Are all your days looking alike? Here’s a way to take charge of your calendar!
A column in yesterday’s paper struck a chord with me right from the title “What Day is it? Welcome to Blursday” For too many of us, the days of the week are all starting to feel like Sunday. Which you would think would be delightful, right? But as it turns out, at least according to Dr. Philip Gable, associate professor at University of Delaware’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, another symptom of Covid Fatigue is the way it messes with our internal clock, and, more specifically, our perception of the passage of time. When we have few to no markers to indicate the time passing, or to differentiate one day from another, every day is “Blursday”.
Daily Routines are Important
The broad focus of Dr Gable’s National Science Foundation funded research is how Covid 19 is impacting our emotions. So far, it looks like our emotional equilibrium is highly dependent on daily routines, many of which have been disrupted. This is particularly true for those of us who were employed, pre-Covid, in work that demanded we show up to a worksite away from our homes.
Outside Structures crumbling….
Many Americans can no longer rely on outside structures to provide crucial markers that distinguish Monday from Friday. Nor can we hang with friends on a Saturday night at the local bar (unless we don’t care what we catch), or go to church on Sunday morning. The calendar has gone all Hitchcock-Vertigo, and if we can’t bring it back into focus, Blursdays turn into Blursweeks and Blursmonths.
Take your Calendar back – One Day at a Time
I’m going to suggest that we take charge of that now and try a new routine, a new daily ritual. If you are experiencing too many Blursdays, it’s time to begin a calendar check that requires more intentionality than you’re used to. If you prefer paper calendars over online ones (and more of us have been falling into this camp over the last few years), grab a nice looking notebook. I’ve been using a system through the Best Self Journal process, which I highly recommend for added structure. For techno-geeks, create for yourself a nice spreadsheet.
Your Shiny New Day Book
This is your new “day book”. Put the day of the week at the top of the page, with the date. Decide three things you want to accomplish today, and (this is vital), decide what your reward will be at the end of your day for accomplishing these things. It’s a good idea to come up with a different reward for each day. Start small: ice cream, another episode of your latest Netflix obsession, whatever. Special credit for linking these rewards to your goals. I finally cleaned out my closet, and got rid of gobs of stuff, so now, I get to buy a new shirt online!
Check in…with Yourself
Once you get into this intentional planning/reward habit for a week, check in with yourself and take a look at what you’ve accomplished. Check on your emotional pulse to see how this feels, and whether you may actually be looking forward to the next week. And then start the process over again. See if these small daily goals might eventually be informed by larger ones that could be accomplished within a week or a month. And after that, who knows? But if we can take charge of our days again, we will be building some resilience in our perception of time. “Blursday” will finally come into sharper focus.
For more on helpful routines & rituals, especially in online meetings – check out my post: 12 Rituals to Elevate Your Virtual Meeting