For the last few months, I have been meaning to research the best productivity apps. So convinced was I that these apps will revolutionise my life (and yours), and make me a kick-ass working mother. There are not enough hours in the day, but a good app will help me cheat time, add extra hours in the day so I can finish reading a book in a week instead of my current one-a-month diet.
The best way to overcome your fear of spending a lot of energy on a big project is to simply get started.
Short breaks between longer working sessions resulted in a 16% improvement in awareness & focus.
For projects done on your own time, try scheduling blocks of 90-minute work sessions with a planned cool down time of 15 minutes directly afterwards. When you know a break is on the horizon, you won’t try to “pace yourself” with your work, and will be more inclined to dive into the difficult stuff.
While in the shower this morning, I had a sudden realisation. Shut away in our tiny cupboard-sized bathroom, I was all alone. I could actually hear myself think, in rhythm with the stream of water gently plip-plopping onto the shower tray. I was switched off from work and family, it’s just the shower spray and I. What an unusual respite from the normal hustle and bustle of my day, I thought. Almost a luxury. The children’s voices sounded so far away – they were in the living room – and, thankfully, not fighting. Then, almost subconsciously, ideas that were swimming around in my head started to gel and make sense. Somehow, whilst in the showery mist, the dots joined up.
My 20 minutes in the shower has become a place of sanctuary, somewhere I can go to for some peace and quiet. I was reminded of an interview I did with the legendary art director Leonard Koren for The Independent. While he was in the bath, he came up with the idea for his avant garde 1970s creation, WET magazine. I wrote in the piece, “A naturally energetic person, Koren would take a hot bath at 3pm everyday to slow things down. It was during one of these baths that he experienced an epiphany that he should create a magazine to encapsulate his bathing experiences: “I didn’t precisely know what ‘gourmet bathing’ was, but the word ‘wet’ had a zing to it. It felt good on the tongue”.”
This moment of where your mind can rest, and sort itself out, is what Behance‘s Scott Belsky described as the creative pause.
This phenomenon is the seed of the break-through “a-ha!” moments that people so frequently report having in the shower. In these moments, you are completely isolated, and your mind is able to wander and churn big questions without interruption.
My creative pause is that 20 minutes in the shower. What’s yours?
My family lives in a small flat. But with rent escalating in London, we are going to have to move into a smaller home.
I lie awake at night, worrying. How will we, with three young children, manage to squeeze people and belongings into a more compact home?
I found some good ideas on IKEA Small Spaces about how to maximise small space living. Looks like the last video uploaded was in 2011 and there are only seven videos on the channel. If you work at IKEA and are reading this, could you please revive this channel? It’s a really good idea.
There’s also IkeaHackers.net, a site about modifications on and repurposing of Ikea products.