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Archive for February 7th, 2021

On Saturday morning, I finished reading Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear (#11 on my 21 for 2021 list). Terrific book! If anyone wants to develop good habits or break bad habits, I highly recommend this book. James Clear gives practical ways with readily comprehensible steps to build better habits and provides helpful resources.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change…Atomic habits are little habits that are part of a larger system and are the building blocks of remarkable results.

James Clear

One important idea from this book that has resonated with me is the difference between outcome-based habits and identity-based habits. Instead of asking myself what I want to achieve, I need to ask myself who I wish to become. This makes a huge difference. Instead of saying “I want to be amazing at managing my time so I can accomplish my goals,” I need to say “I want to become an amazing time manager which will allow me to reach my goals.” Easier said than done, right? Wrong! According to Clear, “the process only takes two simple steps: decide the person you want to be and prove it to yourself with small wins” (39).

Therefore, I’ve read the book, been given the tools to reshape my habits, and now it is time for me to do the work. My first task is to make a list of my daily habits and rate them as good, bad, or neutral. Thankfully, Clear provides free resources on his website, so I was able to get a template to create my own Habits Scorecard. I will be working on this task throughout the week.

Analyzing my habits goes hand in hand with time management. The key to being a good time manager is being efficient and effective. One observation that I have made in the past couple of weeks concerning my morning routine is the impact the order of my habits has on my overall time in the morning. I wake up at 4:30 every morning (Monday-Friday); however, there are some mornings I am struggling to get out the door on time while other mornings I have 15 minutes to spare. One contributing factor is when I take care of my fur babies. If I can use the first 10 minutes of my morning getting myself moving (going to the bathroom, taking my medicine, brewing my coffee, starting my breakfast), I will be much more effective with my time than if I start my morning taking the dogs out and feeding Puar. While the dogs are eating, I can unload the dishwasher, cut Andrew’s strawberries, and transfer laundry from the washer to the dryer (if applicable). A further factor is getting dressed for work. Instead of my clothes being in one central location (my closet), they are in different locations, requiring extra time to gather everything. Of course, my untidy closet is the culprit. Well, in all honesty, I am the culprit for keeping my closet untidy. Another factor that plays a part is what I decide to bring for lunch. My lunch decision determines the time it takes to prepare it. Putting together a salad (especially if you have to wash the lettuce) takes longer than making a sandwich which takes longer to make than grabbing already packaged leftovers. All of these factors can be adjusted quite easily. Making a few adjustments to my morning routine will be another task I will be undertaking this week.

I will continue to schedule my time, dear reader. Overall, it is working. The two areas that I struggled with this week were housekeeping tasks and my decluttering project. I did not declutter the office at all this week and do not see it even happening today since I will be using the time to catch up on chores that were not done during the week. I was able to keep up with laundry and cooking. I swept instead of vacuuming. My hubby is taking care of the grocery shopping this morning. I had the opportunity to proctor the ACT test at SLU yesterday morning and make some extra money, so I did not get to work on my blogging course or my scheduled chores. I could have done them when I got home at 1:00; however, I wanted to get some financial stuff done and finish writing out my Valentine cards. The remainder of the afternoon/evening was spent with family.

Obviously, the world did not end because I did not complete everything on my schedule for this week. Clearly, it is more satisfying when everything is accomplished and runs smoothly. Except, I am incapable of controlling unexpected situations (gastro distress, for example). I could have turned down the proctoring job; however, that would have been silly considering my schedule on Saturday could easily be adjusted to take advantage of making some extra money. The bottom line, dear reader, is about making good choices that enhance a richer and more joyful life, one worth living. Happiness!

“Time magnifies the margin between success and failure. It will multiply whatever you feed it. Good habits make time your ally. Bad habits make time your enemy.” ~ James Clear

Schedule: Week 3

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