I have a habit of compartmentalising my routines. This helps me to minimise distractions and focus better.
Safari is my primary browser. I have different windows running for different mindset I’m in. There is a window for marketing work, a window for designs and coding, a window for consuming content, and a window for content creation.
By putting what I do in different windows, I get into that mindset when I’m in that particular window.
As I get older, I find myself having to write down things more or I would forget them. I believe it is partly due to the information overload that we get nowadays, coupled with a less-used memory capacity.
Gone are the days when we had to memorise phone numbers and addresses. If you need any information, it’s all probably in your phone. Or you could just do an internet search.
I make quick notes in Apple Notes . It is the inbox for most information. These then get expanded upon and moved to Basecamp or Bear, depending on whether they are work or personal notes. When I read, I write down my thoughts. In this case, the notes go directly into Bear.
For meetings, I prefer not to touch my phone to avoid distractions and, more importantly, show respect to the people in the meeting. I would take notes in my pocket notebook with my trusty Lamy AL-Star
I used to read both on my phone and laptop. However, I started the habit of taking notes when I read as part of my mindfulness exercise when reading. I think as I read, so I write down my thoughts as they pop up in my head. These often end up as blog drafts or outlines.
It is very hard to take notes while reading RSS feeds on the phone, so I stopped reading my feeds on the phone. My RSS reader of choice is Reeder.
When I read books, I highlight text and write notes. I’ll share more about why I do that in another article. But this happens more when I read non-fiction books. So I keep my non-fiction reading on the MacBook and read fiction books when I’m on the phone.
I still highlight text on the phone, but I don’t take notes.
I only check my emails on the laptop. The Mail app on my phone is only for emergencies in case I need to reply or check an urgent message. Other than that, my emails are checked once or twice daily when I’m on the MacBook.
Despite being a firm believer of communicating via emails instead of having meetings, I also limit the time I spend going through emails each day because it can suddenly be a slippery slope down a rabbit hole that eats up a huge chunk of time.
These are some of the ways I help myself to stick to my habits. They minimise distractions and help me to focus. More importantly, they creating a mental state that puts me in the mood for each routine.