Friday, May 30, 2008

Looking Ahead (Part II)

This is a continuation from a post I began several days ago.

I had discovered the concept of thinking ahead and was now noticing that multiple areas of my life to which I could apply the concept. My problem in all these areas was that I was waiting until the time in which I was to complete my task before I even began to think about how to go about completing it.

So, I came up with a plan.

What if I set aside time every day to outline some goals and to-do items for the following day. Would I save time if I made a schedule of all that I wanted to get done and then get into the specifics of each item? For example, what if I mapped out my day as follows:

7:30 - Get up and eat breakfast, get ready for the day.
8:30 - Reading and Writing.
9:30 - Piano Practice
10:30 - Gym
11:30 - Shower & Eat Lunch
12:30 - Work on Beethoven Analysis
3:00 - Get ready for work at 3:30

Wouldn't that do a great deal to help me accomplish a number of goals? - writing everyday, completing a certain number of books, practicing piano, getting in shape, working my way through analyzing the Beethoven Piano Sonatas.

What if I went further, and outlined goals for the time I've set aside, such as that which follows:

Writing - Finish two blog posts on topics A & B
Reading - Make it through 1 or 2 chapters of Book A
Piano Practice - Work just left hand of the Exposition and Recapitulation sections of Piece A
Gym - Do 3 sets of exercises A, B, C, & D.
Lunch - Prepare chicken (set out now to thaw)
Analysis - Analyze and write briefly about Beethoven Sonata A

Now, by going into each part of my day with a plan, I don't have to waste time deciding what I should do. But I've already thought ahead and am ready to complete the task by the time I am called upon to do it. To some this sounds incredibly detailed and petty. But when I got to college and began studying piano more seriously, I discovered that the progress was slow and steady. I couldn't cram for piano performances, but pieces needed time to mature and become polished. I was simply forced to become disciplined and methodical in order to accomplish my goals.

I truly believe that this is simply part of maturity. In things like preparing pieces for performance and writing books and analysis, gratification is delayed, and unless you prepare and plan for the slow and steady journey, you'll never achieve those large-scale things you dream of.

The problem is not that we can't achieve what we want. The problem lies within us. Will we discipline ourselves to responsibility in order to do those things we've set as our lives' goals?

-Taylor

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