Tip Tuesday – Switch On Work Mode

Happy Valentine’s Day, Ivy and Sprig Friends!

Tip Tuesday, as I mentioned in last week’s post, is a short post with ideas to make your busy day better.

This week, I want to talk with you about getting more focused work done with a few simple routine rituals.

Remember when you were putting your kids to bed and if you did things in a certain order, they became sleepy? Bath, book, kiss the teddy bear, prayers, lights out, sleep.  If you kept it the same, they went down easier every night?

Well, I’ve found a really cool trick.

It works the same to do focused work at your desk.   You can trigger focused work rather than sleep.  There is research to back this up but I didn’t know that when I started doing my little routine.

Here’s my routine:

Get a glass of water and go to my desk

Light a candle.  I almost always use Jonathon Adler’s Grapefruit Pop Candle because the smell is fresh and makes me alert.


Then, I set out what I’m working on.

Then, I hit my “work playlist”  ….which is a playlist I’ve made of songs that relax me and don’t get words stuck in my head.

Then I work.  I mean I REALLY work.

Something began to happen after this had been my ritual for a while.  I began to surge into work mode if I smelled that candle or heard those songs!  Isn’t that nuts?

But it’s true!  James Clear refers to them as triggers and discusses time, location and environment cues in this article if you want to read more about it.  Charles Duhrigg, author of Smarter, Faster, Better explains the cue, routine and reward loop for productivity here.

Sensory habits can trigger your body to follow suit with what goes next.  In this case, focused work.  Try it.

The music playlist is pretty key.  Pick 20 or so songs that you think would be good background music to you.  Do one or two other things the same way each time and get going on your stack or list!  Repeat each day and let the creativity and focus flow!

Let me know if this works for you or if you have a focused work ritual of your own.  May your day be full of love and filled with blessings!



Strawberries wearing Tuxedos from Whole Foods…my Valentine gift to you! Enjoy the calorie free photo! See? I love ya!


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