Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘routine

For how long you intend repeating the same routine?

Repeating things without improving them means you’re dead in the water, stuck in the muck, dying on the vine.

Don’t simply do the next thing; make it better.

By Dan Rockwell?

Leading isn’t repeating.

Your calendar includes reoccurring things  like, performance reviews, company meetings, client calls, and staff development, to name a few.

Don’t repeat, improve.

But isn’t improvement hard? Is there time, energy, and resources? Improvement isn’t an option it’s an imperative.

Making things better is better when it’s easy. Remember, making things harder isn’t an improvement.

Making it easy to make things better:

  1. New techniques. Do old things in new ways. What new approach to performance reviews can you employ, for example?
  2. New value to clients. Quarterly client calls gain value when you bring new value. Clients who trust you want your recommendations and suggestions for improving their business.
  3. More humanity.
  4. Variety. Try new locations, times, participants, even order of activity.
  5. Next level. Last time we had balloons this time we’ll have clowns.
  6. New value to employees. Shift from receiving value to giving value. How can you delight staff?
  7. Build on the present, don’t eliminate it.
  8. Eliminating antiquated systems, rituals, processes, and procedures. If you don’t know why you’re doing it, it’s time to stop it or rediscover why.
  9. Surprise.
  10. Define “better”.

Bonus: Improvement means canceling a minimal-value  meeting. Send an email instead.

Don’t change everything but improve something.

Waiting for big improvement often results in no improvement. On the other hand, small improvements make a big difference.

Where and how can leaders make simple improvements that make things better?

“Routine”: Not such a bad Schedule (March 5, 2009)


The term “routine” has a bad connotation:  It confers a sense of boredom or a boring person who goes to a boring job and just waits for retirement. This is mostly true for public jobs and people content with steady public jobs. Many private jobs are boring, but economic performance usually sets the tone for heavy turnovers. 

“Routine” is not such a bad schedule for people who love every stage in the daily routine process. I know many professionals who enjoy and thrive on routine.  They wake up by 5 a.m. and read, write, and review their daily agenda and files; they exercise, jog, or swim before leaving to work.  Their workplaces are no further than 15 minutes drive.  Any one who has to drive one hour to work is a tainted “professional” in my dictionary. 

I cannot imagine a conscientious and genuine professional who is willing to submit to long driving trips and wasting precious morning hours battling with traffic and burning their nerves.  I also submit that a genuine professional should respect his physical and emotional well-being.

It is well-documented that human brain needs about 10,000 hours of practice-sessions by age 20 in order to become a top expert in anything, such as music, computer programming, singing, acting, dancing, fashion designer, architect, math, chess-player… It is your consistent  practice for what is your passion that generates a top expert, genius, and a top professional.  You cannot score 10,000 hours of practice sessions without a Routine…

I recall that I knew not a single work of French at the age of 12, before I joined a private French school.  I used to read French books for at least 6 hours a day, seven days a week. Within a year, I wrote far better than French-born students.  Mind you, I didn’t write or read aloud, or spoke fluently French: I just wrote better.  Another proof that it is not feasible to write well before you make the routine of reading a lot, and consistently.

For example I love the routine schedule of my days. If the weather is clement and warm, I wake up early before 6 a.m. and write till 8:30; then I exercise for 45 minutes, I work in the garden, then I spend my morning at the library to publish and check my emails and read and select books for borrowing. I have lunch  around 2:30 and siesta or a nap for an hour. I then remove to my study and resume writing and reading,  I watch the news and movies on cables, and then I sleep soundly with dreams.  There are no useless slack times such as driving long distance or getting bored at any chores.  I accommodate my schedule with nature because our public electrical power is rationed and we have no clear idea of its schedule. In winter season, I prefer to wake up by 9 am as the air has warmed, and my naps are longer…

I sometimes wonder if I enjoyed normal “electrical delivery regime” of 24 hours a day, as in most States, that I would have been as productive in writing and publishing.  I doubt it.  It seems to me that external challenges increase determination for those who love their work and set the tone for better time management of work and leisure schedules.

Note 1: Lebanon used to export electricity to Syria and Jordan in the thirties.  80 years later, Lebanon import electricity from Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. The populations of all these States have quadrupled in 80 years while Lebanon barely doubled, due to massive immigration, and we could not even double our power production.  Lebanon has plenty of water and rivers but we failed to invest properly on our natural resources.  Not only we have not enough electricity, and none of it is hydraulically generated, but we have no running water.  We receive water twice a week for a few hours and we have to filtrate and purify what we receive. The Lebanese family has to pay twice for electrical power and for water by supplementing their needs from the scalpers of private providers. The main culprits are those “Christian” Maronite political parties who claimed that the power of Lebanon resides in its military weakness.  Implicitly, those sectarian and isolationist political parties meant that Lebanon should not challenge the dicta of Israel on the planning of our water resources because Israel purpose is to divert all our rivers toward its own Zionist State).


Note 2: I have many relatives overseas and most of them are successful.  I love them all with a caveat: When I meet with my overseas relatives, after many years of absence, they love to play the role of the successful immigrant condescending with their “indigent” relative.  They love to reminisce about the “good all days” when we were kids.  As if I have never been overseas (as if I was Bush Junior who never felt the urge to apply for a passport.  Bush Junior was elected president of the USA twice and he never ventured outside of the US before being elected in order to broaden his horizons

“Trailing a butterfly” by late Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish (Part 3, December 30, 2008)


            Routine in Gaza

Low atmospheric pressure; a north-western wind; rain drops, and a wrinkled gray sea is the background.  Autumn clouds (a euphemism, symbolic term for coming massacres); 30 fallen martyrs today in north Gaza. Two women died in a demonstration demanding their share of rights. 

Autumn clouds on a clear sunny day destroyed an entire family of 17 members under the debris of their home.  This unusual life is pretty much routine in Gaza. People can still wish a good morning if they survived a fighter jet bomb: They resume their routine of burying the martyrs.  

The people in Gaza are never sure to return to a standing home as the tanks and bulldozers surround the area. People of Gaza wish to be foxes to have safe heaven in grottos but there are none. We are asking that the devils agree for a short truth to bury the dead. 

(Gaza is surrounded by unfriendly States of Israel and Egypt of Mubarak)


            A rifle and a “kafane” (shroud)

“Nobody will defeat me; I will not subdue anyone” said a masked security man.  He fired his gun into air and said “the bullet will zoom in on its enemy”. 

The masked man is jobless and on a rampage for his private war:  There is no peace to defend and die for.

The man with the rifle was hungry; he fired one more (rashak) in the air hoping that a clump of grapes from heaven would fall to him. 

If peace is an interlude between two wars, the dead should have the right to vote: they would certainly vote for an Army General as leader. 

(Most of Israel’s PMs are Army Generals)


            If we wanted

We will be a people, if we want, when we realize that we are no angels, that evil is not the specialty of the “others”.

We will become a people when we desist of saying a prayer to the “Sacred Nation”, everytime a poor fellow finds something to eat for supper.

We will become a people when we can curse the Sultan and the valet of the Sultan without retribution;

When we forget what the tribe has ordered; when little details are appreciated and valued.

We can be a people when the police protect whores being beaten on the streets; when mixed marriage is a civil law.

We will be a people when we respect the just, the right, and the error, and the wrong.


            The law of fear

The killer looks at the ghost of the murdered, not in his eyes, without remorse.  He tells the mobs “Do not blame me: I was just scared

A few interpreted the sentence as the right to kill in self-defense.  A few shared their opinions saying “Justice is the overflow of the generosity of power”. 

Others said “Wouldn’t this murdered individual have a name in other nations?”  

The mob paid their condolence to the killer but when a foreigner wondered “But what is the reason for killing a baby?” 

The mob replied “Because one day this baby will grow up and then we will fear him”

But why kill the mother?  The mob said “Because she will raise a memory“. 

The mob shouted in unison “Fear and not justice is the foundation for authority


            Over my heart I walked (The poet had serious heart ailment)

As if my heart is a road, a street pavement, or air;

I walked over my heart.

My heart said to me: “Your question is tiring me; where to go when there is no land, no sky, and you always obey me”

I replied “Revolt against me, run, run; there is nothing behind us but the past“.




March 2023

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