This could almost be a sequel to the last post, but there's another observation we've been making over the past few weeks about the little things that keep people going: subtle routines that make people feel normal.
When I get up in the morning, I get little or nothing done until I get dressed. I don't know why. Pajamas make me disinclined to do anything busy, like make breakfast or take the laundry down. I learned a long time ago that if I want the day to be productive, I have to get up and put my clothes on right away. Keeping PJs on for the morning has never been a good option (except on Saturday...but even then I find I don't really enjoy staying in pajamas for long). And when I get dressed, if I REALLY want to be productive, I must put my shoes on. Then I'm ready to zip around and do what needs to be done.
Even when I'm sick (as in, sick enough that I'm actually having to lay around and not do anything), I usually get up, get dressed, and do my hair before going back to bed. Because then I actually feel better. More normal.
A lot of people need their cup of coffee in the morning to feel normal. Even if not technically addicted to caffeine (they drink decaf or only have that one cup per day), without their morning coffee they don't feel up to doing anything busy like the grocery shopping or vacuuming or even making meals.
In living with Grandma Lila, it's been an important process to pin down exactly what things were going on in her life that left her unsettled and feeling like she was, as she puts it, "not entirely well" even when her leg was healed and she was no longer feeling pain from it. As we've been finding and rectifying these things - many as simple as having the right kind of socks on - she's been acting more and more herself.
If a person wanted to increase productivity in their day, it seems to me that a good exercise is to identify those things that make you feel settled, normal, and ready to do some work. Whether it's the kind of perfume you're wearing, the time you get up in the morning, whatever you have for breakfast, or even what kind of music is playing, I think there are a lot of little keys in a person's life that can trigger their "productive" brain even when they're having a day when they are inexplicably feeling too lazy to get anything done. Or even feeling sort of sad and tired or generally not themselves.
I doubt those things are generally very complicated. Like I said, for me it's a simple as getting dressed right away and putting my shoes on. Somebody told me this week that this is a suggestion from someone called "the Fly-Lady" who apparently specializes in giving housekeeping advice, but I came up with it after I realized my ankles are so weak that I actually walk much better with my shoes on. When I can walk better and move faster, I feel more like doing things. Very simple, very effective...very useful to know. Because when I have a day that I can't seem to get anything done, I can stop and think, "Okay...what didn't I do this morning to get going?" and then do it!
1/23/2012 03:40:13 am
I agree Lauren. For me it's a list. My mom and I are both list people Without a list, I tend to forget what I wanted to accomplish and in turn I start lazy habits. With a list, I have a sense of accomplishment every time I get to cross something off of it. I'm so glad you updated your blog because I'm a bit of a blog stalker now that I'm home awaiting Baby Izzo's arrival.
1/24/2012 06:05:55 am
Blog stalker, eh?
1/31/2012 09:38:52 am
YAY!!!!! I know you wanted to get that done!
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Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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