Over-stimulation and distraction are major challenges of our age. Forward-thinking people are developing patterns to their time and habits to help them focus. Here in Berlin, a start-up is offering an app to give you time off from your phone. Slava Rubin, the founder of Indiegogo, never sits at a computer all day, until the evening. He spends the core of his day standing and talking with people.
Here is my pattern. I do not always achieve it. But these are tools and habits I am trying to pull together for an effective day.
- Stepping outside in the morning: 5-10 minutes of Yoga and meditation in the morning on my deck (gets the mind and body cleared and relaxed)
- Limit caffeine intake to one coffee per day to avoid over-stimulus
- Use the Pomodoro Technique to take 25 minute bursts and 5 minute breaks
- Use Self-Control and AppleScripts and iCalendar and automator to automatically trigger a 3.5 hour no-email, no-NYTimes period the first time I open my laptop - read more on my programming blog - http://henrys-devblog.herokuapp.com/posts/53
- Leave my laptop at the office in the evening and on some weekends, so that I get away from its stimulus for a while
- Take frequent walks - during my 5 minute Pomodoro breaks, or also simply in the afternoon
- Take a midday break for exercise - a run, yoga, or lifting weights
These are a few simple techniques that I'm trying for. I may add to them, or edit them, in the future.