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Less incentives, more enjoyment? These apps and tips will help you with that.

  • 4 min read

We are thrown to death with stimuli all day long. Glowing phone screen, pop-ups for your e-mail, news notifications or simply colleagues who also know how to contact you while working from home. Incentives, incentives and more incentives. And that can sometimes be a little less. Fortunately, you can help yourself with that. These apps are worth gold in my opinion for more incentive-free hours in a day. 

Tip 1 - To Do

From the book Fokking Druk I learned that every random thought that pops into your head is in fact a new "loop". You open new doors in your brain and have to do something with that emerging thought before it dies. Fortunately, there is a fairly simple way to quickly put such a random thought out of your head: write them down. The To Do app , for example, is super handy for that. Write down the things that make you think “I still need to do something with that” . Because the great thing is: as soon as they are on paper, you can put them out of your head. 

At a fixed time during the day, take a look at the list of outstanding to do's to complete it. Clears your head nicely. Prefer to use pen and paper? Then check out this brand new Dik Braindump Block. A great block for inspiring consultation moments, the braindump location for all your tasks, the block to nurture vibrant ideas! Available at Paper-Time - €19.70


Tip 2 - Forest

If you are working on a task, it is of course nice if you can really keep your attention on that task. It's all about focus. And you can do that with this handy app. The Forest app helps you reach for your phone less often . In this app, you grow a tree while you don't grab your phone. 

Can you leave your phone alone for half an hour during a task? Then you get to see a beautiful tree. If you let yourself be tempted to look at your phone, your tree will die. A good way to always resist the temptation to reach for your phone with every random thought or notification. 

Another handy (and app-free) way to work in blocks of time is the Pomodoro technique. You then work with a (tomato) alarm clock for a certain number of minutes and then take a short break. Then you work that number of minutes again, then you take another break, etc. That helps you stay productive and focused and not completely forget about your much-needed breaks.

forest app

Tip 3 - Sleep Cycle

Sleep is quite underrated . I also had the idea for a long time that all the time you spend sleeping is spent doing fun or useful things. Wrong! A good night's sleep is much needed to be more resistant to external stimuli and tension. And to get through the day somewhat positively and productively anyway. Improving your sleep rhythm is something the Sleep Cycle app helps you with. This app measures your sleep rhythm and sets the alarm to go off at exactly the right time. This way you are really rested before you surrender to the stimulus of another new day. 

Nice : On the Sleep Cycle website, you'll find a real-time map of where people go to sleep and get up.

Sleep app

Tip 4 - Freedom

Unfortunately, my Android phone cannot handle this app. But as an iPhone owner, you are the lucky bastard who can make use of this. Through the Freedom app you can enable that you can only use a specific app or website at certain times . For example, you can set that you are not allowed to cheat on Instagram during the day or that you do not receive your email notifications during the day but in the evening. Sounds ideal!

freedom app

Fortunately, there is also a similar outcome for Android users like me: Block . Also through this app, as the name of the app already betrays, you can block certain apps at specific times . This is useful, for example, if your intention to stop looking at Instagram after ten o'clock in the evening fails again every day. With this app you will succeed. 

Tip 5 - Insight timer

My own biggest recommendation for less stimulation: start meditating. I always thought that was just Spiriwiri stuff. But dwell on your thoughts and your breathing is actually very down-to-earth. It helps me enormously to stay with myself more and to leave the speeding traffic, my busy agenda or my continuously lit screen for what they are. And so all you need for meditations is a handy app. Even a free app. Insight Timer allows you to follow tons of free mindfulness meditations . You will find both Dutch and English meditations in this app and the offer is huge. So, I would say: give meditation a chance. 

Not convinced? Check out this video from Headspace (also a super cool meditation app!)

💛 Oh yes, do you want to make meditation even more fun for yourself? Then invest in a cheerful and colorful yoga mat ( this cutie for example!). Comes in handy with mindfulness, but also when you practice yoga. Because yes, yoga is also recommended to let stimuli pass you more. 

What is your ultimate tip for less incentives?

More Happy
Romy Veul from More often Happy
Copywriter, language fanatic, crazy about color and cheerful as often as possible. That's who Romy Veul is in a nutshell. On her blog More Happy she takes you along in her positive fantasies. This always with a modest dose of humor and nice colorful photos.

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