The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half.
Looking at the last year, a few things (continued to) work(ed) out pretty well.
Using castrated digital devices
Digital devices set up in a way that they do not send notification from apps and only give notification from a very selected number of people (VIPs) made them much less distracting. If there is any notification, there is no question that I have to attend to it. Also, it is much easier to read when you are not constantly interrupted.
Separating private vs work mail accounts on the mobile device
I decided to remove my work account from the mail app on the iPhone. Instead, I use only Mail only for private mails, and Outlook for both work accounts. These eMails are still there when I want to have a look at them, but they are not mixed in with my private eMails. Yup, I could use the specific mailbox in Mail, but they would be there nonetheless. And I am too curious to ignore them once they are on the device. Also help with the intention to have a better Work-Life Balance: Changing Work-Life Balance and Calendar Time Management.
Using Ohropax to Sleep
Even with (somewhat modified, see here: Removing auditory distractions) Ohropax, I still hear a lot of what happens in the apartment. But still, the nights are quieter, esp. with an old boiler who is anything but. Not sure about the long-term health consequences, but I take five pairs and use one each night, then start again. After a month or so, I change to new ones. Avoids wearing the same twice or more in a row.
Reading after work
One of the habit changes that worked out and led to many more read books. Not taking the MacBook out of the bag before spending some time reading after work. Some times I have to power through a moment of tiredness (and I have tried out taking a 30 minutes nap with mixed results), but overall it works. See Changing Habits to Read More Books. Essentially, it expands the Digital Shabbat into the evenings of weekdays. And of course, this only works if you have something that you want to read/do, see Digital Minimalism for Creativity.
Using Cacao (raw powder) and Honey instead of Sweets
Still only somewhat tested, but to avoid eating ready-made sweets, I tried out drinking cacao with honey. It is still sweets, but less artificial. Similarly nuts and honey seem to work out well.
So, despite some rather annoying aspects of the last year, at least a few things did work out.
So far. 😉