Life is not lived in epiphanies

The human brain loves stories. It may be how we have evolved to store information. Language developed before literacy, and in order to convey ideas from person to person, we had to be able to remember those ideas. We forget all sorts of useful information, but we’re able to trot out a familiar tale at dinner parties, telling it in such a predictable format tha… read more »

Dear Mrs. Patton: From one ‘Princeton Mom’ to another

Dear Mrs. Patton: I’ve been watching the media tour surrounding your new book, Marry Smart, with some interest. For starters, you’ve done an amazing job at branding yourself. You are now “The Princeton Mom,” which means that none of the other 700 women Princeton graduates every year, about 80 percent of whom eventually have children, can use it. Ni… read more »

What’s for dinner?

In this month’s newsletter (out April 1!), I argue that being organized about household chores doesn’t necessarily save you time. There may be other benefits, like more interesting meals, perhaps, if they’re planned and cooked ahead on weekends. It’s not a causation relationship. Being organized in and of itself doesn’t make you spend more ti… read more »

Looking backwards, looking forwards

For years, I’ve been planning my life by weeks. Before my work week starts on Monday, I write down my list of personal and professional priorities for the next 7 days. Then I can think about when, over the next 7 days, I will tackle those tasks.
Over the past year or so, though, I’ve started shifting when I do this weekly review/planning session. This is partl… read more »

Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (review #5)

I’m always on the look out for ways to be more productive. So I downloaded this book of essays on rituals, time management, and productivity produced by 99U — a website that takes its name from Thomas Edison’s observation that “Genius is 1 percent inspiration, and 99 percent perspiration.”  It is 99 “U” because it aims to provide the miss… read more »