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You Don’t Need To Pay A 30-Year Home Mortgage. You Need A Third Place To Feel Rested.

You Don’t Need To Pay A 30-Year Home Mortgage. You Need A Third Place To Feel Rested.

What’s better in life to have such a cozy home and office? Just a glance at the picture already makes you feel good, right?

    Most of us spend over 80% of our time at home and in the office. It seems the environments of these two places largely affect our happiness and mental health.

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    But what if I told you actually you don’t need to spend a large sum of money for an ambient flat or hop from job to job for a pleasant workplace?

    Then you may ask “What other place do I need instead?”

    You need a third place. Having a balanced life is as simple as that!

    Have you ever wondered why you felt relaxed or uplifted when you’re in cafes, bars or recreation centers? These are the examples of third places suggested by Ray Oldenburg, an American urban sociologist, in his book The Great Place.[1]

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    While the home and the workplace are defined by Oldenburg as the first place and the second place, the third place means the public area which allows us to gather and have social interactions with others.

    When Oldenburg introduced this concept in 1989, he only focused on exploring how the third place helps bring a community together. But a recent study conducted by Dr. Adam Fraser and Deakin University has found that people who visit their third places often have better work-life balance than those who confine their lives to their homes and their workplace.[2]

    The reason for this is that they do not only pack their daily schedules with obligations from family and work, but know how to appreciate the little moments in life. In other words, they master the art of living in the present.

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    The third place makes you mentally stronger and more productive

    What’s more surprising is that the study also found that people with their own third places are more resilient and better at dealing with difficult times. Spending time in coffee shops or bars helps them shake off the negative emotions coming from other aspects of their lives.[3]

    Even if you’re not the ones who like socialising with strangers, finding your third place still benefit you a lot. Research has shown that everything in coffee shops – the noise, the lighting and the dynamics – creates a favorable environment to boost your creativity and concentration level! That’s why you may find you have more ideas and work faster when you go there alone.[4]

    How to find you own third place when there are so many options

    If you have no idea of how to find your own third place, you can make use of this 3Rs rule to find a suitable one. That’s great if you’ve already had one! But you can still check to see if your third place is good enough or not:

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    Reflect

    Traversing your home and your office every day can be a draining experience. Sometimes, you just wish to have a space to reflect on what you do for a whole day. An ideal third place should enable your mind to get into the tranquil and focused mode so you can think more deeply.

    Rest

    Your body will send the signals when you’re in your ideal third place. Say, your mind and your muscles will be in their most relaxing state. Watching a movie at the theatre, taking a walk in nature, or listening to your favourite songs in your car are all good options. Don’t limit your third place to the definition set by Oldenburg, Time has changed and so the definition should change as well. Finding a place that you feel comfortable when being alone is necessary for you to take a rest from your hectic life.

    Reset

    Finally, an ideal third place does not only make you feel relaxed but also energized. It should give you some stimulation so your life has more colors! For example, I usually go to the restaurant where my favourite band performs every Friday after work. Enjoying the delicious foods and the band show there refreshes my mind and gives me more energy for the challenges ahead. This can hardly be gained at home or at work.

    Tie your shoelaces and look for your third place now. You’ll find that life doesn’t need to be routinised!

    Reference

    More by this author

    Ricky Tang

    Editor. Movie Lover. Amateur Singer.

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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