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5 cues to switch your brain into work mode

It’s common knowledge now that the office is for work, and our home is for everything else. But what happens if you need to work from the same place you use for leisure or sleep? Should you fight the sleep, or trick your brain into work mode? I’ll bet on the second option.

By default, you brain will have a hard time working from the same place you use for sleep, leisure, or fun. That’s why any thing you can is to help it is more than welcome.

One way to help your brain is by giving it cues to unleash your desired behavior. Those cues will help you focus, get things done, and switch your brain into work mode.

One last advice, you are not supposed to use all these cues. Use what works from you and disregard the rest.

1. Wear work clothes

If you are new to remote working, your brain might be still hooked to the old way of operating. Waking up, wearing work clothes, and heading outside is the definition of working. Staying at home however, means it’s no-work day.

To help your brain, you can still wake up and wear work clothes. The only difference is you’re not going outside, but to a dedicated space nearby.

I used this when I started working remotely, but I don’t use it anymore. My brain accepts the fact that I’m working with my pajamas.

2. Work from a dedicated space in your house

If you sleep and work from the same place, your brain might be as confused as your joints.

Instead, pick a dedicated space in your house for work. It can be a desk, a sofa, or the kitchen table.

To start, pick one place to use for working. After some time, it will be easier to work from different places, or better, any place!

My personal picks are a home desk, and the kitchen table.

3. Turn Focus mode on on your computer/phone

It’s harder to work and focus if you keep receiving notifications from your laptop or phone. A distraction as small as a phone screen turning on can turn the tables and take your focus hours from you.

To fix this, create a Work mode in your devices to stop any notifications from non-work apps. Do not make it a schedule! You need to manually turn it on so your brain knows it’s time to focus. Click!

I use focus mode to turn off all notifications when I want to focus. You can still accept calls from a small list of contacts if you prefer. Focus mode with time blocking is killing combo.

4. Get out of the house

Sometimes, you will not be able to work from home due to noise, unexpected guests, or if you spent too much time inside.

Do not fight it. Trying to keep focus during these times can be stressful and time consuming on it’s own.

The solution? Get out. Go to the nearest coffee shop, co-working space, park, or public library. A place where you can focus and send a cue to your brain that it’s time to work.

Even if you don’t need to get out of the house to work, beware of too much sitting. Sitting is the new smocking.

5. Use some focus music

If it’s a little noisy or you prefer listening to music while working, use music as a cue! Especially if you use one type of music for work only.

For example, for the past few months, any time I want to write a blog post, I would launch a music mix on YouTube. Especially from the Circle YouTube channel. Now, my brain takes it as a cue to switch to work mode. So, whenever I launch a music mix, I know that I’ll be writing for some time.

It sounds simple, but yet so powerful. Use music as a cue for your brain next time you want some focus time!

That’s it. If you have any other cues, let me know in the comments! If you like to hear from me once a week, make sure to subscribe to this blog!

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