How to keep the days from being blurry

Welcome. It’s Wednesday, September 1, 2021, and as of this writing, it’s 71 degrees and it’s raining here in New York City. Jennifer J...


Welcome. It’s Wednesday, September 1, 2021, and as of this writing, it’s 71 degrees and it’s raining here in New York City.

Jennifer Just, a reader from Woodbridge, Connecticut, begins her days jotting the day of the week, date, and weather on top of a scrap paper, then continues filling out whatever she plans to do with her time, hour by hour. , including housework and shopping. This little routine helps to structure your days.

I enjoy this kind of routine, as a way to shape an otherwise indistinct amount of time. Barely a year ago I suggested keeping a logbook, an effortless journal in which you take a few notes – no details too mundane – about what happened that day. And so many readers have done: Discover some starters here. (Do you still keep a logbook? Tell me how is it going.)

A few weeks ago I asked how do you prevent one day from falling into the next?. Here are some additional answers, edited for length and clarity.

  • “Keep the days from fading? This is a joke. But after a year and a half, I learned to look for the clues. If our street is lined with garbage cans, it’s Monday. If all lawn services are on point, it’s Thursday or Friday. I can’t count the number of days I “wasted” on this thing. —Andrea Miller, Michigan

  • “Most of the time, I don’t remember the day of the week. And it’s often catastrophic when I take the day off as a Monday and relax, when in fact it’s Friday and I should be teaching a class of kids. That’s why I assigned different days to different nighttime activities, which I repeat flawlessly every week. For example, every Thursday, I check the homework for the week so that I can take it back with the children on Friday during class. While Friday nights are Netflix nights, Mondays are for reading books and journaling, and Wednesdays are for podcasts on crime and detectives. ”—Hritam Mukherjee, Calcutta, India

  • “I try to stop the blur from one day to the next by changing my bike on each ride. Last Sunday morning, I came across a field near my home that I didn’t know existed. —Glen C. Greenwood, Toronto

  • “I realized this week that my daily existence has become a fusion of two films: ‘Groundhog Day’ and ‘The Shining’. I avoid clock radios and sharp objects. —Patty Bell, Dahlonega, Georgia.

  • “Different rooms have different tasks or activities associated with them. When I start to feel like they are mixing together again, I will rearrange objects and furniture to create new spaces. —Rella Madeline Arena, Atlanta

  • “Being at home most of the time, I found that I could schedule tasks to the delicious sound of church bells in my neighborhood. Five times a day, the beautiful ringtone reminds me to perform basic daily routines (like meals, paperwork, and passive entertainment) on a self-developed schedule that is surprisingly reassuring. Who could tell me that I had such a nice resource at my fingertips! —Jacqueline Biscombe, San Juan, RP


Our scary heaps of essays on how kids love phones tend to ignore who gave them phones in the first place. We’re like parents who left the liquor cellar unlocked and are shocked to come home and smell the kids’ breath – except we’re making money, so maybe we’re more like those Brits of the 18th century who shipped opium to China.

From “How far can you go to not be the subject of a viral video?“by Dan Brooks.



How do you lead a full and cultivated life, at home and away from home? What do you watch, read, listen to or cook? Write U.S : athome@nytimes.com. Make sure to include your full name and location and we may include your response in a future newsletter. Were At home and away. We will read every letter sent. More ideas for passing the time appear below. See you Friday.

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