Changing the time of day

All of us have weak areas in our work at home or on the job. Some of these involve tasks where it takes more energy to make ourselves do them than the tasks themselves require. Marcus Buckingham has some very practical advice about dealing with these, including this statement that I have found surprisingly helpful: “Sometimes this will be as simple as changing the time of day when you do the weakening activity,” (Buckingham, Go Put your Strengths to Work, p. 192).

I used to wrestle with myself to clean the kitchen in the evening. I’d chide myself with memories of my grandmother who never went to bed without a completely clean kitchen. It never took all that much time, but I still didn’t want to do it. Sometimes I’d remember right before bedtime and then do it with irritation at myself. A few weeks ago, I started cleaning my kitchen right after breakfast. Amazingly, I find it a pleasurable habit, and I generally end it with a sense of satisfaction.

Similarly, I’ve been trying for a long time to build a habit of meditating in the afternoon. Usually I am in the middle of things and just forget. Now I’ve started meditating right before going to bed. It helps me detach myself from all the interesting things I’ve been working on during the day and improves my rest.

So one way to improve life satisfaction is to work on the daily rhythm of tasks, to do them when you have the right kind of energy available.

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1 Comment

Filed under Habits, Life satisfaction

One response to “Changing the time of day

  1. Great Blog Kathryn,

    I am also a morning kitchen cleaner, I manage to whip around while I am making coffee. I find myself quite lacking in energy at night and need to relax. Phonecalls to friends are also savoured in evenings and time with the children. I do my study day and morning and prefer exercise earlier so I have a few competing tasks which can be problematic at times. I try not to give myself a hard time though, which seems to make the difference.

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