Last week was intended to be something of a catch-up week after the previous week at the beach (and the week before that featuring very little time at my desk). Alas, everything was still chopped up with kid driving — two of the kids had a pottery camp that ran 9-12 and three of the days I needed to be the one driving them. I’d say this upcoming week will be more focused but…nope. Lots of end-of-summer stuff. And then the week after, school starts and I will be traveling!
There are no typical weeks.
But it’s still worthwhile to try to follow the Tranquility by Tuesday rules. These are nine rules that can help anyone — but especially very busy people! — feel better about their time and their lives. When people learned and implemented these rules over nine weeks (the subject of the Tranquility by Tuesday book), their time satisfaction levels improved significantly. So, how did I do last week?
1. Give yourself a bedtime. On one level, a success. I was in bed at 11 p.m. every night, and mostly asleep by that point. This is good, because there were some unfortunate middle-of-the-night wake-ups and I needed my sleep. I took a nap on Saturday afternoon when the sleep debt caught up with me. The point of a bedtime is not to have a sleep debt, but we can’t always control that. The debt would have been worse if I’d stayed up later.
2. Plan on Fridays. I knew this week would be quite disjointed, so I started planning on Thursday so I could make sense of it all. But knowing what is coming up is letting me feel more calm about it. I have identified when I have major blocks of work time and know to protect them (nobody ask for anything on Thursday!)
3. Move by 3 p.m. Mixed. I ran three days in the morning and took a purposeful walk during the mid-afternoon on one day that I didn’t. I also took a walk during a 5-6 p.m. kid activity one day. It wasn’t before 3 p.m., but still better than nothing, right?
4. Three times a week is a habit. Also mixed. I did run three times: two weekday AM runs of about 4 miles, and then a weekend AM run with Jane that was 8.8 per my counter, but possibly less according to hers. I only wound up playing the piano once. We had family dinner many times, including two dinners with cousins over the weekend! I might start including couple time in this category, but the only solo chat the two of us had this week was when we planned the kids’ schedule for this week.
5. Create a back-up slot. Not enough. I am still feeling behind. This is why I am holding Thursday as open as possible this upcoming week! (Incidentally, this is the point of my Medium column this week, If It Matters, Set a Rain Date.)
6. One big adventure, one little adventure. Reasonably successful here. I did a handful of memorable things. For instance, Mommy Day #4 — the Chuck E. Cheese extravaganza — was a little adventure. I went out to eat with my husband and mother-in-law to a new restaurant. As a big adventure, the whole extended crew of us — including 9 kids — went to the Harry Potter exhibit at the Franklin Institute, then climbed in The Brain, and went out to lunch afterwards. We’d seen the HP exhibit once before, but I think I enjoyed it more this time having just seen Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (plus it was mildly less crowded).
7. Take one night for you. Yes! More a weekend afternoon than a night, but same concept. Jane and I met up for drinks on Sunday at the brewery we run past on our long runs. Given that the toddler didn’t nap on Sunday, the afternoon felt quite long, but knowing I had that coming up changed how the day felt.
8. Batch the little things. Less than I’d like. I feel like the little things are seeking me out right now…
9. Effortful before effortless. This was more of a success this week! I read an actual print book at night before bed on several nights. After I finished that book I started reading through some old issues of The Economist. While I like having the option of reading a book while putting the baby to bed (which requires it be electronic, since I’m sitting in the dark), I think I’d like to designate that 60 minutes before bed for analog reading. So, I should probably get myself over to the library…
How was your week?
Photo: The Sorting Hat…