Some smaller less-than-daily habits

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Some smaller less-than-daily habits

Post by Hirundo Bos on Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:06 am

Thinking out loud – happy for but not expecting feedback:

The time from August to mid-November is usually when I'm at my most productive, and over the past five or so years I've used that time to establish some daily personal habits: Like new underwear every day, flossing daily, washing my face and since last year taking a shower daily. I've found that one new habit per year is about what I can manage.

I've heard and experienced that daily habits are so much easier to establish than habits with more time between them... you get to practice a lot, you don't have to keep count of the days between, you don't get to put the doing-day off until tomorrow which turns into perpetualtomorrow... however, there are some things that are impractical to do each day, and those tend to fall between the cracks. In fact, some less-than-daily habits I had before have suffered as the daily one gain hold... when I shower every day, I do it without washing my hair most of the time, and as a consequence wash it more rarely than before.

What I'm thinking of this year is to put a bunch of less-than-daily habits on a list, and then do one of those things each day... for flexibility, I don't assign each a specific, I only make it a point to get through the list each week. And they have to be relatively brief, cognitively simple, so I don't end up putting them off anyway.

So what I need to do the most is
1. Trim my beard
2. Wash my hair

and I can add to that
3. Clean my shoes

and I would also like to
4. Change my sheets etc.
and
5. Change my towels
each week, which gives me one small task to do per weekday, and then the weekends can maybe get to be special.

I may be using this thread to give some updates, once I get to try out how all of this will work.
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Re: Some smaller less-than-daily habits

Post by eselle28 on Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:06 pm

That sounds like a good plan!

I sort of do my chores similarly, so I think the only feedback I might give is to try to make sure that the tasks are equally as broken down into basic components. They won't all be the same length regardless, but I think that making sure you don't actually have a component chore in your list of simple ones is a good way to make sure everything gets done. Or at least, if my list is "clean the litter box everyday, vacuum the living room every week, and make dinner twice a week" the problem is going to be with that last item, because it involves shopping, cooking, and dishes and ends up seeming a lot harder than vacuuming.

If you do your own laundry (so disregard if you send it out or it's someone else's task), you might want to think about adding an extra task to the sheets/towels list. I have enough of each that I don't need to do a non-clothing load of laundry every week, but at some point, I run out of clean things and the task then becomes "do a load of non-clothing laundry, fold my extra set of sheets, and also change the bedding," which can end up being sort of overloading if I try to count it as one chore.
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Re: Some smaller less-than-daily habits

Post by Hirundo Bos on Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:09 pm

Attention to components is a very good idea, and when I think about it, changing the beds may be a more composite task than than the others, so I could break that one into two. Then wash my hair an extra time a week, and get it up to seven... With some more flexibility if for some reason I skip a day.

As for laundry, I'm still trying it out to do it when I see it's needed, and it's working well so far. I think laundry is one of my favorite tasks... there's something a little magical with that machine with the soothing noises and the process of transformation from Dirty to Clean.
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Re: Some smaller less-than-daily habits

Post by Wondering on Wed Aug 12, 2015 6:28 pm

Hirundo Bos wrote: I think laundry is one of my favorite tasks... there's something a little magical with that machine with the soothing noises and the process of transformation from Dirty to Clean.

Yes! So much this. There's a magic box that you put dirty things in and they come out clean. And other one that you put wet things in and they come out soft and warm and dry.

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