Monthly Archives: March 2014

Quality or quantity – the multitasking myth (Part 2)

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Quality or quantity – the multitasking myth, Part 2In my last blog, I outlined many downsides of multitasking: lower productivity, more mistakes, “inattentional blindness”, damaged relationships, and overeating to name just a few. But if multitasking isn’t the solution to getting our productivity up, what strategies can we turn to?

Single tasking

Before the advent of personal computers, cell phones and tablets, the world moved at a much slower, but often more efficient pace. Single tasking is ready for a revival!

Although it might feel unnatural to tune out distractions by turning off your cellphone and/or logging out of your email, try spending part of a workday focusing all of your energy and attention on one task at a time. At the end of the day, compare how …

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Information overload – digesting tragedy in the digital age (PART TWO)

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In part one of this blog we discussed the concept of information overload and the stress that this non-stop diet of bad news can cause. What are the side effects of this kind of stress overload? How can we support ourselves and our families in the face of the never ending stream of information and media stimuli?

Long-term side effects

Various studies have examined the impact of media exposure on people following 9/11. In one such study, approximately 90% of the participants demonstrated symptoms of traumatic stress. In fact, the greater the exposure to media coverage, the greater the stress, and post-traumatic stress, exhibited by the participants. This is a normal response! Post-traumatic stress, or PTS, is the …

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Information overload – digesting tragedy in the digital age (PART ONE)

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By most accounts I don’t watch much television, however, I confess that I am a captive audience to the series “Lost”; a cryptic storyline essentially following the disappearance of a commercial airliner and its passengers in the South Pacific. A steady diet of fascinating plot and entertainment.  Fictional.  Ironic.

They say life imitates art, but the vanishing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on March 8 is pure tragedy. And much like the events at Sandy Hook Elementary school before it, and 9/11 before that, we become the captive audience spellbound by widespread theorizing, speculation, and the maelstrom of news and media around these incidents.

Information overload

Gone is exclusive dependence on newspaper or television to satiate our curiosity and inform.   …

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Quality or quantity – the multitasking myth (Part 1)

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We’ve all heard that staying competitive means finding ways of doing things faster, cheaper and with fewer resources. Easy to say, but not so easy to accomplish!

Enter multitasking, a term which originated in the computer engineering industry and refers to the ability of a microprocessor to process multiple tasks concurrently. In the world of humans, we’ve reinterpreted this term as “juggling as many tasks as possible, in the shortest time possible”. And to help us with that (and speed things up even more), we’ve become reliant on computers, smart phones and tablets.

The truth is that multitasking is only possible when two conditions are met. The first condition is when at least one of the tasks is automatic

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You can stop yelling at your kids. Really!

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You can stop yelling at your kidsChildren do not come with a manual but if they did, the manual would likely include a bit about not yelling at them. As a parent this makes sense to me, but I have three kids, and the older two may be surprised that’s what I think. I didn’t quite master parenting in the first two rounds but surely by the time my 9-year- old reaches adolescence I should have parenting down to an art…

That art includes communicating with my kids without yelling. Many of us swore we wouldn’t turn out like our own parents, only to wake up one day and realize the apple really didn’t fall far from the tree. The truth is, much is learned from …

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