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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Productivity-Adjacent Wins

My mind has been bubbling over lately with tweaks to my routine, seemingly spontaneously. My best guess is that two things affecting my routine have activated my subconscious in that area. (1) Having to replace my phone last week has caused me to have to re-gain lost ground due to apps being broken by the new OS, and think about my routines in the process. (2) The fire lit by bad government in the dumpster of the pandemic goes out for me in July. That's when child care hiccups mostly go away. Planning ahead becomes a real-world concern again.

1. The developer may not know what to call the app -- Notification Blocker? Notification Blocker & Cleaner & Heads-up Off? NCleaner? -- but the app does what I used to be able to do manually: Silence my notifications and, crucially, also turn off vibration for them. Whatever its name, this app does the trick and supplies a list of whatever notifications I would have received so I can look at them at a time that works for me. Also importantly, it lets me exempt whatever applications I want.

Now, I can keep my phone by my bedside without fear of my relatives text-bantering after I go to bed, and yet use it as my alarm clock in the morning. And I can once again have my phone in the same room where I'm working so I can take necessary calls, but not have to be told RIGHT NOW that, for example, the app I want to run in the background is ... doing what I asked it to do. Call me eccentric...

Image by Josh Sorenson, via Unsplash, license.
2. Since our move to Florida, I have had a hard time incorporating 30-minute walks, which I enjoy and had always done in the past, into my schedule. Heat and afternoon rains were the main obstacles. A couple of weeks ago, though, I hit upon a solution quite similar to the way I found time to clean my garage: I have been incorporating them into my morning routine. The heat doesn't really kick in until about 10:00, and I can usually slip a walk in right after I drop the kids off at school.

3. A combination of my in-laws moving nearby and having other relatives over longer than expected caused me lots of sleep disruption. But that helped me realize that, perhaps the 9:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m sleeping schedule I put myself on when my daughter was born had outlived its usefulness.

Other schedule constraints had already made getting up that early not as useful and I realized that a later waking time would make me better able to cope with late-ish (and now occasional!) visits or entertaining. As of yesterday, I've moved my normal waking time to the comparatively decadent hour of 4:30 a.m. I'll see how that goes for a few weeks and tweak from there. If I can get in enough morning solitude, while also setting myself up for the rest of the day sufficiently, I might even go for a bit more sleep.

4. Even for introverts and people who worked at home before, the pandemic has been unkind: What had been a pleasant choice became the only item on the menu. This has not been good for creativity or concentration, even for those of us who have had kids back in school for the past few months.

That fact already had me looking for other options, and to my realization that the outdoors can be useful in the mornings in Florida. In addition to walking as part of the morning routine, I realized that I can bring along reading or work not requiring an internet connection with me to a park. Most in my area have pavilions with tables, and are fairly empty then.

This is an idea I haven't tried yet, and it could well be too humid most days for it to work, but I'm looking forward to trying it, and thought I'd throw the idea out there for others.

-- CAV

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