Interested in a free book? Two weeks ago, I posted about a book giveaway, inviting people to enter to win one of my titles (you choose!) by answering what they’d do if an hour opened up on Tuesday afternoon. If you’re interested in entering by leaving a comment on that post, please do so today by noon EST as I’ll pick winners (randomly) this weekend. I have loved reading people’s answers!
Over at Medium this week, I wrote about 3 Ways to Make Your Morning Routine Stick. I maintain that one doesn’t have to do the same thing every day to have a morning routine. Indeed, many people who talk about their morning routines don’t do them every single day. Weekends look different, which is fine. But then we’re talking a five day per week routine, which isn’t daily. If someone skips holidays, or if Friday looks different, then we’re talking something that happens 200 days per year.
I think there are real benefits to doing something absolutely every single day. I do my routine (read Shakespeare plus write 100 words) every single day, and last year I did something similar (read a chapter in War and Peace plus write 100 words) every single day except one, when I forgot. So, 364 days. (I doubled up on the chapter the next day so I wasn’t behind on the calendar. Also, I didn’t always do “morning” — some days I did it later if the circumstances required). Doing something every day can really cement a habit. But! In many cases it’s more sustainable to either mix and match, do a “long form” and “short form” of the routine, or to consciously choose days not to do it.
The Before Breakfast podcast this week looked at why you should “Choose a rain date.” There are a lot of outdoor ceremonies this time of year, and in many cases the organizers designate a “rain date” — when the event will be rescheduled if needed. I love this idea. It acknowledges that much can go predictably wrong outside — it’s right there in the “rain date” name! — but there’s no question of whether the event will be rescheduled, and when. It will be, on the rain date. This vastly increases the chances of the original event happening, if not when originally planned.
I maintain that anything important in life needs the equivalent of a rain date. Let’s say you plan a special one-on-one date with a kid to an amusement park, but that day the park is closed because of a hail storm or some such. When can you reschedule? If you know this ahead of time, everyone can feel far more relaxed and excited about the whole thing. This is obviously complicated in busy schedules, but one reason I suggest trying to leave Fridays as open as possible for those who can do that is that then Friday can become an all-purpose rain date. Any meeting/project/personal task that got bumped from earlier in the week goes there.
I also posted an episode about how “What you don’t know can’t distract you.” If you work on a computer of any sort, making your current project big enough (or full screen or whatever) so that you can’t see the rising number in your inbox is one way to ward off that distraction. As is muting any vigorous group texts on your phone. Limit incoming info and you can stretch your concentration just a little longer.
We shall see how this weekend goes. I can see that two kids need to be in two different places at the same time when I’m the only one available to drive. Probably the older kid will just go early and hang out but we shall see if I come up with something more original… This time of year is always pretty full. There was one band concert this week and then next week there will be a second band concert and a choir concert. Plus a fourth grade Olympics and an altered high school schedule for state exams and a teacher in-service day for K-8. Theoretically the new security system will be installed at the house, which means that the old system will no longer beep, daily, at 8 a.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. Overall that is a good thing, though perhaps I will miss this chiming of the hours, like monks chanting through certain daily prayers. (Not really, it will be good to have the beeping stop!)
Photo: “Porky” — a member of the 7-year-old’s stuffed animal crew, who was forgotten on Stuffed Animal Day this week, requiring an emergency trip to the elementary school.