The Truth About Multi-Tasking

work

I’ll admit, I started to worry.  At work, I found myself frantically jumping from one task to another. It was taking me longer to complete my to-dos, I was making errors, and I found it difficult for me to focus on one task at a time…

…Turns out, I was experiencing “multi-tasking” in it’s truest form!

Multi-tasking refers to a person who deals with more than one task at the same time. But, our brain doesn’t really do tasks simultaneously, as we thought. In reality, very few people (2%) can truly multi-task effectively.  According to NPR, what really happens is that we switch our attention from task to task extremely quickly. It’s actually very difficult to focus on more than one thing at a time.  “…you think you’re actually paying attention to everything around you at the same time. But you’re actually not,”says Earl Miller, a Picower professor of neuroscience at MIT. Let’s face it,  we’re just not naturally good at handling more than one thing at a time.

But, don’t beat yourself up you’re not a multi-tasking pro! Did you know that there are several disadvantages to this common attribute? “Multi-tasking leads to as much as 40% drop in productivity, increased stress, and a 10% drop in IQ” (tipsywriter.com).  The truth about mulit-tasking is that it can often make us less productive, more prone to make mistakes, and more stressed. In addition, multi-tasking can have a negative effect on our memory!

If there are so many negatives associated with multi- tasking than why even do it? In all honesty, who doesn’t love the instant gratification that comes with completing several tasks? Plus, if this skill is almost often required of employees, then why not master it?  Well, now knowing the facts, you might want to think twice before you raise the bar high on yourself.

It’s never too late to break the habit! Start with something small. Write out a small list of tasks..say 5. Eliminate the potential for distractions, roll up those sleeves, and FOCUS! Do NOT move on to the next item on your list until you are completely finished with the first! You can do this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

5 Lessons Learned From Our Siblings

stepbrothers1.jpg

I’ve had GREEN ketchup poured allover my hair, I’ve been shoved under a mattress (or at least that’s how I remember it!), and I’ve had to tag along at birthday parties.

Ah, the joys of having siblings…(sarcasm)…

In retrospect, I don’t know how us 4 kids made it growing up! We were all so different yet alike in several ways- stubborn, naive, and emotional.  It’s already bad enough going through puberty, junior high, high school etc, but to live in the same household with 3 other kids that are going through the same thing?!?- Ahh! I commend my parents! I’ll admit that my siblings and I are in a much better place now that we are adults!

I think it’s safe to say that despite the hair pulling, finger pointing, and wrestling, there are a few valuable life lessons that we can learn from our siblings:

  1. THE IMPORTANCE OF FRIENDSHIP- Grant it, in high school, my sister and I wouldn’t be caught in the same circle of friends let alone 1/2 mile of each other at school. But, now? We’re the best of friends! Even though we weren’t close at all as kids, if I were in any sort of trouble, my sis would definitely be there! Now, that’s a true friend!
  2. STEP UP AND BE A LEADER- I’ll have to give credit to the older siblings for having to put this into practice! Becoming a leader takes confidence, courage, and patience. What great attributes to learn at such a young age!
  3. GET OVER IT AND COOPERATE- Now, us middle children, our masters of this life lesson! There’s no faster way to get through weekend chores, than with some teamwork!
  4. RESILIENCE- You come to learn that at the end of the day, it’s just ketchup in your hair…It’s disgusting, but the good news is it will wash out! I’m sure you’d agree that there’s a level of tolerance that we build up thanks to our darling brothers & sisters.
  5. LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY- Nothing means more than being surrounded by those you love despite your failures, flaws, and imperfections. We all know what it’s like to suffer the repercussions of bad choices.  It might take your siblings a while for them to come around, but when they do, they’ll love you through the good times and the bad times!

At some point, you have to just throw your arms in the air and say, “Que Sera Sera!”. We’re tied to each other by blood- there’s no changing that! Might as well just roll with it!

 

Giving Sudoku a Try

sudoku

Several years ago, I received a battery operated Sudoku game as a Christmas gift from a relative. I had never heard of Sudoku before, so as soon as I opened my gift, it was time for an impromptu lesson on how to solve a Sudoku puzzle. I was hooked! I now have a Sudoku app on my phone that I use whenever I want to kill some time. Sudoku is a great game for a couple of different reasons:

  1. The biggest and most obvious reason is that it is good brain stimulation, especially if your playing a more complex version with only a few numbers filled in.
  2. Second, solving a puzzle like Sudoku can relieve stress. When your mind is on something you enjoy, you are in a better, more relaxed mood.

What are you waiting for? Go solve some Sudoku puzzles!

 

Our Holiday Sweet Tooth

candy

What do Christmas, Easter, and Valentine’s Day all have in common? Most people buy gifts for their loved ones during these three holidays. What is one thing that people commonly purchase during these holidays? Candy!

According to this article published on byu.edu,

Americans spend an average of $2 billion on Halloween candy, $1.9 billion on Easter candy, $1.4 billion on Christmas candy and $1 billion on Valentine’s Day candy.

It looks like there is a large number of us that like to accompany our holiday celebrations with candy. All I can say is…..Sweet!

6 Ways to Live a Happy & Healthy Life

april showers3

Everyone knows that “April Showers Bring May Flowers”, BUT that doesn’t help when you’re cooped up inside staring at clouds and rain all day! Did you know that the weather can have a direct affect on one’s mood?  So, here are some practical tips to keep you healthy and happy despite those pesky grey clouds!

  1. DRINK MORE WATER- Not only does water help you lose weight, but it can also boost energy, prevent memory loss as you age, help to fight infection, and makes your skin smooth by slowing down the aging process.
  2. LAUGH OFTEN- According to EE Cummings, “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter”. Did you know that laughter can lower your blood pressure, reduce stress hormone levels, and improve cardiac health?
  3. ESSENTIAL OILS- Diffusing essential oils is known to improve health, increase energy, and help you sleep better. Try Lavender, Rose, or Chamomile to relax & relieve stress & anxiety!
  4. DO WHAT YOU LOVE MORE OFTEN- What brings you joy? Don’t have time to do what you love? Make time! Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, so doing things to keep you sane & happy will only help you remain positive, energized, and a joy to be around!
  5. SLOW DOWN- Billy Joel says it well in his song, “Vienna”… “Slow down, you crazy child/ And take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile/ It’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two/ When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?” I know- the practice of slowing down feels almost archaic in today’s society.
  6. GET OUT MORE! Enjoy the sunshine and outdoors as often as you can. John Barroughs once said, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed and to have my senses put in order.”

Why Do We Spring Clean?

What is the first thing that you think of when you hear the word “spring”? Possibly many things. Does the term “spring cleaning” come to mind?

So where did the idea for spring cleaning come from? According to this article on HowStuffWorks.com, it might have started from three different cultures. Ancient Iranian and Jewish cultures, as well as Chinese, all have an ancient house cleaning tradition.

What about in today’s culture? Doing a thorough cleaning of your home every year can certainly help to get rid of clutter and dust mites, as well as mold. So where do you start? An article on Vogue.com states:

Tackling one room at a time will help keep you focused. Maybe you begin with the bedroom, spend an afternoon there, then the next morning take on the living room or kitchen.

Doing one room at a time is sure to make your spring cleaning much easier. Check out the articles listed below  for more tips and tracks on spring cleaning.


 

http://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/10-ways-to-spring-clean-like-a-pro/

http://www.marthastewart.com/267295/spring-cleaning-checklist

http://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/clean-and-organize/7-spring-cleaning-tips

 

 

Excuse the Mess, But We Live Here

farmhouse

Three years ago, I bought my first home. It was the perfect opportunity to turn it into the model home I’ve always wanted! You know- the “Fixer Upper”- inspired Farmhouse…beautiful, immaculate, and pristine!

Well, a couple of minor details slipped my mind…I have 2 very hairy dogs AND I have, what I’m calling “Creative A.D.D.”. I can be in my kitchen, washing dishes, and think “This window would look so much better with a little cafe curtain. I think I’ll make one!” The next thing you know, I’m pulling out fabric, sewing, spray painting tension rods, etc. Then, I’ll notice that the fabric I picked out would look better as a table runner…back to Square 1…you get the picture! With that said, being neat & orderly- it’s just not in the cards for me!

But, if I dig deep here, how often do our lives appear neat and orderly?  You know, like the model home that is so clean, staged, and lacking in clutter. It’s just not practical. Life is meant to be lived and to be quite honest, Life can be messy.

So, I give up trying to make my home appear as if no one lives there. I have come to accept that my home and my life is a beautiful mess! And if you really want to know my secret, I save the deep-cleaning for days that I’m expecting visitors!

So, the next time you walk into your less-than-orderly living space, plop down on the couch, set your feet on that dog hair covered ottoman and enjoy a glass of wine because Life is Beautiful!