🛑 Today’s tip: Put a hard stop on your workday with a “termination phrase.”

When your workspace is your kitchen table and “leaving the office” means taking nine steps to plop down on your living room sofa, it’s hard to separate work life from life-life. Stephen Moore shares a way to draw a boundary around your personal time: Create a “termination phrase,” a strategy he learned from the author Cal Newport. Basically, you come up with a phrase that you utter aloud to signify to your brain that your workday is complete.

Moore’s termination phrase is “Right, I’m done.” Yours might be something like “Over and out,” or “Powering off,” or “3–2–1 shutdown.” (The sillier the phrase, the more it’ll click.) And then, as Moore writes, “Be done, truly done.” You’re OOO, even if you’ve barely traveled much at all. …

A timely list

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Photo: Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Even when the future is up in the air, there’s growth to be found in the present: Finding sustainable ways to feel okay in the face of uncertainty is its own form of personal development.

These 25 stories provide advice on how to do just that. Some offer new ways to see the world or the passage of time or your place in both. Others offer things to do today, things to stop doing, questions to ask yourself, mantras, and mental frameworks.

This isn’t meant to be a checklist; pick out what you find helpful and leave the rest. And over the uncertain days to come, remember: It’s possible to be gentle with yourself while still being engaged. …

Today’s tip: Use strategic clutter to create a more calming workspace.

Your desk decor isn’t just a reflection of your personality. It’s also a tool that can help get you into a calmer, more creative, more productive state of mind. As Jacqueline Detwiler explains, one way to do this is to surround yourself with examples of fractal geometry, or “patterns that are made up of smaller versions of the overall form” (think: a shelf of books of different colors and heights all facing the same way).

“A bookshelf is just complicated enough to hold our attention while at the same time orderly enough to evoke a sense of calm,” Detwiler writes. “If you can strike this balance with your decor, by choosing different manifestations of a particular theme (sunflowers, fashion photos, antique candy machines, fonts, pictures of cars), or even just by piling your folders in a way that looks interesting, your brain will be in a better place.” …


Cari Nazeer

Deputy editor, Forge @ Medium

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