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repetitive daily tasks

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  • repetitive daily tasks

    HI there,

    I want to establish two habits in my daily life.

    1. Daily meditation twice a day for at least half an hour. Once at 5:30am and once any time after 10pm.
    2. Daily piano practice once per day for half an hour.

    Now, I sometimes neglect these two "tasks" that I personally hold to be very important to me. Too often other stuff gets in the way, or I'm just lazy. I have set up reminders on my phone, but I just switch them off. Should I put these items into my inbox every day?

    How would you go about something like this? Any suggestions welcome no matter how small.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Break it up

    I would commit to doing 1 of the half-hour items each day for 21 days. They say that if you do something everyday for this long it becomes a habit. Choose the one that you think will be easiest to incorporate. After you've made one a habit, choose the next one. In theory, your goals will become habit in 63 days.

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    • #3
      Thanks, how do I do that? You've said choose one task and do it, but how?

      Comment


      • #4
        Set them up as appointments if they are ABSOLUTELY necessary to do -- i.e. these two daily tasks go on the calendar. (I have done the same for my language studies).

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        • #5
          I use a program called Sciral Consistency (http://www.sciral.com/consistency/). It lets you set a repeat interval for recurring tasks, and uses nifty color codes to show both what you need to do now (or soon) and how consistent you've been in the past.

          If you want to block out a particular time every day, you might take a look at "Time Management from the Inside Out," by Julia Morgenstern. She recommends a tool called a "time map" for making sure your time commitments actually match your energy level, availability, and so forth. For example, if you routinely stay up past midnight, getting up to meditate at 5:30 AM may not be realistic. If the kids are at their most active at 3 PM, that might not be a great time for piano practice. Or you might find that between work, personal/family commitments, and personal growth habits, you've inadvertently scheduled more than 24 hours per day.

          Hope this helps,

          Katherine

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          • #6
            The Sciral Consistency program looks like it would be useful. I just wish this type of functionality could be integrated into Outlook as I like to try and keep things simple (if you can call Outlook simple) and have everything all in one place.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kewms
              I use a program called Sciral Consistency (http://www.sciral.com/consistency/). It lets you set a repeat interval for recurring tasks, and uses nifty color codes to show both what you need to do now (or soon) and how consistent you've been in the past.
              Thanks Katherine - I'll try that. It works on Mac OSX too!

              Comment


              • #8
                Establish a habit

                Learning Trainer, Stephanie Burns as written an article on how to establish a habit, which is defined as an action that we do without having to think about it. The link to the article can be found here:

                http://hwebbjr.typepad.com/openloops...adership_.html

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                • #9
                  most important to ask yourself is

                  "What is the next thing I need to do in order to daily play the piano and make daily meditation happen?" but that is really too big a question, as you are going from some unknown pattern of practice to a regular habit. So, if practice is sporadic, just start with today and maybe tomorrow "What is the next action that must take place for me to practice the piano and meditate today?, tomorrow" . If practice is consistent in a pattern, like, you almost always practice on Sundays and Mondays but don't on Tuesday and then it falls apart, you need to identify and describe the action to make the action happen on those days.If you can't ferret it out, try mentally working it backwards as in "I am practicing on Tuesday, what exact action preceded that? what preceded that?.

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                  • #10
                    Well, I am using a similar approach with my Italian studies -- I just started, the other day -- I am fresh off the boat, so to speak.

                    For the first several days -- maybe 2-3 weeks I am scheduling an appointment with myself to spend 15 min a day on Italian -- after I have built some foundation I am going to go to a 2-times-a-week schedule -- probably Tuesday and Friday. (Remember, in addition to Italian I am also learning Swedish and Norwegian -- cf. my Languages thread here).

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                    • #11
                      I've found it best to tie a new habit to an established part of my day.

                      For example, every night at 9:00 p.m., a calming piece of choral music plays on my bedroom computer, reminding me to get off the computer and start to wind down for the night. When I decided to establish the habit of writing for an hour every night, I decided to start writing once that choral music plays. It's worked well so far.

                      You can tie it to any other part of your day -- just after dinner, getting home from work, etc.

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                      • #12
                        Keeping score can be helpful, too

                        For me, having a piece of paper with the task on it and a space for counting how many consecutive days I've done it works really well. I put the paper in my inbox on day one. The next morning when I process my inbox, I enter a "1" if I did it and then put the paper in my tickler file for the next day. Each consecutive day that I do the task, I get to count up another number. If I miss a day, it's "back to square one." Knowing how many consecutive days you've completed the task is a great motivator. When you get up to 14, you really want to make sure that 15 happens!

                        I've used this weekly for my weekly reviews, and this week will be the magic 25 consecutive weeks...

                        Margaret

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by keymoo
                          HI there,

                          I want to establish two habits in my daily life.

                          1. Daily meditation twice a day for at least half an hour. Once at 5:30am and once any time after 10pm.
                          2. Daily piano practice once per day for half an hour.

                          Now, I sometimes neglect these two "tasks" that I personally hold to be very important to me. Too often other stuff gets in the way, or I'm just lazy. I have set up reminders on my phone, but I just switch them off. Should I put these items into my inbox every day?

                          How would you go about something like this? Any suggestions welcome no matter how small.

                          Thanks.
                          You've already got the reminder in place, and you're just chosing to ignore it. So, I don't think putting them into your inbox is going to help. GTD is there to make sure that you're capturing all of your open loops, and to remind you what the next action is toward getting something done.

                          It's not going to make you do something that you're not really commited to doing in the first place. You mention that you ARE commited, but are you REALLY? That's the first question that I'd ask myself in trying to figure out why this isn't happening. Be brutally honest w/yourself...

                          Maybe these two items belong on a Someday/Maybe list...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I tried Sciral, and found that I never opened it except to record when I did something. I have found it less than effective as a reminder.

                            Paper sheets as Margaret describes work well for me. I think it's because I love my Tickler files so much.

                            If it's important enough to you, you might want to use a more highly visible reminder. When I resolved to starting writing every day I posted a wall calendar to record it and hold myself accountable. I haven't missed a day for nearly five years.

                            PS. I also find music helps me write.

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