Habits. They say it takes 3 weeks to form new ones. I have 3 weeks before I return to work. 3 weeks, in which to make changes to make everyone’s life a little easier in the few hours we will be able to spend together during term-time.
Some habits will need breaking. Some need forming. Here’s the plan:
Breaking the Bad: Time Wasters
My two biggest time wasters in my life were public transport (or lack thereof) and the internet (she says, typing stuff for an online blog). The former, I solved the day I got my car. A trip into town no longer takes half a day, with buses arriving hourly and the anxious wait to see if the pushchair space was actually available. With the help of a satnav and, over time, experience, I will now be able to go wherever I need to whenever I need to within a reasonable amount of time.
The internet is a different kettle of fish. For one, I need it for work. It’s essential to be able to check my emails, keep on top of news and make resources for my classes. For another, I have enjoyed my time being able to talk to like-minded people with children my age, which is a lot harder when you try to arrange face-to-face times. But I realise that – melodramatic violin play, please – it’s time to say goodbye to some of this.
I won’t stop blogging, nor will I go completely off the grid on social media. However, my internet times will be greatly reduced, starting today. 4 times a day while I’m off, twice a day when I go back to work ought to do it. Thing is, I don’t need to check my social media every few minutes, in the hope that something new has come up. I don’t need to spend valuable time convincing others that yes, my job is hard. I certainly don’t need to check my emails all the time – isn’t the point of emails that they can be opened whenever? If someone wants to talk to me immediately, they’re welcome to phone.
So, there we have it. Time wasters sorted.
What else needs breaking out of? Untidiness, definitely. As the years went on, I’ve got better at this, no matter what my darling husband would say. My floor is certainly not my organiser anymore, and with a crawling baby, the perfect opportunity has arisen to break with the habit of leaving stuff lying around everywhere and form the new habit of being more tidy. I already tidy up as I go along, but there always seems to be so much stuff around that having a tidy house appears, at times, to be an impossible task.
I’ll have to make it part of my routine to put everything back into its place immediately after use. It’s so much easier to leave it wherever until much later, but I am looking at the long-term gain (and if it’s just being less annoying to my husband). And once the habit has been started, it’s hard to stop again.
So much for breaking bad habits. In the next part, I’ll look at good habits to form.