The Ultimate Productivity Myth: Is Multi-tasking Good For Your Brain?

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/W9MZEM52OCY/the-ultimate-productivity-myth-multi-tasking-good-for-your-brain

Multitasking is a big part of the modern world. People are constantly doing two things at once; they send emails when they are spending time with their loved ones, they work out while texting a friend and they cook while they check Facebook.

However, all of this multi-tasking is bad for your brain. Recent studies have found that multitasking increases the production of cortisol, a stress hormone, and adrenaline, which can overstimulate the brain. This can cause a “mental fog” that makes it hard for you to concentrate or focus.

Over time this overload of information leads to a cognitive slowdown. When you have more information to process, you have less time to think about the information properly.

There are lots of benefits to modern technology. It is easier than ever to learn about anything or contact your friends. However, these benefits come at a cognitive cost to your brain. Our brains are designed to process one thought at a time, and modern technology is forcing your brain to process multiple tasks at once.

You might not even realize that you are multi-tasking. So many people are used to constantly switching from one task to another that they don’t always notice that they are doing three things at once.

If you feel like you sometimes experience mental fog – for example, you might find that you are making bad decisions, or that you struggle to respond rationally, or you may simply notice that you are making more mistakes than normal – slow down and limit the information that you need to proceed. Look at your schedule to see if you can drop any extra tasks that are taking up too much time.

Featured photo credit: Tranmautritam via pexels.com

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Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Foods (#1 is my favorite)

source from: https://www.loseweightbyeating.com/anti-inflammatory-diet-top-10-foods/

Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting itself when you are sick or injured. Depending on the situation, it can be a good or bad thing. When your body is under attack from foreign invaders, inflammation can help stimulate healing. But what happens when your body starts “repairing” perfectly good healthy body tissue? I can tell you now that it’s not good for you. Chronic, long-term inflammation can be very bad for you. It has been linked to a higher risk of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity and many others (1, 2, 3). What Is Inflammation? When you scrape your arm, your immune system springs into action, bringing white blood cells to the injured area. Your body increases production of white blood cells, immune cells and substances called cytokines that help fight infection. (4) You may notice swelling or redness. This is natural and good for you, it means...

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10 Health Benefits of Bone Broth for Weight Loss and More

source from: https://www.loseweightbyeating.com/10-health-benefits-bone-broth/

The potent health benefits of bone broth have been “discovered” recently by the health and fitness world. Many people drink it to lose weight, support joint health, boost immunity, improve their skin, and more. It’s very inexpensive to make and can be a healthy addition to both your diet and to your family’s diet as well. In this article, we will take a detailed look at the health benefits of bone broth, how to make it, and how to use it to best enjoy it’s health benefits. What is Bone Broth? Bone broth is a nutritious stock made by cooking bones from meat, poultry, or fish for long periods of time. The process releases minerals and other healthy nutrients. It’s a traditional food that has been made for generations, but has recently gained a lot of popularity amongst health coaches, nutritionists, and beauty gurus. Brodo, a take-away restaurant in New...

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How Quitting Would Actually Help You Make Progress

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/DgKC8KosJn4/how-quitting-would-actually-help-you-make-progress

“Winners never quit, quitters never win.” Growing up, we are taught to be persistent; society tells us the path to success is to persevere, quitting is never an option. In reality, quitting happens more often than we think. Sometimes, it could even be a beneficial move. Before diving into the positives, let’s define what quitting really means.

Quitting simply means leaving or getting rid of something. Unfortunately, our norms greatly contribute to the negative connotation of this word. Believe it or not, quitting actually helps a person to make progress and positive changes in life.

We all have been there, we hated something so much and could not take it anymore. Would you quit to make yourself happier or carry on because you thought this is the best path to success? If you don’t love what you are doing, or you have already lost your passion, quit it. There are a lot of hidden gems out there, invest your time and interest in something else, maybe you will find a stepping stone to lead you somewhere else.

Sometimes, by quitting, we seize the moment.

Opportunities come and go. When we see something that interests us, telling ourselves to go for it is rarely the first response. We tend to look at the constraints and convince ourselves not to quit what we are currently doing. But why not take a leap of faith and allow yourself to make a breakthrough in life?

By quitting, we make changes.

Quitting is not only about leaving a place because of getting out of interest, it is also about getting rid of things that are hindering our lives. For example, everyone has bad habits and everyone has their own limits, it is necessary to quit the things that are not good for our future self. With all the desperation and desire, if we do not take actions to quit, we are not making any progress.

By quitting, we open up more opportunities.

Everyday, we are presented by an infinite amount of opportunities. Opportunities to quit what we are pursuing, opportunities to quit our bad habits, opportunities to quit things that do not make us happy…Not denying that persevering is not a viable option, but sometimes, knowing when to quit could open up all whole new world of chances.

We might be afraid to quit, fearing the regret of missing out on the possible success. But if you want to make progress, take the first step and quit something that obstructs you from moving forward.

Featured photo credit: Clem Onojeghuo via unsplash.com

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Use the "ABC method" to hack your brain for improved focus

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/Z50tsjA-75Q/use-the-abc-method-hack-your-brain-for-improved-focus

ABC model

Lots of people struggle to focus in their day-to-day lives. They constantly get distracted, and this makes it difficult for them to complete tasks so that they can achieve their goals.

The Problem With Multitasking

Multitasking is a big part of modern society. You will notice it at home and at work: when you are watching a film with your family, you may notice that your family members are using their laptops and phones at the same time. When you are in a meeting, you may notice people texting under the table or sending emails.

Most people don’t see this as a problem. After all, multitasking is often seen as a sign that you are hardworking and efficient.

However, the truth is that multitasking means that you are more likely to forget things and make mistakes. You are also less likely to retain new information, which can make it harder for you to solve problems or be creative.

Research has found that most people have very short attention spans, and multitasking is only making the problem worse. People are constantly being bombarded with work, home and technology demands, and so they are finding it even harder to stay focused.

Thankfully, an article in Harvard Business Review suggests a method called the ABC method to help people improve their focus.

Teaching Your Brain to Stay Focused

There has been a lot of research in recent years into how the brain works. Scientists have made huge advances with neuroimaging, and studies that looked at adults with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are teaching us more about how the brain focuses on tasks.

The research has also revealed more about how easily the brain can be distracted. This research is very relevant to modern society, as most people struggle to focus for long periods of time.

So, what have researchers found out? They’ve found that anyone can teach their brain to ignore distractions so that they can stay focused. This helps to you to be more productive and creative, and it will help you to achieve your goals.

The ABC Model

An article published in Harvard Business Review describes the ABC method to help people to stay focused. It gives you the chance to metaphorically press the brakes on your brain when you encounter a distraction. There are three steps to follow.

The first step is being aware of your options. You can either follow the distraction and become unfocused, or you can keep going with the task that you are working on.

The second step is breathing deeply. Take a minute to relax without thinking about the distraction.

The third step is making a choice. You can choose to be distracted or you can choose to stay focused.

This may sound simple, but it works. This is because you are openly acknowledging that one of the options is a distraction, rather than a useful or important task, so it is much easier for you to ignore it.

Set Your Goals

The author of the article recommends that people make a conscious effort to be aware of where their attention goes. When you start your day, you should ask yourself these questions: what is my main task for today? How do I feel? Do I expect to succeed?

This will make you aware of what you want to achieve, so it will be easier for you to stay focused and motivated. However, this will only work if you also use the ABC model at the same time to avoid distractions. Setting goals is important, but if you aren’t willing to work on your distractions then you will still struggle to stay focused.

Featured photo credit: Tookapic via pexels.com

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Your Future Self Will Thank You For Starting To Do This For Only 10 Minutes Every Day

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/QRGpdp432_U/your-future-self-will-thank-you-for-starting-this-for-only-10-minutes-every-day

“How’s your day?” People ask us about our day all the time. Sometimes, you brushed it off because you know these are just small talks. Often, you had a really bad day and wanted to de-stress. Or maybe, you didn’t even bother to answer. Everyday, we fill our 24 hours up with an extensive to-do list — daily routines, work, sleep, eat, and other miscellaneous, arbitrary things. But have you ever sat down and taken a minute to reflect on your day? If not, here is how and why you should.

When we start to reflect daily, we learn from the little things we experience.

Life has its learning curve. We learn from others, our pasts, our failures, our surroundings, and we adjust our lives and grow from them.

Take 10 minutes before your bedtime, sit at a quiet spot and analyze your day from the moment you wake up. What did you do? Who did you meet? Where did you go? Was there anything special or rare happened? Ask yourself questions to piece the scattered memories of your day back together. We tend to forget what happened after a short period of time, so writing down your experiences is also useful.

After you have gone through your day, start listing the things you feel like you could improve on, and even think of solutions or approaches to avoid the same mistake from happening.

  • Was I too emotional when handling this conflict with this person?
  • Was I slacking off at work?
  • Did I rebuff my parents because I was too tired to talk to anyone?

So you may think it’s time to go to bed, but no, you should also list the things you think you managed well that day. Give yourself a pat on your back and tell yourself “I can do this”.

  • I was on time for work today!
  • I helped an old lady with her groceries!
  • I did everything I planned to do today!

Give yourself a confidence boost before you go to bed, and you will be ready to take on the world after a good night’s sleep.

It’s just 10 minutes a day!

This doesn’t take long, you only need to spend 10 minutes before you go to bed. Separate a private time for yourself, analyze your day, repeat this every night, your outlook and approach to life will certainly transform!

Featured photo credit: Sophie Ollis via unsplash.com

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What Type Of Traveler Are You? Try This Interesting Test. It Reveals Your Personality

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/iwxMXtsnMVI/what-type-traveler-are-you-try-this-interesting-test-reveals-your-personality

We all have our own approaches to traveling, but have you ever wondered whether there is a link between your preferences and your personality? Now you can find out with a free online test and take part in some interesting research at the same time.

The University of Cambridge has made the “What Type Of Traveler Are You?” test available to the general public. Clicking the link takes you straight to the first page of the test. You will be asked to spend several minutes answering questions about how and when you like to travel. The test asks you to indicate, for example, how you like to book your vacation, whether you always take time to visit tourist attractions, and the kind of amenities you consider to be most important in a hotel.

The final third of the test is devoted to more traditional personality-style questions that measure five different traits: Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Once you have completed the test in its entirety, you will be presented with an easy-to-read results page that rates how you score on each of the “Big 5” traits, along with a few questions that invite you to explore your personality further.

You also have the option to provide demographic details such as your sex, age, education level and place of birth. This will help the authors of the test draw links between personality styles and traveling preferences. However, this is not a requirement and you will receive your results regardless of how much information you share.

With this test, you can gain a deeper insight into your unique personality in just ten minutes. Why not use the reflective questions suggested by the researchers as journal prompts in the coming days? The higher your self-awareness, the more likely you are to address areas of your life that are ripe for change.

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Hard To Focus? Try This Harvard Model To Double Your Productivity

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/28un63g0Suo/hard-focus-try-this-harvard-model-double-your-productivity

Do you find yourself hopelessly distracted at work? Between the emails, phone calls, and projects competing for your attention, you may feel like you never get anything done. Multitasking is a time honored skill in the workplace, but it can slow your productivity to a crawl. Fortunately, there are ways to increase your focus and double your productivity by removing distractions and adopting a conscious mindset.

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, multitasking ” makes us more prone to making mistakes, more likely to miss important information and cues, and less likely to retain information in working memory, which impairs problem-solving and creativity.”[1]They suggest you try the “ABC” method to help you focus:

  • Awareness: Recognize your options. What’s most important and what’s background noise?
  • Breathe: Take a moment to consider the options you have. What can you rearrange in order to make the most urgent tasks a priority?
  • Choose: Proactively make a decision about what task to complete next and stick to it.

These three steps don’t take much time, but require you to be aware of your situation and make conscious decisions instead of reacting to every distraction.

Other suggestions to improve focus and productivity include getting up and taking a walk before you start a new task, taking regular breaks to give your mind a rest, and make yourself turn off all distractions for a specific amount of time. Close your email and turn off your phone for an hour to really focus on the task at hand.

While you may be proud of your ability to multitask, it can hamper your productivity. By taking steps to shift your mindset and eliminate distractions, you’ll do better quality work in a shorter amount of time.

Reference

[1] HBR.org: Train Your Brain To Focus
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Take This Cambridge Test To Check Your Best Team Role In 10 Minutes

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/DsycdIAec9w/take-this-cambridge-test-check-your-best-team-role-10-minutes

Are you considering a change of career, or are you looking for a new role within your current company? Working out what you’re best suited to can be tricky, and you might end up stuck in a job that doesn’t take advantage of your strengths.A new test from the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre[1] takes only 10 minutes to complete and will assign you one of five team roles.

Are you the Perfectionist, Pragmatist, Mediator, Innovator, or Motivator? You might be surprised by your results.

The ‘Team Roles that Underpin Service Styles Inventory,’ or ‘TRUSS,’ is a quick and easy test that will give you greater insight into your strengths, showing you how you can work best as part of a team.You’ll answer 40 questions, rating statements like “I want every detail taken care of” and “I am not easily distracted” according to how well they apply to you. It’s important to be honest during the test to get the most accurate results. There are no right or wrong answers, and you should go with your first instinct on questions you’re unsure about.At the end of the test, you’ll be assigned a role and given a description of your key qualities. The possible roles are:

  • Perfectionist – paying close attention to small details.
  • Pragmatist – dealing with things in a sensible, practical way.
  • Mediator – successfully managing conflicts and team relationships.
  • Innovator – solving problems and coming up with exciting new ideas.
  • Motivator – boosting motivation and managing morale.

The best team will include members from each category, so encourage your co-workers to take the test too.

Spending 10 minutes on this test will give you greater insight into your unique strengths, helping you to choose the perfect job role.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

[1] University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre: The TRUSS Inventory
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7 Effective Ways To A Happy And Healthier Home You Probably Never Knew

source from: http://feeds.lifehack.org/~r/LifeHack/~3/h1wZLzQWlB4/7-effective-ways-happy-and-healthier-home-you-probably-never-knew

Asthma and allergies are a big issue for many households in America and around the world. According to the CDC,[1] in 2011, one in 12 individuals has asthma.

And according to the American Lung Association,[2]  that number has risen to 6.2 million children in 2015. If you or anyone you know is affected by asthma, here are several great ways to help prevent asthma symptoms as well as allergies. Check out these five effective ways for a happy and healthier home! You might be surprised by number five.

1. Investing In An Air Purifier

The room you spend the most time in is where you should position your air purifier. Ideally, your bedroom is the best place for an air purifier because you spend at least 8 hours in it each night.

If you happen to spend more time in another room of your household, consider placing an air purifier in each room. Be sure to thoroughly research before you make your purchase as some are not very effective. When you find the right one, you’ll be surprised by the reduction in dust, allergens, and odors.

2. Remove Your Nasty Old Carpet

An air purifier can only help so much. If the source of the allergen is not removed (i.e. carpets and pets), then you will continue to suffer from your symptoms.

3. Clean Your Air Vents Regularly

If this thought hasn’t crossed your mind, then chances are your air vents haven’t been changed in a while. You’d be surprised by how this simple routine checkup on your vents can make all the difference in your home. By doing this you’ll avoid sinus problems, allergies, asthmas, and respiratory problems.

4. Hypoallergenic Casings

Hypoallergenic casings can be placed on your beds, mattresses, box springs and pillows. This will help combat dust mites. Also, make sure you’re washing your blankets, pillows, and comforters regularly. If your allergies and asthma continue to be severe, consider keeping your pets out of your bedroom.

5. Consider An Air Cleaning Plant

Yes, really. NASA recently revealed the best air cleaning plants for your home. Not only do they add a little scenery around your place, but they also offer tangible health benefits.

The Clean Air Study [3] provided strong evidence for the type of plants (along with an activated carbon plant filter) remove harmful chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and ammonia from your household.

According to the 27-year-old study, the Florist’s Mum and the Peace Lily are the best air purifying plants you can have in your household.

6. Use Green Cleaning Products

Although regular cleaning helps reduce allergies and asthma, the type of cleaning product you’re using can have an effect on your respiratory health as well. Focus on products that have earned that “green” seal of approval. They earn this when their product is derived from natural resources like plants.

7. Consider a Healthy Vacuum Cleaner

A bad vacuum cleaner can really kick up nasty junk. If you don’t invest in a good one, chances are you’re inhaling all of that dust and making your allergies and asthma worse. Aim for a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These filter out almost 100 percent of the junk found in carpets. There are several you can choose from that fit your health needs and budget.

Hopefully, these tips give you a greater peace of mind when it comes to creating a healthy home. What products or information have you been using to keep your home healthier and happier? Be sure to let us know.

Reference

Featured photo credit: Green Cleaning Phoenix via greencleanphoenix.com

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