George Washington was known as a very methodical man who lived his life in an orderly fashion and apparently, as a schoolboy, copied out The Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation (recently re-published) by which to live his own life.
Some of these may be outdated now, but a few, especially when you read them with 2013’s technology and the way we live our lives today in mind, still seem very relevant!
4. In the presence of others, sing not to yourself with a humming voice, or drum with your fingers or feet. (Please can we add “nor click your biro”?)
14. Turn not your back to others, especially in speaking; jog not the table or desk on which another reads or writes; lean not upon anyone.
18. Read no letter, books, or papers (I would add in “or electronic device”!) in company, but when there is a necessity for the doing of it, you must ask leave; come not near the books or writings of another so as to read them unless desired, or give your opinion of them unasked. Also look not nigh when another is writing a letter.
20. The gestures of the body must be suited to the discourse you are upon.
35. Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive.
73. Think before you speak, pronounce not imperfectly, nor bring out your words too hastily, but orderly and distinctly.
How many times this week have you behaved in a way Washington wouldn’t have?
You can read a lot more about Washington and the way re lived and regulated his days productively in this article: Productivity Tricks from George Washington – http://pulse.me/s/l7yNW