Trending Articles of the Week

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May 192015
 

Flagstaff Aspen Rainbow10 Questions To Ask Yourself To Stay Positive When Facing Difficulties
In life, you can’t change events or their outcome. However, you can choose the emotion and meaning you attach to them. By retraining yourself to see the positive in even the most challenging times, you reclaim your power and can come through it stronger than before.

Multitasking Can Damage Your Brain and Career, Studies Say
New studies show that multitasking kills your performance and may even damage your brain. Interacting with multiple devices at once may be changing the way we think and even brain structure. Multitasking impacts a portion of the brain that affect emotional quotient skills responsible for success at work.

Neuroscience on Writer’s Block
More than any other creative pursuits, writers are more prone to being blocked. The article describes 7 reasons why creativity is harder for writers and goes on to give 7 solutions on how to overcome this thorny issue.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Mar 032015
 

Flagstaff Aspen RainbowWhy We’re All Addicted to Texts, Twitter and Google
Believe it or not, multitasking is addicting. This article explains why. If you have trouble staying away from your technology, you may be getting a hit of pleasure chemicals.

Your subconscious is smarter than you might think
Scientists performed an experiment that showed that the subconscious can do math and other processes without conscious interaction. It’s a validation of what many have thought over the years. The subconscious has the capability to do so much more than its been give credit for.

A new sleep study may open your eyes to meditation
Focusing on the present has positive effects on daytime fatigue and depression, two conditions that often result from the poor sleep of older adults. I’m sure it would also be helpful for anyone with sleep issues.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

“Squirrel!” The Distraction of Multitasking

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Feb 042015
 

Did you see the cartoon feature film, “Up!”? The dogs in it are able to talk as a result of a special collar Squirrel!that translates their thoughts into words. But the dogs get distracted very easily, especially by squirrels. Every time they think they see one, they say, “Squirrel!” and stop what they’re doing to verify whether one is present or not.

For us, multitasking is something similar. We think that it’s efficient, and we get more done, but really, it’s just satisfying our longing for something new. Our brains get a jolt of pleasure when we are able to switch from what we were doing to check email, read a text or answer a call.

We’re sidetracked from what our original task, and we leave it for a while. After we’ve dealt with the distraction, we return to the task. But it takes precious time and energy to get refocused. Efficiency, creativity, productivity and performance all suffer. Also, it’s exhausting and we can’t think as clearly when multitask.

So the next time you’re tempted to check your email when you’re in the middle of a project, remind yourself that it’s a “squirrel,” and stay focused. Your brain will thank you.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Are We Losing Our Ability to Concentrate?

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Jan 072015
 

According to Daniel Goleman’s book, Concentrating on Chess GameFocus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, due to our obsession with multitasking, the internet, social media and cell phones, we’re losing our ability to concentrate. When we constantly check our email, read tweets, or play an online game, we get a jolt of adrenaline. It feels good every time we do and it lights up our brain’s reward circuits. We can’t stay focused on one thing too long or we get itchy for another rush. But it also undermines the ability to focus for any length of time.

Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence also says that the good news is that within a short time of slowing down and not jumping from one thing to another, we regain the ability to pay attention. Our focus and concentration improves within a couple of weeks. When we run from one activity to another, we train ourselves to do more of it. We’re training ourselves to be ADD. But the same is true when we let go of the obsessive need for stimulation. As we break the addiction, we train our minds to focus for longer periods of time.

To accomplish more, reduce stress, and be calmer, we need to reduce the number of times we check our email or cell phone. Within a couple of weeks, notice the difference. We’ll get more done, be healthier, feel better and be able to focus on a chess game or reading a book.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Jul 302014
 

In today’s frantic world, most of us multitask. We answer email while we’re talking on our phones, either juggling-multitaskingfor business or pleasure, while we’re also working on a project. All of this makes for a stressful existence.

When you’re stressed, you can’t be resourceful or creative. Which means you can’t escape the hamster cage of just doing what’s right in front of you to innovate and achieve your goals.

There are times when multitasking is necessary in our society and in business. Sometimes we have a lot of decisions and details that need to be addressed all at the same time. But multitasking isn’t a good habit to develop for the long term.

Don’t confuse productivity with busyness. Many people think that because they’re multitasking, they’re getting a lot done. Generally, that’s a false belief. Studies show that a person is 40% less productive with multitasking than when they focus on one thing at a time.

When someone is continually juggling a lot of balls, and handling a lot of tasks at once, they feel good and effective. Instead, they’re actually keeping themselves distracted from what they truly need to deal with. They may need to write this month’s newsletter, or call the troublesome person.

Multitasking is also addictive. Checking your email frequently causes you to want to check it even more because it activates the brain’s reward circuits. This feeling of reward then causes you to check it more. The behavior is repeated until it becomes a habit.

People who are deeply invested in multitasking will object strongly to being told it’s not effective. They’re attached to the rush and the myth that they’re being productive. Their self-image may also be connected to being one.

To have less stress, be more productive and have more creativity, reduce your multitasking. Work on one thing at a time. You can alternate projects, working on one for 30-60 minutes before moving on to another one. In this way, you’ll get more done and be calmer and more relaxed.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Linda-Ann Stewart helps business and professional women who feel stuck, overwhelmed and immobilized to focus, prioritize and break through so they generate more business and create a consistent income. To apply for a complimentary consultation, email LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com with “Discovery” in the subject line, or call her at 928-600-0452.