The COD Life

Nope it’s not Cash on Delivery. COD represents “Clean, Orderly, Disciplined” – the lifestyle of the Zaxxun.

One of the best ways to identify a Zaxxun is by looking at his/her desk. For a Zaxxun, the mind is represented by the desktop.  The desk reflects the state of mind of the person. A cluttered work space only shows that a person’s mind is in disarray – a sign that such a person is not optimally fit for work to produce products and services of excellence.

Keeping one’s table clean is a top priority. If one can keep this part of the house or office clean, the rest of the area in the building, and the surrounding community will follow.

The secret to keeping a clean table is by following this simple Zaxxun rule:

Put everything in the right place at once.

Every part of the 3-part rule is vital to maintaining a consistently COD lifestyle. Drop out the last part “at once”, and you’ll find yourself procrastinating to the point that you are up to your neck with a pile of mess.

COD is closely linked to the metaphorical slogan “Time is gold”. There are 3 time-impacting consequences that happen when we fail to live the COD life:

  1. We lose things buried in our rubble. Time is wasted looking for things that shouldn’t have been lost in the first place.
  2. We lose time having to allot a dedicated clean-up day. When we get buried in the pile of mess, we finally have to spend up to an entire day cleaning up – which amounts to lost time.
  3. We get into costly trouble, which takes enormous time to fix.

For example, if I happened to leave a key under a bunch of papers while eating breakfast in the morning, and then realize only after traveling an hour’s drive that I had misplaced that key when I arrive at my work place, I waste my time having to go back and get it. Moreover, if due to the failure to deliver on time due to this goof up, I lose an important opportunity to close a deal with a customer, I in effect could end up losing millions in a deal gone sour.

If a person loses his wallet for not having placed it in the proper place at once, he has to go through great lengths to cancel/reapply for credit cards and IDs.

As humans, we tend to be forgetful. Thus, keeping things in the right place all the time is a great defense against this enemy within. Being consistent takes discipline.


Talking of forgetfulness, an important shield of the COD person is the checklist. The checklist is a surefire mechanism for making sure there’s no stone unturned. Take for example going on a camping trip. We normally have a checklist for such ventures in which failing to bring something could be a matter of survival. If we treat our work and activities with this level of vigilance, we can be entrusted with greater things.

Maintaining a checklist is key to quality assurance (QA) departments in manufacturing plants. Every time a new flaw is discovered, the checklist needs to be updated.

It is normal to make a mistake. When we walk on a rocky road, we may not have seen a protruding rock and we trip in the process. But tripping over the same rock a second time around is not something we can get an easy excuse over. Checklists are meant to guarantee we don’t repeat mistakes.

Being COD should show in every detail of one’s life. I once saw an office-mate who had such a superbly neatly written notebook. It was no surprise why the guy was so successful in his work. This unspoken rebuke led me to start being extra clean and organized in taking notes from then on. The COD-type of person writes with painstakingly good penmanship. The extra time spent diligently writing each letter or character more than offsets the time lost to misreading the words, which could cause confusion and chaos in the end.


The Zaxxun COD lifestyle is made evident even from your first impression of a person. The way one dresses speaks a lot. But the external expressions of COD in our clothing, hygiene, or desks are only byproducts of the real core source of being COD – that is, a COD mind.

A COD mind organizes thoughts before presenting them verbally to others. The COD mind does not pollute itself with filthy material. Instead, it is fed with order-enhancing content.

COD is better caught than taught. The best way to catch it is by associating with COD people, and making these models of COD your inspiration. It then slowly rubs off to you even without verbal communication. But it all boils down to you – adopting the Zaxxun COD lifestyle is a choice you need to make on your own…



Failing to be a COD is a great disservice to the community. Imagine if your house and lawn looked like a slum area with the house looking like patchwork of rusted metal, and weeds growing all about. Ask yourself why you are causing people who pass by to have to suffer such an eyesore. What wrong did they do?

Here are some other miscellaneous tips on keeping a COD lifestyle:

  1. Hygiene and health: bacteria = sickness. Always imagine those invisible germs, and make sure you keep your body and vicinity clean for you not to get sick unnecessarily.
  2. Pets: Don’t let pets go roaming around littering all over the place. If you do need to give them a walk, pick up their waste.
  3. Waste disposal: Throw garbage in the right bin and seal them once the bag is full.
  4. Spreadsheet: Organize your life using spreadsheets like Excel. Budgets, a schedule of renewals, checklists, biodata information, etc. can all be easily managed using these versatile easy-to-use list-up and computing tools.
  5. Littering and vandalism: How will tourists and businesses come to your city/town if you make turn it into a filthy eyesore? Why punish yourself and your neighborhood with having to endure ugliness on a daily basis?
  6. Chanto and shikari: These words represent the Japanese universally adopted mindset of doing things well and properly. Every mother in Japan repeatedly impresses their kids these values, which is the secret to their COD society.
  7. Minimal clutter: Don’t be too sentimental. Learn to throw away unnecessary stuff. Just take a picture of the item and throw it away if after a year you still aren’t using something you thought “someday, I may have need of this”. Remove weeds – anything that is not in its proper place.
  8. Entangled wires: Tie up cables; aside from the eyesore, entanglement takes time to fix.

To develop the habit and skill of being organized, one’s thinking process should be trained. A good way to train yourself to think correctly is to solving mathematical word problems in the proper way. Math problems are a simulation of real life situations. Organized and logical decision making is needed in all levels of society and in every aspect of life.

Proper way to solve a math problem.

  1. Read the problem carefully, and visually imagine the situation. List up the given. E.g.  a stair case with slope = 0.5 and run = 0.6 m.
  2. Clearly identify the item being asked for. rise = ?
  3. Set up the equation. slope = rise / run.
  4. Solve the equation (imagine a balance scale). An equation should always have an equal sign with left and right sides. What you do on the left side, you should also do on the right – so as to keep the balance scale in equilibrium. slope = rise / run. rise = slope x run. rise = 0.5 x 0.6. rise = 0.3.
  5. Give the final answer with correct units enclosed in a box. [ rise = 0.3 m]

Andy Philips | 2015-0308


  1. One of my high school teachers used to say “Discipline makes a man”. And if you magnify that on a national scale, I would say “Discipline makes a Singapore, a Japan, a Germany”.

    Why is it that many find it so difficult to be disciplined? I think one reason is a lack of vision. If the leader of Singapore did not have a vision of a C.O.D. state, I doubt the country would be in the state of beauty and prosperity it is enjoying today.

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