If you’ve ever taken the time to check out weekly chore schedule (foreshadowing to next week). You’ll see that on Sunday I suggest taking a moment to look over the upcoming week and figuring out what you have to do when.
I used to be really good at remembering everything that needed to be done –and then I went on some medication that strongly affected my short term memory and I kissed all of that goodbye. (It could have been the event that caused the need, but it doesn’t matter). It took am a very long time to admit that I needed help with these things. Not too long ago I read Your Brain at Work, as part of my attempt to regain my focus. The book taught me a lot about memory and mental fatigue. There’s a reason it’s harder to exercise self-control at the end of the day, why when you do the 4pm stare into the fridge nothing jumps out at you and says make ME for dinner. You have a finite amount of energy and creativity.
The good news is that habits don’t take as much energy as making decisions (and for that matter, neither does being told what to do )
Today we’re going to use these two things to give ourselves a nudge in the right direction. I don’t mean you should take the idea to the extreme of Will Ferrell’s character in Stranger Than Fiction —I was surprised by how much I enjoyed that movie— where his entire life was a habit. Somewhere between having no plan and having a plan for every moment is a happy place. It’s going to be different for each of us, but you’ll know you’ve found your sweet spot when you no longer find yourself apologizing for missing something important that has slipped your mind. (Life will still get in the way of the things we want to do with things we have to, that’s not what I mean)
On a scratch sheet of paper write down all of the things that have to be done every day. For now, make sure that list includes things that seem obvious and are already a habit. The act of writing down the obvious may remind you of the things you “want” to do each day but haven’t yet made a habit.
Then look at your calendar and write down the things that recur on a weekly basis and add those to your list, with the day they need to happen on. Our weekly chore list might be a good place to start.
The things that are already a habit, go ahead and scratch them off. The rest, add to your reminder app or calendar to let you know when they need to be done.
Then grab the tool you used to schedule bill payments and add the things that were still on the list as recurring items.
When you find yourself having done the task before the timer goes off, several days or weeks in a row, that’s when you can disable the reminder.
Have a great week!