Posted on Tuesday, January 2, 2018 by Venn GroupNo comments


1.  Ignore the ping (and the envelope)!

Many of us cannot bear to leave that little envelope hanging.  As the ‘what-if’s’ run through our head, we abandon our current task and dive into our email to check it. 

Instead, try this:  Wait five minutes. When was the last time you opened an email that couldn’t have waited that time?  Who’s in charge here?  Try applying the same thought to your updates, texts, and other information feeds.

How many of us are slaves to our alerts?  We all rely on technology heavily, but I’ve found that making this one simple change has freed me (just a little) from the tyranny of the ping.


2.  Don’t use the snooze button

If like many people you are in the habit of half-waking then snoozing, this one can be really hard to change at first.  Most of us have a better internal body clock than we expect.  We can train ourselves to wake at the time we want to, just by thinking of that time shortly before going to sleep. 

Try it.  I started a couple of years ago and now find I wake a minute or two before the alarm goes off.


3.  Bank your good experiences

This coming year, any time something happens that you enjoy, make a quick note of it on a slip of paper and put it in a jar at home.  Next New Year’s Eve, empty out the jar and remind yourself that whatever else has happened, you have had a great year in so many ways.


4. Put your phone away an hour before bed

Your brain likes to get ready to sleep by shutting off daytime signals.  If you’ve got into bed and are looking at any sources of blue-tinted light, such as a smartphone, your body is fooled into believing there is still daylight around and will find it harder to get a good night’s sleep. 


5. Take one day off social media each month and send someone a handwritten letter

Handwritten letters seem to be a thing of the past.  There is something positive about actually committing words in ink on a page that means so much more than the ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ messages that are our usual communication by text or email.

6.  Feed your brain with diverse thinking

Our habits of thought are often set by our daily routines, including the news and entertainment sources we read and watch, often without giving much thought to how we chose them in the first place. 

A good way to refresh your thinking is to start using sources of knowledge you didn’t have before.  Tune your brain to new channels, taking in new sources onscreen, online and in print. Try watching a documentary about something you knew nothing about before, read a non-fiction book, go to an exhibition, book a show or watch a TED talk.


Elly Hanna, Venn Group

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