Category Archives: Personal Development

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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!

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.



Happy Blue Monday

Today is “Blue Monday“, known for being the “the most depressing day of the year” (although it is just a marketing campaign based on pseudoscience). However the concept is intriguing and many people, including me, have felt the power of Blue Monday.

I mean now is the time that the glamour of the holidays is starting to fade, its still cold, we have experienced just how difficult it is to stay with our “Goals for 2015” and well, its Monday. But it doesn’t have to take us down.

While working for WIAR Workplace Performance I learned a lot about “workplace performance”, “motivation at work” and other fascinating things about human beings. And while I was there we started “I Love Mondays!” because we have seen that yes its possible to create environments where people love to be in, jump out of bed on Mondays because they enjoy working with the people that they work with and have the support needed to accomplish life goals through their work.

So I know that its possible for all of us to tackle this day and make Blue Monday into something that is a catalyst for positive change rather then a reminder of all the things that are hard.

Don’t wish it was easier wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge wish for more wisdom”. Jim Rohn

I’m surrounding myself with the people and the tools needed, accepting that some things are going to be hard and that I’m going to need help because no one goes all the way by themselves, and that the best fail more then other people in order to become the best but they “Fail Forward”

So I wish all of us a “Happy Blue Monday” and I’m looking forward to hearing from you, how you made this day into a catalyst for yourself.

Have a seriously brilliant week!

ANALYZING TED TALKS – F— YOU — how to stop screwing yourself over | Mel Robbins | TEDxSF

A long time ago I promised myself that if I listen to something I better study it, but now I have books and books filled with my notes from all the lectures/talks/workshops…I have done and I want the information to take deeper hold. Or as Jim Rohn puts it “Don´t let learning lead to knowledge. Let it lead to action” So this is my attempt to get what I´m studying from my head to my heart. I´m going to share my notes from listening with you, or I´m not going to listen at all.

And I choose this random talk because, well, the speaker Mel Robbins is kicking my butt to do something about this idea that I have been gestating for the last years. I mean I was still in Iceland when I got the chance to study with “Guðjón Bergman” and his parting advice was “Bryan, you know so much already. What I want to see is you start sharing what you know instead of learning forever”

In this talk she addrFine is a horrible word that holds you backesses the dangers of accepting the status quo and what we can do about it. I like her style and energy and will let her do the talking but I´m highlighting some key areas for myself and maybe we can get a discussion going about what we are going to do with this message. Note the pictures are from her talk.

Getting what you want is simple, but not easy

I have started to realize this more and more. I used to think “How can this person be more successful then me? I mean, I´m smarter then that person!” But that´s not the point. Its all about “Am I willing to pay the Price?” Will I be ok with being laughed at? Getting rejections? Doing something that won´t be perfect?

Am I willing to look at life as a series of experiments where I learn from each thing that happens to me or will I wait for everything to align, like all the traffic lights from here to my destination, before I go ahead and take action, fail, learn from it, and take action again.

Don't hit the internal snooze button

 It is actually quite fitting that I´m sitting inside with the rain going on outside. I was thinking to myself “I feel like running…but its raining” but this slide is challenging me. I also recently heard another person say “Right now, there is a busier person then you out there running”. I´m going back to my “WHY” to make them more solid to stimulate me getting out there again, one step at a time.

The odds of me being born is 1 in 400.000.000.000Just the fact that I´m here typing right now is an amazing chance. You just being born is 1:400.000.000.000, yes one in 400 trillion. We have already one the lotto. In fact I´m guessing that if your reading this blog right now you one of the richest people in history of the human race, because if your family has over 48.000$ as annual salary your part of the 1% and if you can afford traveling for vacation your in the top 5% wealthiest people in the world. “But more on that later”

She ends with the cool idea that the feeling of being stuck is just the same basic symptom as when we are hungry when we need food or sleepy when we need sleep. So its time to challenge ourselves and what we have come to think is “Fine” and force ourselves to go outside our comfort zone.  The first three seconds hurt, that’s the emergency break in our brain, but if we take action before five seconds are up we can stop that emergency break from stopping us.

SO GO! I´m standing up right now!