I have made a great deal of progress on my bad habits lately. Many of these habits, I realized, are procrastination in some form or other, causing me to face tasks later that should have been completed, or at least started, up front. And in a household where I’m managing All the Things while the Pilot is away for several days at a time, this is noooo bueno.

New seasons bring new weather, and to me: new energy. Even a Home Operations Specialist has to kick it back into gear from time to time, so I’m working on my own version of systems improvement (and coming up with a new flight plan).

7 Good Habits to Replace the Bad 

1. Do it now (while I’m thinking about it). Jotting down thoughts for a first draft or filing those papers. Somewhere in the middle of certain tasks, I tend to lose steam, and it’s usually getting those tasks completed that saves frustration later on. I would also save a lot of clutter on surface space, for sure.

Captain Mom, new habits, cleaning up surface mess

This book order and these coupons have taken up residency on the kitchen counter because I didn’t deal with them right away. The papers are practically putting down roots through the hideous white tile.


2. Touch it once. Oh, the messes that would never sprout up if I followed * this one simple rule!* When I’m done with the loaf of bread, it needs to go back from whence it came, not be left to take a nap on the cutting board.

3. Put something on the page. For those jobs I can’t complete right away, I could get one part started…to continue tomorrow. (Doesn’t even necessarily mean for writing, it could be for any project.) This idea comes from something my math teacher (thanks, Ms. Covey) used to tell us in class. “Get a few homework problems done while you’re in class. That way, you’re not facing a blank page tonight.” When I come back to a project or task, it’s such a motivator that I’ve at least started it. (“Well begun is half done!” ~ Mary Poppins, I believe). And if I can get motivated to work on math, I can do anything.

4. Repeat things out loud. I tend to think of a lot of things when I’m 1) driving or 2) eating dinner. Trying to record on a phone app isn’t safe for me to do driving or appropriate while eating, but even saying out loud, “I need to remember to sign the forms when I get home,” can help jog my memory when I do get home. It’s also entertaining for those around me.

5. Set the timer. Simplest app on the smartphone, handiest gadget in the house. Fly Lady knows what she’s talking about. When I’m having a hard time attacking a project or chore, it’s time to set a timer to clean clutter, fold laundry, write that first draft, or get to inbox zero.

Rhonda Franz, Captain Mom, new habits, new school year

6. Let the last be first. I tend to leave a trail of destruction in my wake. If the last thing I did was carry in a load of groceries, I need to put those away immediately. Of course, if all the boys are home, they should do this.

7. Take breaks. This advice screams out from productivity channels around the webs. I’m bad about it. The key for me is to limit break time. For me, over 20 minutes, and it’s harder for me to get back on task.

How do you deal with your bad habits?

“Time for Change” photo, courtesy of Pixabay & geralt. Yes, time for change.