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« Japanese e-learning conference | Main | 30000 and going strong »



Here's what I do most days:

1. Get up, have a cup of coffee and a light breakfast, watch BBC 24-hour news on TV.
2. Check my emails: one from a personal ISP and two from business ISPs. 45% are spam and zapped immediately, using Box Trapper at ISP level and on my own computer using MailWasher Pro.
3. Have a look at the TES Staffroom/Modern Languages Forum, the Linguanet Forum and the IATEFL discussion list. I answer any messages that interest me.
4. Do a link check on the two sites that I maintain: (i) my business and personal site, (ii) the ICT for Language Teachers (ICT4LT) website. Each site contains around 1000 links to other sites. I do a systematic rolling manual check daily and once a month I do a full automatic check using Xenu Link Sleuth. Around 3%-5% of the links at these two sites move or disappear each month. Did you know that the average life of materials on the Web is 44 days, namely the average life of a housefly? Linkrot is a growing phenomenon. This is why we need the Web Archive (aka the Wayback Machine). I add new links and write new texts at both sites whenever something new and interesting comes up.
5. Read the BBC News online, watch selected video clips at the BBC site, scan selected online papers.
6. That takes me up to lunchtime. Now the serious stuff begins...
7. I go to the local Holiday Inn leisure facility, sit in the sauna or steam room for 10 minutes, swim 20 lengths of the pool and then lie down on a lounger and read a selection of free newspapers. Alternatively - usually once a week - I skip items 2-7 and play a round of golf.
8. I take my dog for a 45-minute walk in the local woods. The bluebells and celandines are in full bloom right now and look beautiful. A nearby meadow is ablaze with yellow cowslips.
9. I crash out on the sofa and sleep for 45 minutes.
10. In the evening I sit down with my wife and we have a glass of lager, Irish whiskey or gin and tonic before dinner. We drink a bottle of wine with our dinner and finish off the meal with a coffee and a French brandy. We spend the rest of the evening watching TV, listening to music or just chatting. Once a week we have dinner in our local pub.

This regular routine keeps me informed, fit and compus mentis - and, I think, successful. I've had a fruitful life so far, earning a modest income and travelling and lecturing in 22 different countries.

Thanks for sharing Graham. Some interesting insights there. Perhaps I'll be doing the same during my retirement. Who knows?

Don't put it off until your retirement, Joe!

I wrote my list before having a look at Aaron Pott’s list. Interestingly, we have similar ideas. I regard daily physical activity as essential, and it’s vitally important to allow yourself “downtime”, when you just relax, contemplate a beautiful landscape, enjoy a meal with friends and an evening at the local pub, etc.

There’s a danger of becoming a “keyboard junkie” when you first become enthused about ICT. I went through this phase, which began in my early 30s. I spent far too much time gazing at a computer screen and, as a result, developed a back problem (now cured) and vision problems (now cured).

I realised that things had got out of hand in the mid-1980s when I was writing a book on programming in BASIC. I had grappled all day with one particular programming routine that I was trying to develop and finally retired to bed without finding a solution. During the early hours of the morning I dreamt the answer – yes, dreamt (!) – and immediately woke up and leapt out of bed, stark naked, typed in the programming code on my computer and found that it worked. My wife woke up at this point and, seeing me sitting naked at the computer keyboard, muttered something like “What’s wrong with you? You need to see a shrink”. I realised immediately that she had a point, and from that point on I rationed my keyboard sessions and took up golf.

A cautionary tale ... indeed and thank you for the graphic example!


Thanks for sharing not only your success habits with us, but also the specific tools that you use to get it all done. I'm sure many will appreciate the detailed list of productivity goodies!

I'll be posting the master list of success secrets from all of the participants at my blog on May 16th, including a link back to all of the entries, so be sure to swing by and take a look.

p.s. - Graham? I laughed out loud at that story! Not just because of the visual, but because I saw MYSELF in the visualization! Yes, unplugging is a GOOD thing! :)

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