Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Pursuit of Dailiness

Some of life's victories can be gained by one big effort. An all-nighter to do a big school project, two or three days of focused effort on a report for work, or an afternoon in a kitchen to prepare a wonderful meal are often the best ways to approach those types of tasks.

However, most things worth doing are best accomplished by a modest effort applied consistently over time. No all-nighter will overcome a semester's undone mathematics assignments. There's nothing a gardener can do in August to rescue a crop neglected all summer.

I use the word "dailiness" to describe the quality of achieving results through effort applied regularly and consistently over time. (It's a real word, actually, but I use it with a bit of a spin.) There's just so much stuff that benefits from a little effort daily - not EVERY day, necessarily, but consistently. (I'm much better at being aware of the principle than I am putting it into practice. But, baby steps, baby steps.)

There's a great deal of dailiness in diabetes management. There are the daily routines of testing, taking medications, and seeing to the insulin supply. Good eating habits and exercise both have the best outcomes when applied with consistency. (I think I've read that the regularity of exercise may be more important than its intensity or duration.)

I often tinker with the tools I use to improve my daily practice of important habits. My morning pill sorter is on my living room table, where I'll be sure to see it, my evening pill sorter is in the bathroom (where I end each day), and I have a computer reminder to remind me of afternoon pills, since I'm almost always at one PC or another at that time of day. I've read of people who keep exercise clothes right by the door, serving both as reminder and shortcut. I'm beginning to experiment with checklists, to try to harden some of the things I should be doing into routines that I don't need to think about.

Have you found any tools that help reinforce your daily routines?

1 comment:

  1. I hate that I can do better with short and intense projects. I struggle mightily with long, drawn out projects (such as being healthy..)

    I don't know if it is impatience and lack of visible progress, or just running into other barriers (no money for stuff, schedule interferences, etc).


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T Minus Two by Bob Pedersen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.