Monthly Archives: October 2016

Getting into the Zone -Living Page to collect Tips and Tricks for getting work done

I have ADD.

Its different how it manifests in different people but for me its often resulting in endless browser windows and doing things really well that I find interesting and loosing myself down the rabbit hole. And on top of my ADD I also have the gift that I’m really interested in just about everything…except sports I have learned, as my body was not built for them. (Will write an article later how we changed that) And to make it event more fun I’m a perfectionist at heart and I expect nothing short of people swooning when I present them my work or I think it was a waste of time. Making an very “interesting mix”. I could very much relate to the TED Talk from Tim Urban about the monkey being in control of the ship.

So here are my tricks to get myself into the zone.

Its all about “setting myself up for success” and eliminating stumbling blocks. They help me and I’m looking forward to hear if they help you or if you have your own tweaks that I could try to use.

Let people know your turning on Hyper Focus Mode

Set up your phone to “do not disturb mode”, let people know on Slack how long your going to be in Hyper Focus and if your going into an “batch” you might even want to set up an email auto re

Libraries, sometimes the silence is deafening

I use headphones!

Its to help me disconnect from outside distractions but its also a sign to people that I’m in the zone and should not be disturbed. So I recommend that you let people know about that and also don’t use them all the time or people will just expect that your always with them so they have not choice expect to interrupt.

I learned that using gaming music helps or movie scores helps.

Right now as I’m writing this I’m using the Final Fantasy Piano by Yusuf Afgan playlist. And as much as I love trying new things I want to stress that novelty is not what I’m looking for in the music, in fact often it can be best to find 3 songs and loop them. That way you don’t even notice the music after a while and your brain bandwidth increases.

Talking about sounds that you don’t notice.

White noise generators can be amazing and you can download free apps on Android and IOS phones but I don’t know about Nokia or BlackBerries. Feel free to let us know if you have one of those.

The New Smoking

I have an confession. I have been real self righteous against people that smoke. In my mind I associated them with being ignorant,  self absorbed, environmentally unfriendly and not taking care of their health. And then I learned that many studies show the adverse effects of sitting for extended periods can be in some ways also have serious health consequences and that you can’t make up for it by going to the gym. In fact the cigarette break has an unexpected benefit that people actually stand up and think about something else as well so its refreshes the mind and the body.

And now I have stated smoking? Of course not!!! But I recognized that there was something very beneficial to those breaks so I started by setting up an alarm going off every 40 min and then 2 min later so I can stretch during that time. However that is just a guaranteed way to annoy everyone around you 😉 So my “trick” is drinking hot water with ginger and cinnamon, causing me to having to refill and drain 😛 on a regular basis. And when I stand up I stretch for 2 min to get the blood flowing.

Time to get into the zone

Now here is where I want to ask you something. I have heard various numbers about how long it takes to get into the zone and some people say that it takes at least 15 min and other people say it takes even longer.  I’m wondering if my breaks are cutting into my Zone Time so I’m wondering about your experience and if you have any more tips and tricks that work well for you.

Looking forward to hear from you and I hope you have a seriously brilliant day!


Finding Zen in the Japanese Garden of The Hague

The Japanese garden of The Hague

We have a tradition of going every spring and fall to visit the Japanese garden of The Hague to take pictures and catch with our friends. Its one of my favorite things to do every year and I’m pretty sure that part of the charm is that its only open a few weeks a year so it feels exclusive…well most of the time 😛 Today not so much.

It was the perfect weather, people walking in t-shirts and I even thought to myself that I could even sit and sunbathe 😛 But that also lead to floods of people being there. I almost felt like I was in Disney World. And another side affect of the nice weather was that the fall colors where not there.

It was easy to feel boxed in and disappointed because of the long time it took to wait in line to take pictures…but some some strange reason I was happy. And for people that know me that is a strange feeling 😉

I easily get frustrated because I want things to go according to plan and you should see me if my computer lags just a few seconds. I this strange feeling of zen I contribute to the fact that we were together with awesome people and that was the most important thing after all.

What are we thankful for today?

What did we see that was beautiful today?

What did we do that was beautiful today?

Starting over – Rant

5524669257_c5eefe7205_oOnce again I find myself starting over.

I’m thankful for the fact that I don’t have to worry about money, health, safety but I can honestly say that I don’t like this feeling since I feel that I should have had this figured out by now. However I’m not even sure what “it” is that that I should have figured out.

I can pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want. I have an amazing network and people that love me. I have so many opportunities. And yet I feel like I’m waiting for my life to start. I relate very much to what Barry Schwartz covers in his book “The Paradox of Choice” that when you can do anything you are always worried that you’ll end up choosing the wrong thing so its tempting to choose nothing.

And I know that its not like I haven’t done many things. I travel a lot, I work on many interesting projects, I love going out to dinner…but it more like drifting from one thing to the other.

But now I feel like to have come to a real turning point in my life. I was supposed to start a new project this fall and but I had an very disappointing end to that dream. And I think that was good because the danger is to be in a place where everything is very comfortable because that does not require much thinking. But this required me to ask myself “how do I want my life to look like”. I had come back from a nice trip to Spain and when I had landed the weather was gray and dull here in the Netherlands and that made me think “why did I come back in the fall? Why am I not creating a life where I can be location independent and work where the weather is nice?”

So now I’m studying how that will work out and I invite the world to follow up on me by making this public. And I got the go ahead from my family as well. In many ways I think that I have been hiding behind the fact that since they have not been super interested then I’m not going to do anything about this…BUT when I did talk about it I was told “You know that we are ok with this idea. You just just can’t expect us to drop everything and turn into cheerleaders. You just have to do what you have to do to prove that this can work, and then, and only then, will we follow you. Wherever that will be.”

Wow, and now I’m without excuses. No one is holding me back. No one, except me. So lets get started.