It Does Have to Be Every Day

March 10, 2022

I wrote a couple weeks ago about how It Doesn’t Have to Be Every Day.

But there are a lot of times when doing something every day is immensely helpful. It catalyzes me to do things that I otherwise wouldn’t find time to do.

For example: this blog. If I didn’t keep a streak of writing a blog post every day, I probably wouldn’t do it nearly as often. Even though it’s something that I want to do (and I’m always glad afterwards that I have a backlog of blog posts), I need a daily cadence in order to keep me on track. I’m not sure how long I can keep this pace up, but it’s held so far.

Or my daily journal entry since December 2019: at this point, what keeps me motivated for doing that is that I can’t bear having a gap in the entries. The guilt of not doing it pushes me to keep up that habit, and I’m immensely happy looking back that I’ve kept it up.

Or lastly, keeping up with studying my flashcards for Chinese class bit by bit every day. If I told myself that I’d study the flashcards “whenever I have time”, I wouldn’t do it much at all. But by creating a daily recurring task for it, I somehow find time to do it every day. I work it into my routine by pressure.

There’s of course a danger that adding too many things to the daily routine will become overwhelming. In a way, I start every day being behind on work: even if I finished everything yesterday, new tasks have reappeared overnight.

But for now, it’s going okay. As long as I don’t give too many things every day status, it’s a neat trick to get my brain to keep up habits.