Friday, November 4, 2016

     Do you have a daily ritual? They say that for people who move, resuming that daily ritual can “ground” you so you acclimate more quickly to new surroundings. I find this to be true, especially when I travel and plan to stay somewhere for a long time. I recall when living in France on various study programs, I would get up every morning and head to my local café for a French breakfast. After several days of sitting at the same table, ordering the same meal, I became friendly with the owners, and by the end of the first month, I was hugging them hello and good-bye. They became my family away from home.

     Yesterday, I came across an article which described how highly successful productive people organize their daily routines. A few things stood out. Here are the ones which spoke to me:

1.  Do away with “to do” lists, and work from your calendar only.
2.  Take a notebook everywhere you go so you can write ideas and reminders.
3.  Organize your day in 15-minute segments. 

4.  Assign most important goal of the day to early morning hours when you are fresh.

     Well, there’s food for thought. Here’s my take:

1.  I love my “to do” list. I accomplish at least 95% of mine daily, and there are never less than 15 items listed. (Of course, “make bed” is one of them:)
2.  Dragging a notebook everywhere can be cumbersome. Many use their “reminders” on their phones, but I must agree that this is difficult when you need to write a lot. Maybe having a notebook in the car would help. I used to carry a Franklin planner, but my friends made fun of me, and it didn’t fit in most purses.
3. 15-minute chunks? I don’t think so. I believe in “chunking.” This is my term for doing things in small spurts (no time attached).  People would have to be type A or really rigid to organize in such short and rigid time spans. “Chunking” means trying not to achieve too much too fast. Chipping away daily at a project can be gratifying and not so stress-producing.

4.  As I arise usually before 5:00 a.m., this spoke to me, but most people would not agree. If you are a late riser, then targeting your wide-awake-fresh-time with your most important goal of the day would be reasonable. Most people tend to fade between 3 and 5, so earlier in the day would be preferable. 

     Does any of this speak to you? What hours of the day are you most productive? Are you working on important projects during that time, or are you reading feckless blogs like this?
     Do you have a “to do” list? Do you check off what you’ve accomplished? My Dad used to carry around a 3 x 5 card in his pocket. Do you live off sticky notes?
     Does all of this just make you tired?