The truth about multi-tasking

The truth about multi-tasking

Multitasking has become a new fashion word. It’s praised as the most efficient way of getting things done. But is it?

Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time (Steve Uzzell)

The word multitasking comes from the computer development world and was meant to describe multiple tasks sharing the same resource (the CPU). But this has turned around and is translated today as multiple tasks being done simultaneously by one resource (a person).
This is very misleading as even computer CPUs can only do one piece of code at a time. It just does it so fast, it appears that many tasks are done simultaneously. But it’s just an illusion.

Our society loves the idea of multitasking. You can find it in peoples CV as a great skill and many are proud to be real multitaskers. It’s seen as a great advantage if you can multitask, like driving a car and texting at the same time!

But hold on, that’s not what we meant, right? What do we mean?

Most of us can do multiple things at the same time. We can walk and have a conversation at the same time. We can shave or apply makeup while listening to music on the radio. No problem with that. Where it becomes more difficult is when we try to focus on two things at the same time. That’s when we realize, we can’t. Have you ever spoken to someone who was looking at his phone and you suddenly realized that he stopped listening to you? That happens when the attention was taken by something happening on his phone and he started focusing on it.

The only way we can create the illusion of multitasking is by rapidly switching focus from one thing to another and back. Have you ever tried that? The result will always be a small percentage of the result you could achieve if you fully focus on it.

In the real world and especially in working environments we are constantly bombarded by attention seeking distractions around us. There is the loud conversation in the hall or the ringing phone. Emails are announced via notification systems in regular intervals. It’s really hard today to get some uninterrupted time to focus on one thing. This all becomes even harder if we’re faced with tasks that require our full attention. It’s exhausting. We believe we manage to multitask, but we’re just driving ourselves crazy.

Instead of being proud to be a great multitasker, we should be proud to find ways to fully concentrate on one thing and get it done right. I am sure you’ve heard about good listeners. Why do you think they’re good listeners? Because they focus on you alone and cut everything else out. Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than talking to someone who is constantly looking at his phone, right?

If you’re a person who’s always looking for ways to improve and be the best you can at anything you do, you need to learn to focus on one thing only and to shut everything else out. That’s the skill that should be on your CV:

Able to fully concentrate on the task ahead while shutting out and reducing distractions that would cause a lesser quality of work and result!“.

How does that sound?

Be a focused single tasker and you’ll be the best you can ever be!

In pursuit of happiness

In pursuit of happiness

Over the last 20 years, the idea of being happy has slowly become a real movement. It doesn’t matter in which area of life you look, we have to be happy. I guess because everybody is pursuing it so much that most people must be really unhappy. Unhappy with their work, their partner and themselves.
What has changed over the last 20 years that this subject has become such a magnet?

I’ve heard about many different theories trying to explain this phenomenon, but none really give the answer or explain what we could do about it.
For some happiness is something they have to find and others believe that it is already in us.
If happiness is already in us, it must be based on either something we have done in the past or on something we’re doing right now. If it isn’t in us, it must be something we thrive too, something that requires some action to get where it is. I also heard the theory that happiness is being thankful for what you have, also called gratitude.

Happiness has been identified as a feeling and like any feeling exists only during a very short timespan. Feelings come and go and what some perceive as happiness is for others the exact opposite.
If you dig deeper you’ll find that happiness is a form of relaxed contentment. Being for a moment in a state where nothing really matters, where everything is just alright.
It’s a very positive feeling and I can understand why we’re all trying so hard to repeat these moments.

The only explanation I found that works in all cases is to understand that feelings arise in waves. It’s a basic requirement of nature that for something to exist the opposite must exist too. That means we need to accept the bad things to get to the good things. It also means that everything must move forward. As soon as it stands still the wave can no longer exist and it all collapses to a flat line.

If we look at the different points made here, I can see the following result:

“Gratitude” is what has happened or what we have achieved in the past. It’s meant to ground us, define our current position and our value.
“Happiness in you” is the possibility to create happiness at any given time. For example helping someone in need, being intimate with your partner, flirting, reading or listening to inspiring content, going for a run or doing any other challenging sport. All of this can create instant happiness. It’s usually only for a very short period of time after which gratitude might extend the period for a bit longer.
“Thriving for happiness” is the opportunity to set yourself a desirable goal where the thought of achieving it alone gives you a tint of happiness but also drives you towards it. As you get nearer any negative feeling is perceived as a happy feeling as long as the drive to achieve the goal is strong enough. This works well until you’ve achieved your goal. Again that’s when gratitude comes in to extend that feeling for just a bit longer.

I’ve come to the conclusion that happiness is all of it. Happiness is in us, behind us and in front of us.
If you show gratitude for the things you’ve achieved in the past and are thankful for your current position and if you do things that make you happy at any possible moment while walking towards a desirable and inspiring goal, you create a constant flow of happiness.
They all support each other and if put into daily practice you will generate a much happier life.

It is solemnly on you to be happy in your life.
No need to search, it’s already here.

What do you do to be happy?

Create your Colorful Life Community

Create your Colorful Life Community

So I had this idea! I draw and doodle a lot and have since my youngest was hospitalized in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit because well, that was one of the few creative things I could do.

I love creating my coloring books, to infuse positivity and help you feel good about yourself. This kind of transformation takes time, but coloring does have amazing power:

Not only can it help you to relax your mind when you are feeling stressed and albeit temporarily switch off your brain. But in turn, it connects you to your inner source and boosts your creativity.

Sometimes sitting down unplugging with a coloring page you come up with new and amazing ideas to solve a problem. Or maybe you’ve been doing too much of something and now you need some time to care for yourself.

As it currently stands, I have added over 150 coloring pages and will be adding more within the next coming days. Some that I did during the time my son was hospitalized.

In addition, there will be new coloring pages every month.

But this isn’t just about coloring pages.

There are planners too!

Planners for daily actions, money planners, goal planners and yearly planners, ready for you to print them out and create a plan of action. And more importantly, personalize them with your favorite colors.

So in addition to the coloring pages, I will be adding planners and lists every month.

So you can expect 4-6 new coloring pages and planners every month.

And the crazy cool part is you can get everything in my coloring page and planner library at a very low investment.

So why don’t you head on over to Create your Colorful Life and see what it’s all about and I hope to see you on the inside!

Here’s looking at your pantry

Here’s looking at your pantry

pantryTo make lifestyle changes, I had to relearn everything about the food I once knew. I was raised with the understanding of the required food groups but over the years I forgot, didn’t care and time was of the essence and so I faltered to the way side. When my son was diagnosed with his rare genetic disorder, I began paying attention to food once again.

Did you know that protein is important but perhaps not as important as carbohydrates?  Carbohydrates are critical for our system to save energy and add fiber to our diet., and yes bad carbohydrates lurk in foods and usually processed foods.

Even fat is needed for our bodies but knowing what kind of fat to use can be a struggle.  So, let’s talk about the pyramid and the importance of achieving our daily requirements. – all without giving up some of the fun stuff.

Wait!

You’re right this is not a necessarily about the individual food groups, but perhaps to understand the contents of our cabinet we must understand some of the components of our nutritional requirements. In the journey of finding my health, I had to change the way I eat, and this meant understanding what protein, fat, and carbohydrates do to my body. I can’t expect to find my healthy by eating crappy processed food every day.

What is processed food?

Most processed foods contain nutrition label – fresh food does not! There are exceptions to the rule.

I consider most processed foods that come in boxes and cans as well as a variety of frozen prepared meals. Yes, frozen vegetables are processed too BUT tend to be healthier than the canned variety, unless of course, you can your vegetables yourself.

I shop at a local grocery chain because I cannot afford the organic variety but there are plenty of wash of washing and cleaning the fruits and vegetables before intake. If you can afford organic, go for it.

I am also excited about shopping at the farmer’s market and joining a CSA next spring for the sake of not only shopping local but purchasing fruits and vegetables with fewer chemicals 🙂 Anyway, I still think that shopping at your local grocery store it’s still a viable option.

Go look at your pantry right now, what do you see. Make a list!

What do you notice? How much boxed and canned food do you have? How much fresh food or frozen fruits and vegetables do you have.

A few things to consider:

  1. Try making the choice of purchasing frozen vegetables over canned.
  2. Stay away from boxed and canned foods and frozen meal options.
  3. Reduce the amount of junk food your purchase – look for yogurt, hummus, fruit, and vegetables as an option.
  4. Sit down and research the internet for recipes that are either quick to cook or make the use of the crockpot. Look up freezer meals.
  5. Create a calendar and decide what meals you will have when – make sure you are using a variety of food!
  6. Make a list of items you will need to make your meal plan happen. Don’t forget to calculate in breakfast and snacks – try to stay away from chips and other types of junk food.
  7. Stick to your list and meal plan.

A few things you may notice:

  1. You are spending less money.
  2. Less overwhelm of trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.
  3. Feeling better about your food choices.
  4. Possible weight-loss – I can’t guarantee this … but it could happen because you are putting less crap in your body.
  5. A rise in energy and overall genuine good feeling are also possible.

So, off you go – explore your pantry and make a choice of finding your healthy with better options than before 🙂

13 Grocery Shopping Tips

 

Groceries are one of the biggest expenses and when you are trying to eat well and healthy can really make you think it’s killing your budget. But there luckily, there are some tips and tricks you can do to help you ensure that you are eating well and nurturing your body.

13 Grocery Shopping Tips

  1. PBefore your grocery shopping plan your menu for the week/month. I tend to plan our dinners for 14/15 days at a time as it coincides with the bill paying schedule. This way you have a list which brings us to point 2!
  2. Always have a shopping list – using our meal plan to help you create your list and your staples … you know things you will always need such as milk, bread or toilet paper!
  3. It’s always a bad idea to go shopping when you are hungry because you will be tempted to buy junk and unhealthy foods. Most importantly you will most likely spend more!
  4. When you have a meal plan and a list you will also benefit from a budget! Know how much you can spend and stick to it!
  5. Purchase items in bulk only when it makes complete sense and you can save money! Some bulk purchases make you believe you are saving when you are not
  6. We all know fresh vegetables are totally the best but when you are living on a budget go with frozen veggies! They don’t go bad and do maintain nutritional values!
  7. Meat is a little bit overrated! Meat is also expensive and there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a meatless meal. It gives you (and your body) some great variety instead of the same old food … it also gets you thinking about your meals!
  8. If you are not already packing your lunches, you should. Buying pre-made sandwiches is a waste of money and eating fast food is bad for your health. Packing your lunch is simple, easy, healthy and cheaper!
  9. Did you know that store brands are often named brands in disguise? When you are buying name brand, you are paying for advertising! What a silly thing to do… most often there really is no difference (I read the labels to double check!)
  10. Shopping at “rush hour” time is totally the worst time of day to shop. Other ways to avoid if you can paydays and days that are right around a holiday!
  11. Pay attention to your grocer’s schedule of when they are stocking the fresh food (fruits, veggies). Plan your shopping day around those times!
  12. Stay away from junk food! It’s expensive and will make you break your budget and adds no value to your diet. Seriously, eat fruits and vegetables instead!
  13. Store Savings and coupons – do use them! Over time they do bring you savings.

Looking for Budget Planners?

Menu Planning

Its been for awhile now that we had struggled with putting decent meal on the table due to either lack of funding or lack of planning. I highly recommend planning your menus for at least a week. We started this process in October. I planned the meals out for 2 weeks to coordinate with payday. On payday I went shopping and for $135.00 dollars we had dinner for 14 days!

This months we planned for the entire month but only bought three weeks worth of food for $167.00. Some of the items we will be cooking we have a little extra to freeze for a future date as we are all terrible about leftovers so-to-speak.

This weeks menu

Saturday ~ Pulled Pork BBQ with Cole Slaw and smiley face potato/fries
Sunday ~ Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies
Monday ~ Spaghetti with Meat sauce
Tuesday ~ Fish, Rice and Veggies
Wednesday ~ Taco Night
Thursday ~ Mac & Cheese, Hot Dogs, Baked Beans and Veggies
Friday ~ Hamburgers, Baked Potato, Veggies

I realize that this is not from scratch cooking and some nights are specifically meals that I won’t eat but since I am working – I won’t be here and the “guys” can just enjoy what they would like.

I can tell you that the pulled pork was absolutely amazing. The pork roast had been cooking all day in the crock pot and the last two hours added the BBQ sauce – made the cole slaw dressing and mixed it with the slaw – and OMG to die for.

Tomorrow’s meatloaf is also going to be pretty good – but maybe not quite as good as the BBQ today. The best past is that we had BBQ Pork left over for 2 more meals – winning!!

I love that some of them are quick meals to fit into our schedule – that some meals I can start in the morning (crock pot) and they’ll have dinner with little work – and that in some instances my kids know exactly what is on the menu and I don’t have to tell them “I don’t know!”.