable and lazy when using a schedule all the time. Let’s be sure the schedule is for the purpose it is designed. Gen. Satterfield made this darn clear. Another spot-on article from Gen. S. and much appreciated on this Saturday morning.

  11. Frank Graham

    Yeah, otherwise you’re just a random nut wondering in the wilderness.

    1. old warrior

      Or a leftist/progressive in Walmart surrounded by women with fat butts.

      1. Greg Heyman

        I wouldn’t put it past them old-time liberals to have a bi-spectacled trans on the side as desert. Thoughts on this? Most of them feel guilty they can’t be with the “in crowd” any more. So Sad! ha ha ha ha


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