Tool for Tuesday: Get A Habit.

No, I’m not talking about smoking or waiting for the tick-tick-tick toward 5 o’clock so you can pour yourself a drink. From the Latin, habire: to have. Something that gets so regular it becomes instinctive and you can save time by not having to think about it.

Habits are routines that save your time. If you have a family and small kids, habits limit negotiations on everything. Routines free up our brains to focus on the important things. Children need order, boundaries and limits. Of course, you can be flexible, but if your children know that 8 P.M. is bath, bed and beyond, they won’t waste time squabbling. (I posted this tip on Laura Vanderkam’s fabulous website about time and time management—see more tips here.)

Habits can help free us to avoid procrastination. If we get into the habit of going to our office at a certain hour, then we can forget the other things that need to be done and get to work.

I have a friend who goes on Date Night with her husband every Thursday. A couple needs time away from their kids. You can make sure that your birthday is spent doing something fun. And remember, don’t wait for someone to read your mind and plan something for you—plan it for yourself.


Tool For Tuesday: We can start a good habit today.

About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is the author of several books, including The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker), shortlisted for a National Jewish Book Award. Her novel, A Remarkable Kindness, (HarperCollins) was published in 2015. She is the First Prize Winner of Moment Magazine's 2019 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, Glamour, The Forward, The North American Review, Times of Israel, and is a reporter for Israel21C, and many other publications. She is author of Big Up Yourself: It's About Time You Like Being You and The Mom Who Took off On Her Motorcycle, a memoir of her 10,000-mile motorcycle trip to Alaska and back to New York. She lives in a small beach village in Western Galilee, Israel, with her husband and family. She is a member of the local hevra kadisha, the burial circle, and a Muslim-Jewish-Christian-Druze women's group in the nearby town of Akko. And, she likes snowboarding and climbing trees.
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2 Responses to Tool for Tuesday: Get A Habit.

  1. I have one habit that is as natural as breathing, so I don’t have to even think about it: As soon as I get up in the morning, I make the bed. Immediately. As I walk around it to go to the next room, I’m pulling up the sheets, smoothing comforter and fluffing the pillows. (Jim gets up before I do, so it’s not like I’m smothering him with the covers.) This saved me in college dorm life and every morning since then. It gets the day off to a good start and makes the room semi-organized.

    But I know one habit you have, Diana, that you probably don’t think about but just do. You write lovely, thoughtful, caring things that help others. I see it in your blogs and emails, and most recently you wrote this haiku for me: “Mother’s lamp gone out
    Her words do not come easy
    Love is what remains…”
    You are a jewel, Diana. So soon after losing your own mother, you wrote this for me about the love that remains even after dementia. Thank you.

    • dianabletter says:

      Hi Marylin,
      Thanks for sharing your habit about making your bed! And I’m glad you appreciated the haiku. It was written from my heart.

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