|An ordered desk forms an ordered mind|
All of us in the Blackwell family are busy between running a law practice, raising children, studying for school, the chores associated with a large household, etc. Finding time for painting toy soldiers and writing fiction is not always easy since duties must come before recreation. To find that time, we attempt to cultivate the virtue of the spirit of order. The Catholic Manual of Civility, explains:
The spirit of order is a most precious quality. It should be included as one of the most indispensable attributes of a man in his private as well as his social life, because it extends itself beneficially to our personal actions as well as our relations with our neighbour.
This most beautiful attribute exercises a decisive influence over a man's success in life. Order gives value to our talents and qualities, and makes them fecund, just as its absence renders our highest aspirations barren and our best gifts futile.
Order is economy of time and money. It allows us to give a better quality and greater quantity of results in both our material and intellectual labours because with it, we take full advantage of time, avoiding dawdling, delay, and doubt.
In practice, this means living a regulated life. Many writers, being creative spirits, might balk at this idea, but it has allowed us to get many things done, including writing although there is always room for improvement.
Regulating your life boils down to prioritization, scheduling and habit. Determine what you need to get done each day, and plan what you will do when. It doesn't need to be carved in stone, but we try to follow a very regular routine even though we have no written schedule. Dinner is at a certain time, the family rosary at another, and bedtime at yet another. An important key is to avoid opportunities for dissipation in this schedule.
Catholic Manual of Civility. Ed. Horvat, Marian T., Ph.D. Tradition in Action. Los Angeles: 2008. p. 19
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