Apply your brushing routine to working from home

Monday, November 16 2020

It is clear that we have made brushing our teeth part of our habit. We learn to perform this act from an early age, when we get up and again before going to sleep. Some people like to brush their teeth more than once a day, while others forget it. But the moment we brush, the actions are routine: brush well top and bottom and don't forget the back molars. Something that is less part of our routine, but what has become forced, is working from home. And due to the partial lockdown announced at the beginning of October, we all have to believe it again. But how do you maintain a good routine that becomes a habit over time? We'll help you with a few tips that will make this easier, so you can perform at your best at home.

Make a realistic to-do list

When making a schedule, we as humans tend to put as much as possible on the list. That way it seems like we are very busy and that brings satisfaction. You've probably put a task that you've already done on your to-do list, only to immediately cross it off again. This also contributes to that feeling of satisfaction. What works best is writing down concrete to-do's, such as: finishing chapter 1, calling Rianne about the meeting or making an appointment with the municipality to pick up my ID card. That way you define the task and finish it faster. Compare it to shopping. When you put 'dinner, lunch and snack' on your list, you probably come home with all kinds of nonsense. If you write down exactly what you need, that's what ends up in your bag. Another way to complete your to do's faster/better is to start with the largest or most difficult of your list. However your day goes, at least you have already completed one big task.

Work in short, productive time blocks

Many of us already know this, but when you're working on something with full focus, you don't really last longer than 40 minutes. Yet during a project we are all busy for hours on end. What works better is to set a timer every 25 minutes. During the 25 minutes that you are busy, put your phone away and shut down other stimuli as well. That way you give yourself the chance to get started fully focused. Do you find it difficult to really put your phone aside? Fortunately, there are a few handy apps that can help you with this:

  • Forest
    You set a timer for a certain amount of time and if you keep this up, a tree will grow on your screen. If you touch the phone earlier, the tree will die. The more often you do this, the more your forest will grow. A great way to visually see the results of your concentration.

  • FocusMe
    Indicate which websites and apps distract you the most and as long as your timer is on, FocusMe will block you from accessing them.

  • Space
    This app is more about your awareness of certain actions. At the beginning, for example, you are asked how often you pick up your phone, for what and why you want to reduce this. Based on that, it makes an estimate of what is the best way for you to do something about this.

Make time to wander

When you have just spent 25 minutes of full focus on your project, it is time to completely clear your head for five minutes. This is easier said than done. We often go to get coffee and talk about work with a colleague. Unfortunately you don't clear your head. And that doesn't happen when you sit on social media during your break or read a piece of heavy professional literature. Stare out the window for a moment and let your mind wander. Juggling, ping pong and going around the block are also ways to really clear your head. When your short break is over, you immediately pick up that focus again.

Try adding any of the above to your routine and before you know it, it will become a habit. One that makes you more productive and at the same time gives you peace of mind.

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