Our smartphones are both a blessing and a curse. They provide us with constant connection to people across the globe and access to important information, all at the tips of our fingers. They’ve changed the world when it comes to efficiency and ease of access to data, giving more people more information than ever before. Smartphones can streamline business, make families safer, and have a wide range of uses outside of being just a phone.
Smartphone usage during the day is optimal, and while it can sometimes be distracting, it isn’t likely to harm you. Smartphone usage at night, however, has the potential to rob you of the sleep you need to function at your best throughout the next day.
The light that emits from your phone - the blue glow - has been studied by researchers and been found to disrupt the natural rhythm of your sleep/wakefulness patterns. Our bodies function in a cycle known as the circadian rhythm. This is the internal balance our body experiences between...
At any given time, our senses are being bombarded by distractions. Sights, sounds, smells: all kinds of sensory stimuli and intrusions on our minds, vying for attention daily. Being able to cut out distractions is a valuable tool that gives you the edge in avoiding and combating fatigue.
1. Be aware of the distractions. Many people go through life bumping up against sensory distractions, unaware of the impact it is having on them. A young boy would oftentimes get in trouble every time his family took him out for Chinese food. No matter how much effort his family put into setting limits for him and warning him to behave, he would always end up ruining the evening with an outburst. It turned out that the vibrant orange colour of the walls in their local Chinese restaurant was causing this small boy to become distracted and overwhelmed. The only way he knew how to let off the steam of his sensory discomfort was to act out.
Another woman found herself frequently feeling angry at...
Do you put a lot of value on outcomes and achievements? If you do, you may have a difficult time understanding the benefits of down time.
High achievers tend toward seeing down time as being too unproductive, or a literal "waste of time."
I assure you, it's not. In fact, it is a requirement to avoid burnout and fatigue.
Down time is designed to get you out of the fast-lane of life and onto the country back road. Down time allows you to experience the things you work so hard for, such as your family, your hobbies, your environment, and expressing your true self. Each day that you are working or focused on responsibilities, you can't fully be in the moment with those you are working for: yourself and your family. What's the point of all that work if you...
How do you feel about the quantity and quality of your sleep? If you are fighting fatigue and burnout, one of the first evaluations you should make begins in your bedroom. The quantity and quality of restful sleep you are experiencing is directly related to your ability to manage stress.
Sleep is our body's time to repair and rejuvenate itself from the damage accrued in day-to-day life. How we sleep is as important as our actual need to sleep. Being able to sleep in a safe and comfortable environment, free from distractions, is key to nurturing meaningful rest periods.
Here are three 'thieves' that rob you of quality sleep:
Inconsistent bedtimes - Do the demands of your day dictate when you go to sleep and what time you wake up? Working until the wee hours of the night and getting up before dawn aren't best practice for your well-being. Setting a designated bedtime and sticking to it will encourage you to stay focused and finish your work in the times you are awake. Pareto's...
How tired are you? Are you reading this post while you swig caffeine after a sleepless night with your smartphone inches away from your head, glowing in the night and alerting you to every post and comment made on social media?
Did you wake up to a to-do list overloaded with expectations and a family with more going on than the Kardashians?
It's no wonder we are so exhausted. We live in a time where we have more expectations and more to do than any previous generation. Most of the things that were designed to make our lives more efficient and our quality of life superior to that of the past are causing us to deteriorate mentally, physically, and socially. So much for the modern era of being able to do and have it all.
We are about to spend the next 30 days looking at burnout: what causes it, how to prevent it, and how to rejuvenate if we have pushed ourselves past prevention. Each day you will receive a new opportunity to better understand what burnout is, as well as the effects it...
When TV newscaster Diane Sawyer was asked the secret to her success, she said, "I think the one lesson I've learned is there is no substitute for paying attention."
Did you know improving your focus can be done with different types of simple exercises? It’s true. Something as simple as getting exercise on a daily basis or chewing gum can improve your brain function, which leads to better focus. Most of the time, focus exercises take less than ten minutes to do.
Check out these to get you started:
• Mutter to yourself. It might seem like you’re crazy but talking to yourself either out loud or not, helps you pay attention, calms you emotionally and tells you to act.
• (Check out the 8 ways to make your brain smarter)
• Trade your caffeine for cardio. Caffeine gives you a boost, which makes it easier to concentrate. But you might find it harder to focus when you’re not buzzed. A better way to keep your mind stimulated is with physical exercise. Exercise...
You’d be surprised by how many people lose track of where their time goes. They might think they are focused on a single task, but are they really? One way to find out is to keep track of how you spend your time for a week. You might find out you’ve been wasting time on little things like checking Facebook once an hour.
Here are my strategies for improving your focus and increasing your productivity:
1. Track your time. Analyse the results after a week. Tweak and get rid of time wasters.
2. Plan your week. At the end of your week, find a quiet spot to plan out your week’s tasks. Write down key projects and the tasks associated with them. Don’t forget to add in family activities that you participate in as well.
3. Prioritise your list. Break down your tasks from most important to least important. Use a calendar to mark out blocks of uninterrupted time (anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes) to work on each one.
4. Eliminate what isn’t essential. Outsource what...
If you’re like many people, you spend most days multitasking. You’re probably so used to multitasking that you don’t even realise when you’re doing it. After all, it’s a skill many employers look for in their employees.
Many people believe multitasking saves them time. It’s actually better to focus though. Focusing lets you concentrate on one task or thought at a time, helping you create a better result for each task.
If truth be known, many people like to multitask because they become bored working on one task at a time.
So why is multitasking bad?
1. You have to switch from task to task. This takes time for your mind to change into the right mindset for the new task and remember where you left off.
2. Multitasking leads to attention and memory loss. According to a study by Harvard Professor Clifford Nass, in findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, people who use online social media and other forms of...
Why is being focused so important in today’s world? What results happen when you are focused? Does being focused make you less stress? Happier? If it’s so important, why don’t people focus more?
Being focused on one thing for a certain period of time allows you to do a better quality of work, more work gets done quicker, and your creative ideas flow easier. Being focused on one task at a time is less stressful on your mind. And being less stressed allows you be happier.
It’s difficult for people to remain focused on one task for a variety of reasons. For one, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with TV, radio, cell phones, Internet social media, as well as a much larger population that lives closer together than ever before.
It’s difficult to get completely away from all these distractions. One way is to go to a room where you can shut your door and turn off your phone and email notifications.
• When you focus on a single task,...
So often when we talk about living a healthy lifestyle, all the focus is on the lower parts of our body, primarily our heart health and getting into better physical shape. Very little is ever mentioned about keeping our brains healthy until we’re talking about the latest statistics about Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
Let’s start thinking about our body as a whole, including our brain. Very often when we adopt healthy habits to lose weight or to fight off Type 2 diabetes, our brains will benefit as well; but in order to make these changes stick, we need to fully understand the results our bad habits have on our brain health.
1. Reduce your stress level. Any kind of stress releases the hormone cortisol, which over time can kill brain cells and cause the brain to physically shrink in size. Cortisol affects the prefrontal cortex, which is the area responsible for memory and learning. To reduce your stress level, start with daily aerobic exercise, meditation, or...