500 Words, Day 3 – On Habits

I have an interview tomorrow. I applied for a part-time receptionist position at my church. I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s interesting to think about. Who would have thought I might end up here?

I didn’t get as much done today as I would have liked to, as evidenced by the fact that I’m finally sitting down to write at 8:40 p.m. At least I’m doing it. And yes, you read that right. Doing it this late *doesn’t* mean my day was packed full and I didn’t have time, it means I wasn’t focused on what needed to be done and didn’t make time, because there wasn’t anything I HAD to do. Funny how that works. I was talking to Paul about it just this afternoon, as a matter of fact. We were talking about his sleep schedule and establishing a workout routine, now that he has a new job and will be working a bunch of hours to get established. I told him I tend to get much more of the little stuff done when there are things on a schedule that have to be done, things that I have to work around like work or school, than when my day is wide open like it is now. When I don’t have anything scheduled I can do the everyday tasks whenever, which frequently ends up meaning never. “Meh, I have time. I’ll get to it later.” This is how I usually end up starting to cook dinner at 7:45 instead of 5:00, or not wishing someone a happy birthday in spite of thinking about calling them thirty times throughout the day. Procrastination is habit just like any other and habits are what I have to work on, more even than scheduling or prioritizing.

The way I deal with this is my daily to-do list. It’s not a schedule, it’s a list of things I need to do every day, along with the weekly menu and plan, laminated, stuck on the fridge, so I can cross things off as I get them done. I get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing everything, or even almost everything, crossed off on that list. And it’s simple stuff, but it often won’t get done otherwise. I need to revamp my list to include a few things that I usually do anyway, but sometimes let slide, like checking on the pets that don’t make any noise when they’re hungry (we have a veritable zoo), and watering the plants (I do better with caring for things I can’t ignore), and things I’ve just started doing (writing 500 words a day, for example) or am not currently doing, like exercise of any kind.  I also need to get better at doing the weekly things, like menu planning, dusting, and changing sheets, and add a list of monthly chores and seasonal jobs like cleaning windows and carpet, and washing curtains. It works well for me when I work it, but it’s time to reevaluate and freshen up the list, so I start working it again.

Would something like this help you? If so, drop me a line or tell me in the comments.

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