Aug 27, 2014


There have been many books come out in the last few years about the power of habits. At first glance, a buyer might wonder if it is the latest trend, like hiding vegetables in cupcakes was a few years ago. But I think it is more than that. People are recognizing that in the society of constant distraction via technology, where time can slip away with what seems to be the snap of a finger, there is a necessity to be more diligent in preserving focus.

William James suggested that people are "bundles of habits". We have these things that distract us, then become us, often without even really seeing the transformation take place. Obviously, this can happen for our benefit or our detriment.

For all the chaos that going back to school causes in my life, I am always happy once it is underway because that schedule provides an incredible framework within which I can structure my life. I know what time I need to wake up (4:40 am) what time I need to be in the shower by, what time I need to spend studying scriptures with on my own and with my kids in the morning, what time I need to leave work in order to arrive on time (7:20 am). And though it seems frenzied at first, it is structured hurrying.

Along these same lines, I have the opportunity to understand the time in which I can write. There are blog posts, social media and the like that are able to be intertwined with Mom, what is a vertice (I still don't know), how do you spell, what book should I, can this be washed with the whites, etc.

And then there is writing a novel.

Or re-re-writing again again, which is what I'm currently doing.

The habits that we form also need to melt in with the habits of those who live around us. After school, my kids and husband know that my habit is to take care of kid stuff and house stuff and most nights, dinner stuff.  In return for that habit that contributes to their life, they give me the liberty to enjoy the habit of putting on my red SkullCandy headphones, turning on my classical music, and writing. When I complete that habit, my brain shifts into time to write mode, and productivity can be achieved.

Of course, this isn't how every day works out. But a habit won't be cast to the wayside with just one day of disruption. Still, we need to fight to keep the habits that will lead us to achieving the goals we have set for ourselves.

How do you set your day to encourage habits? Any techniques that make life a little easier in maintaining them? 


Miranda Hardy said...

I have a very structured day, especially with two children. It helps to keep me on track and get things going. Things don't always go as planned, but it's less chaotic with a schedule.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I had better habits before I retired from teaching. But now I always think I have lots of time and I find myself wasting too much of it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I am definitely a creature of habit. Sometimes almost to the point that it's a rut. But as long as it's a productive rut, I'm good with that.

Anonymous said...

After a long writing hiatus, I'm looking forward to getting back into a writing schedule starting September 2nd. : )

S.P. Bowers said...

I'm a big fan of structure. You do need to remain flexible but structure gives us that habit that allows us to get things done, instead of frittering our time away.

Nicole said...

My habits form into routine and that's often what I try to track my day by to fit in works about 50% of the time. :)

David P. King said...

I really need to let the TV go. That's my worst habit. As for good habits, I like to look in the mirror in the morning and say "I can do this," and the day feels better for it. Oh, and some form of protein with breakfast. :)