July 29th, 2008


When it comes to overthinking things, Brent has me beat by a huge margin, but that doesn’t mean I’m not good at it. My time has suddenly become unstructured again and that means that it’s time for me to build yet another routine.

I’m good at building routines, if not so good at sticking to them. I recognize the power of autopilot—how else do you think I manage to brush my teeth every morning before I’m entirely awake? Ideally, all those things that are good for me would be as wired into my autopilot as brushing my teeth. But.

Well, for starters, some things are harder than tooth-brushing. Some take longer. Some have less obvious immediate results.

I’m thrown back on the shifting sands of my priorities.

I have a like-hate relationship with Steven Covey. I’m scared of his squeaky bald head and his awful writing style. I question some of his assumptions. But I also find his tools useful. In one of his books, he makes the point that what we need at the center of our lives is principles. This allows us to keep a larger arc to our lives even when the specifics of what we need to focus on change. Remind me to put principles on my shopping list.

As a morning person, I need to put the day’s most important thing early so that it definitely happens. This week, my body wins the priority lottery. I have been to the gym today. If I am lucky, I will also go tomorrow and the next day and the day after that. I will develop a habit so that I reach for the car keys right after I set down my toothbrush.

Then again, maybe I should put on my shoes first.