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We are bombarded with stimuli all day long. Lighting up phone screen, pop-ups for your email, news notifications or simply colleagues who know how to contact you even while working from home. Incentives, incentives and more incentives. And sometimes that can be a little less. Fortunately, you can help yourself with this. In my opinion, these apps are worth their weight in gold for more stimulus-free hours in a day. 

Tip 1 - To Do

From the book Fokking Druk I learned that every random thought that comes into your head is in fact a new “loop”. You open new doors in your brain and have to do something with that emerging thought before it ends. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple way to quickly get such a random thought out of your head: write it down. The To Do app, for example, is super useful for this. Write down the things you think “I still need to do something with that” . Because the great thing is: once they are on paper, you can put them out of your mind. 

At a fixed time during the day, take a look at the list of outstanding to do's to complete them. It clears your head nicely. Do you prefer to use pen and paper? Then check out this brand new Dik Braindump Block. A great block for inspiring consultation moments, the brain dump location for all your tasks, the block to nurture vibrant ideas! Available at Paper-Time - €19.70

PAPER TIME THICK BRAIN DUMP BLOCK

Tip 2 - Forest

When you are busy with a task, it is of course nice if you can really keep your attention on that task. It's all about focus. And you can achieve that with this handy app. The Forest app helps you reach your phone less often . In this app you let a tree grow in the time that you are not taking your phone. 

Are you able to leave your phone aside for half an hour during a task? Then you will see a beautiful tree. If you allow yourself to be tempted to look at your phone, your tree will die. A good way to resist the temptation to grab your phone for every random thought or notification. 

Another useful (and app-free) way to work in time blocks is the Pomodoro technique. You then work with a (tomato) alarm clock for a certain number of minutes and then take a short break. Then you work for that number of minutes again, then take another break, etc. This helps you to stay productive and focused and not to completely forget your much-needed breaks.

Forest app

Tip 3 - Sleep Cycle

Sleep is quite underrated . I also had the thought for a long time that all the time you spend sleeping is taken away from doing fun or useful things. Wrong! A good night's sleep is essential to be better able to withstand external stimuli and tension. And to get through the day somewhat positively and productively. Improving your sleep rhythm is something the Sleep Cycle app can help you with. This app measures your sleep rhythm and sets the alarm to go off at exactly the right time. This way you are really rested before you surrender to the stimuli of another new day. 

Nice : on the Sleep Cycle website you will find a real-time map of where people go to sleep and get up.

Sleep app

Tip 4 - Freedom

Unfortunately, my Android phone cannot handle this app. But as an iPhone owner, you are the lucky bastard who can use this. Via the Freedom app you can enable you to only use a specific app or website at certain times . For example, you can set that you are not allowed to peek on Instagram during the day or that you do not receive your email notifications during the day but in the evening. Sounds ideal!

Freedom app

Block
Fortunately, there is also a similar outcome for Android users like me: Block . This app also allows you, as the name of the app suggests, to block certain apps at specific times . For example, useful if your intention not to look at Instagram after ten o'clock at night fails every day. With this app you will succeed. 

Tip 5 - Insight timer

My own biggest recommendation for less stimulation: start meditating. I always thought that was just spiriwiri stuff too. But dwelling on your thoughts and your breathing is very down-to-earth. It helps me enormously to stay true to myself and to forget about the rushing traffic, my busy schedule or my constantly glowing screen. And all you need for meditations is a handy app. A free app even. With Insight Timer you can follow many free mindfulness meditations . You will find both Dutch and English meditations in this app and the range is enormous. So, I'd say give meditation a try. 

Not convinced? Check out this video from Headspace (also a super cool meditation app!)

💛 Oh yes, do you want to make meditation even more fun for yourself? Then invest in a cheerful and colorful yoga mat ( this one for example!). Comes in handy with mindfulness, but also when you practice yoga. Because yes, yoga is also recommended to let stimuli pass you by. 

What is your ultimate tip for fewer stimuli?

Romy Veul

The author: Romy Veul

Copywriter, language fanatic, crazy about color and cheerful as often as possible. That's who Romy Veul is in a nutshell. On her blog More often Cheerful she takes you into her positive imaginations. Always with a modest dose of humor and nice colorful photos. Romy's blog posts >

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