A few weeks ago, I resumed near-daily music practice, alternating between flute and recorder. I set a low goal: at least 15 minutes, stopping when I felt tired.
There are other daily practices in my life. On work days, we try to start off with a quick standup meeting in Campfire. What did you do yesterday? What are you doing today? Things you learned? Blockers? I’ve tried this practice at companies where we all worked together in an office, but I like the online version better. It seems to skip some of the conversational distractions that keep these meetings from staying short.
Some people make one of cleaning out their inbox, but I never manage to keep up with this. I’m a lurker in my own email, sitting on responses forever for no real reason, sometimes even the easy ones. If you need a fast response, catch me on IM, or Twitter, or IRC. The 14 messages in my personal inbox are the fewest I’ve had sitting unresolved in weeks.
I’m also very conscious of the lack of exercise in my daily practices. I’ve been reading through old blog posts, adding tags, adjusting categories, which took me through a section where I was doing yoga or Pilates or dance every day. When I started getting involved in tech events, those things were pushed off my calendar.
When I worked at a job that had a number of daily tasks that had to be completed at specific times, I put them all on index cards, and shuffled through the stack as the day progressed. It was very effective in keeping me on task, despite many interruptions. Now I have fewer things like that to keep track of, but I still use a todo list and try to keep the most urgent items easy to review.
I’ve switched from my text-file system over to Hiveminder, at least for a while. It has some features that make it easier to whittle down tasks to just a few things to focus on at a time. I hid “sign up for Pilates” for a few more days, but maybe I’ll add “practice flute/recorder” as a daily reminder.