|What I Would Like to Like, but Don’t Like
||There are lots of bands, books, shows, and movies that I unapologetically dislike. But then there are those I don’t like or dislike. I would like to like them, but I don’t. Is this category revealing of likes more honest and revealing?
|7 Secrets to a Happy, Long-Term Relationship: How to...
||As time goes by in a relationship, the initial excitement of getting to know somebody, falling in love with them and feeling those butterflies in your stomach every time you … ...
|Land of the Violent
||We are the home of the brave and the land of the free. We are also the land of the violent. Other countries do not understand why Americans are so … ...
|Do Parts of How You Are Bother You or Others?
||Reactions driven by personality challenges are unconscious and automatic, like a reflex. You don’t think about it, it just happens . . . However, we can learn and develop the skills to respond to other people and situations intentionally with conscious awareness, rather than react on impulse.
|Why the Mundane Matters
||We’re always looking forward to the next big thing in our lives, whether it’s a long-awaited trip abroad, graduating from college or getting a promotion at work. So it makes sense that when we set out to document our lives on paper, through photos or … ...
|Naked Not Private: A Hypo Manic Thing
||I have no problem being naked, in fact, I feel freedom when I’m free from my clothes. Is that a symptom of chronic hypo mania? I just might be. Especially … ...
|How our brains can form first impressions quickly
||A study of how people can quickly spot animals by sight is helping uncover the workings of the human brain. Researchers found that one of the first parts of the brain to process visual information -- the primary visual cortex -- can control this fast response, rather than more complex parts of the brain being required.
|New Zealand blackcurrants good for the brain
||New Zealand blackcurrants are good for keeping us mentally young and agile, researchers report, a finding that could have potential in managing the mental decline associated with aging populations, or helping people with brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease or depression.
|Low-field synchronized transcranial magnetic stimulation effective for major depressive disorder
||The results of a study assessing safety and efficacy of sTMS therapy with the NEST device in adult patients with Major Depressive Disorder have been published by researchers.
|Why We Shouldn’t Reward Ourselves for Good Habits
||In large part, because the lesson is: be very wary of using rewards to master habits!
|Atlas of older brains could help diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
||A digital map of the aging brain could aid the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders in older people, a study suggests. The atlas created using images from MRI scans of older people could aid diagnosis by comparing the patients' scans with a detailed map of the healthy aging brain.
|Increased Anxiety Linked to Simple Behaviour You’re Probably Doing Right Now
A behaviour you're probably doing right now has been consistently linked to anxiety.
» Continue reading: Increased Anxiety Linked to Simple Behaviour You’re Probably Doing Right Now
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||Hi. My name is Elaina J. and I am certifiably crazy. By definition on Dictionary.com – crazy means unusual; bizarre; singular. I don’t do drugs (well, without a prescription note), yet … ...
|Inflaming the drive for suicide: Analysis reveals link between suicide, inflammation
||One American dies from suicide every 12.8 minutes, making suicide the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. There is consensus that if we could better predict who was at risk for suicide, then we could more effectively intervene to reduce this terrible burden on individuals, families and public health.
|Tolerating Interruptions is Yoga Too
||Came across this sweet video and the following occurred to me: tolerating interruptions is yoga too. When we feel thwarted, it’s not because Reality is somehow wrong, but because our … ...
|Could 'virtual reality' treat alcoholism?
||A form of 'virtual-reality' therapy may help people with alcohol dependence reduce their craving for alcohol, a new study suggests. The findings come from a small study of just 10 patients. But researchers said they are optimistic about the potential for virtual reality as a therapy for alcohol use disorders.
|How to Speak So You’re Taken Seriously
||Yolanda was disappointed. Once again, she had summoned up the courage to put forth an idea at a board meeting, yet nobody picked up on it. She wondered why her ideas were frequently pushed aside, both at home and at work. This happens much too … ...
|Stack The ADHD Deck
||Things happen in this ADHD life that make me glad I’m aware of what goes on in my head. But even still, there are disappointments aplenty. In fact, there are … ...
|Please Stop Interrupting Me!
||Several years ago, I devised a system for quickly getting into the “zone” while I wrote. Free from distractions and interruptions, I wrote quickly, joyfully, and with surprisingly little effort.
But then we moved, and now my husband and I both work mostly from home. And although we work in separate rooms, at opposite ends of the house, he is forever interrupting me, jarring me out of that coveted state of flow. He’ll saunter into my office to use my recycling bin, and even if my attention is clearly fixed on my work, he’ll put his face right in front of my computer screen and lean in for a smooch.
I recognize how sweet this is. And I am super grateful to have such a loving and affectionate husband. And I appreciate being able to work from home, because it allows me more time with both my husband and my children (who also interrupt me constantly once they are home from school).
But by 4:00 pm, each interruption causes me so much irritation that it sometimes borders on rage. Even when the person interrupting me is a considerate and whispering middle-schooler needing homework help, or a loving husband who wants to shower me with affection, I feel frustrated and snappish.
Am I overreacting? Perhaps I could try harder to keep my irritation in check, but research gives me some grounds for it. In fact, studies have found that getting interrupted isn’t just a nuisance; it’s costly and problematic. Here are three sometimes hidden costs to interruptions.
For starters, they cost us a lot of time. On average, interruptions take 23 minutes and 15 seconds to recover from—even if the distraction is only a minute!
For example, say I’m uber-focused, but then my hubby (or perhaps your co-worker) comes in for a minute or two to chit-chat about dinner plans (or for an upcoming meeting). Before I turn my attention back to my work, I might decide to take a quick peek at my email, and while I’m doing that, notice that I’ve missed a call and three texts. If I answer just a few of these incoming communications, it may well be longer than 23 minutes before I get back to work.
I suppose, if I tried really hard, I could get back on track faster. But that effort takes focus and energy that I could be putting toward my writing or other work.
Second, interruptions lower the quality of our work. A mountain of research has demonstrated time and again that interruptions increase our error rate. For example, when college students that are concentrating on a task are interrupted for 2.8 seconds, they make twice as many errors as those who are not interrupted. When they are interrupted for 4.4 seconds, their error rate triples.
According Glenn Wilson at the University of London, just being in a work situation where you can be interrupted by text and email can decrease your IQ by 10 points. For writers like me, the news here is even more depressing: Interruptions measurably lower both the quantity and the quality of writing we can do in even a very short period of time (20 minutes).
Finally, interruptions contribute to stress and overwhelm, making us feel conflicted and time-pressured. As we shift our focus between tasks—as when we steal a glance at our email while we are working on a presentation—it increases our perception that we have too much to do in the time that we have to do it.
According to Gloria Mark, who studies interruption at UC Irvine, when we are diverted from one task to another, we can pick up our work pace to make up for lost time, but this increased speed comes at a cost: People who’ve been interrupted report having a greater workload, more stress and frustration, feeling more time pressure, and exerting more effort.
And guess what? This makes a lot of people feel annoyed, anxious, and irritable, as I do. Behavioral scientist Alan Keen believes the stress and overload that comes from constantly being expected to multitask is causing an “epidemic of rage.” Interruption and task switching raises stress hormones and adrenaline, which tends to make us more aggressive and impulsive.
The takeaway: Interruption drains our energy and dampens our performance. The stress, inefficiency, inaccuracy, and time pressure that interruptions create are the very opposite of being in the sweet spot.
Many working parents face high interruption threat this summer, when kids are out of school and hanging around while we try to do our work. Not only that, summer can also bring a shortened work day, as we shuttle our kids to camps that start later and end earlier than school. This only increases time pressure, making it all the more important to be able to focus and work efficiently—WITHOUT INTERRUPTION.
Whether or not you are a working parent, let’s help each other out: How do you maintain your focus at this time of year? How do you minimize interruptions?
|Ways to Push Past Creative Burnout
||How to reignite passion when the flame has burned out? Talking to life/career coaches about burnout.