Last Monday I realized that one or two little things can set in motion a string of psychological effects, many of which are unintended and unexpected. Last Monday, on a whim, I decided to put on my shoes.
I purchased a new pair of shoes a couple days earlier and they didn't quite feel right. I figured I just had to break them in a bit. So I put them on. Normally, I don't wear shoes around the apartment. I stay in my socks or wear slippers. I keep my shoes next to the door and put them on when I leave. I do this in order to keep the apartment a little bit cleaner. Last Monday, when I put on my shoes, I felt differently. I felt like getting something done. I felt energized and focused.
The simple act of putting on my shoes triggered my latent and heretofore untapped potential for productivity. I made lists. I cleaned rooms. I took out trash. I did laundry. I read a book. I scheduled appointments. I did all of this in addition to my usual daily tasks: feed the baby, feed the dog, change the baby, wipe up various messes, make some dinner, etc.
I think I don't feel dressed if I'm not wearing shoes. I find it much easier to sit around on my butt watching TV, playing on the internet, or doodling on scrap paper when I'm not dressed. When I put on shoes, I feel like I have things to accomplish. As a result, a week later, the apartment is as clean as it has been in months. The dog has all his shots and claws or a reasonable length. The baby is learning to eat with her own two hands. Michelle has been fed within minutes of arriving home. I've blogged twice, written in my journal twice, my neck is clean shaven and my beard is well trimmed.
I hope to incorporate more productive activities into every day as I become more efficient. Finishing my thesis may actually happen unless I backslide terribly. For now, I'm just happy knowing that I can be as productive as I need to be to keep this little family going strong.