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  • Gillian Burgis

7 positive habits I’ve adopted during lockdown that I didn’t do before!

Updated: Nov 13

Those of you that know me know that I have an optimistic mindset, definitely glass half full, so I’ve taken this opportunity to introduce some good habits.


Don’t get me wrong I’ve also got into some bad habits too but that’s for a different blog!!!

1. A Blended Pomodoro Technique for Attention Management

As a creative, my mind tends to wander so using this technique to get things done for the right reasons, at the right moment and in the right place has been an invaluable tool while I’m working from home.


I love my egg timers! I have one for one (1) hour, thirty (30) mins and fifteen (15) mins. Not only do they help me focus but the motion of the sand moving through the timer also symbolises progress and time.


For those that haven’t heard of the Pomodoro Technique it’s is a time management system to focus your attention. You split your work into chunks, I use 30 mins and 45 mins.

  • Split your work into 25-30 minute chunks

  • Set the timer or take a note of the time

  • Concentrate on task until times up

  • After 25-30 minutes stop and take a 5 minute break

  • Start the timer again and repeat

  • After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes

I also plan my meetings as 45 minutes and try to take a 5-10 minute break before preparing for the next meeting or task.

2. Drink more water and eat water rich fruit and veg

Having fruit and water nearby. I have eaten more fruit and veg in the last six (6) months than the last six (6) years. Having struggled with post menopausal weight, I didn’t want to put it back on again during lockdown! My go-to snacks are chunks of watermelon and cucumber.

3. Resonate breathing

Deep breathing exercise using the simplest technique. I’m a strong believer in keeping it simple, equal breathing through the nose, inhaling and exhaling to the count of five (5) I do this for a minimum of five (5) minutes when I want to rebalance or move to a different task.

4. Meeting preparation.

Where I can I avoid back to back meetings. If I could ask the programmers of Zoom, MS Teams, etc. to modify their presets to include 15 mins and 45 mins that would be great. I like to arrive for my virtual meetings 5-10 minutes early. I’ve got no excuse now the commute is from my back door to the studio. Check my camera and sound is working and that the background and lighting is OK. The power is switched on and charging. Look around for animals to identify any inevitable distractions. Have a notebook and pen(s) handy.


5. Thermal comfort

Relatively simple when you can control your environment but I do play closer attention to temperature management, as like my biorhythms below I can feel an effect on productivity. This is both from a portable heater but also from layering my clothes.


6. Allow my mind to wander

I’m fortunate in that I borrowed part of our games room for an office (the pool table has conveniently become layout space!). Also, in that space are photo’s, globes, travel memento’s, etc. I’ve found that by letting my mind drift I often see a different perspective and other ideas emerge.


I do use glass walls to write on but my next plan is to get some paper to stick on the glass so I can create some mind maps.


7. Follow my biorhythm

I know that my energy levels vary during the day and night. I don’t mind working into the evening, especially on preparation. I’m not an early riser and prefer not to get up until around 8am. I often skip breakfast, preferring a light lunch and good coffee. I find in the mornings my mind is full of creativity and I am more productive in the afternoons and early evenings. Working from home gives me the ability to follow my own biorhythm, something when I was working the typical 9 to 6 I wasn’t able to do.




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