I have a brilliant idea! I was trying to think of ways to get back into the swing of blogging now that the book is done, and I decided that I’m going to commit to posting every day next week, from Monday 7/22 to Sunday 7/28. Like all my brilliant ideas, this one promises to make me wish I didn’t have a brain so I wouldn’t get myself into these messes, but at least it’ll give me a chance to clear out some post ideas I’ve had sitting around for a while.
If you have a blog, you should join me! I’d love to follow along with others who are up for the challenge. I’ll put up a linky list on Sunday where you can post a link to your blog if you’re planning to post every day next week too.
I finally re-did my About Me page. Check it out and let me know what you think! It’s surprisingly hard to put one of those together. Luckily, I had lots of inspiration when you told me about some of your favorites.
A friend of mine has been taking a series of household management classes that are being offered at our parish, and she told me about an exercise that I thought was really interesting. Try this:
- Get out a sheet of paper, and write a list of all the activities you typically try to complete in a 24-hour period — don’t pause to analyze it, just write as quickly as you can.
- Break the tasks into small components to make sure you don’t miss anything (for example, instead of “kids’ bath time,” list “running bath water and rounding up kids,” “kids in tub,” “washing hair,” “drying and getting dressed,” etc.)
- Next to each item, write the amount of time that this activity requires for you to do it without rushing.
- Add up the time.
If it goes anything like it did for me, you might be surprised by just how far away from 24 your total is. It’s lesson 1,784 for me that modern life tempts us to put waaaaaay too much on our plates.
Here’s a tip that I’ve found surprisingly useful, that you’ll like if you plan to do the exercise from #3: Google Drive’s spreadsheet program is great at adding time. (Microsoft Excel technically does it too, though I found it much harder to use.) In Drive you can input blocks of time in the 00:00 format (e.g. an hour and ten minutes would be 1:10), then have the program add the total time for you. This is indispensable for time management exercises, or for the critical work of creating playlists to go with 30-Day Shred videos.
We recently discovered that the grave of my great-great-great grandmother is at our family cemetery that’s a few miles away from here. I knew I had relatives there that went way back, but, I didn’t know they went that far back. Anyway, my main takeaway was this:
This great-great-great grandmother and other relatives arrived in Texas back in the mid-1800s — and if you’ve read Empire of the Summer Moon, you know what fun that must have been. Therefore, you would think that I would have inherited a hardy set of genes that would enable me to go pick cotton for 12 hours in 105-degree temperatures, or at least go check the mail without stumbling back in the door and gasping about how I’m going to die of heat stroke. And yet that is not what has happened at all; in fact, I have one of the most delicate constitutions of anyone I know. I am shocked anew by the Texas environment every single day of my life, and have all sorts of sensitivities that my Texan relatives find absolutely precious, like my qualms about being stung by scorpions while I sleep.
My mom grew up in the northeast and is descended from Irish immigrants, and it’s like my body knows that and is screaming, “No! This is all wrong! Run immediately to the nearest location that is cold and rainy and covered in clouds!!!”
When Joe and I met, we worked for a web metrics company that was one of the pioneers in the field (like Google Analytics for major corporations). He was a product manager and I designed the client interface, so we spent all our time analyzing traffic to websites. We learned a lot about traffic patterns and what they mean, which I always enjoy applying to blogging.
Earlier this week my post about survival mode got a ton of traffic (thanks for the links and shares!), and we had a ridiculous amount of fun analyzing the data as a flood of new visitors came in. (Yes, we are huge nerds.) A few insights that fellow bloggers and/or stats nerds might find interesting:
- Most people left the site after reading the 21 Tips for Survival Mode post. However, of those that stayed, they tended to stay a long time (i.e. there were far more people that stayed for 180+ seconds than stayed for 30 – 60 seconds). Implication: People decide quickly whether they’re interested in new sites or not, and tend to feel strongly about their decisions.
- When visitors to the Survival Mode post clicked on anything else, it tended to be the link to the home page. Implication: When people would like to find out more about a new blog they’ve discovered, they go to the home page to look for fresh content.
- The link that was most clicked on within the post was the one about finding your sleep personality, which is interesting since it was pretty far down the page. Implication: People like information that’s customized to them.
- There was a lot of traffic directly to the sleep personality link, I guess from people sharing that after they read the survival mode post. Interestingly, visits that began on that page were 20% more likely to look at other content on the site than visits that began on other pages. Implication: No idea.
I could go on and on, but it might get too exciting.
Next week should be interesting. I have no idea where I’ll find the free time to write a blog post per day. I may have to resort to just sharing funny stuff I find on Pinterest…which might not be a bad thing.
Have a good weekend!