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Multitasking – Not The Skill You Thought It Was: Why Monotasking Is Superior

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Have you ever watched someone juggle? 

Items effortlessly tossed into the air and from one hand to the next, an unbroken circle of tangibility seemed to float in sequence. Nothing drops, nothing suffers, and the gaze of onlookers also remains unbroken. 

This is the usual picture in our minds when we think of multitasking. Effortless. Unbroken. Sequence. Nothing drops. Nothing suffers. 

Unfortunately, this simply isn’t the case. 

And, why is it that we’ve been conditioned to think otherwise? 

I mean, have you ever tried to actually juggle? It’s no simple task! And, neither is multitasking: in work, with family, or life in general.

In fact, experts are finding that juggling multiple tasks at once simply isn’t the skill we once thought it was. 

Multitasking Vs. Monotasking Explained

In true multitasking, you’re working on more than one task at a time. And, in theory, this seems like a solid method of efficiency. 

Multitasking is often hailed as a great way to make the most of your time. 

And, those who seem to be pros at multitasking once seemed more valuable to employers. 

I mean, if you can make a work call while you’re making dinner, or send out emails while tuning in to a Zoom meeting, why not “kill two birds with one stone,” as the saying goes. 

However, what we often fail to realize, as in this age-old saying, is that something dies in this scenario. 

That’s right, what we’re coming to realize is that dividing our attention isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 

Enter monotasking. 

Monotasking is essentially the opposite of multitasking. 

Instead of juggling multiple tasks at once, monotasking focuses on one task at a time, giving your full attention to a single job, person, or task. 

And, it is this method that is proving most productive! 

Take a look at the following woes associated with multitasking versus the wins of monotasking…

Multitasking Woes

1- Decreases Productivity

A Stanford University study found that those individuals who regularly multitask were far less productive than monotaskers, as such individuals were not able to recall information, focus, or switch to other tasks as efficiently.

2- Impairs Memory

Those who multitask as a way of life are said to have higher levels of cortisol, which is known to damage the portion of the brain associated with memory. 

3- Hinders Performance

Our brains are wired for singular focus. So, when seeking to tackle multiple tasks at once, the brain cannot perform these tasks successfully. 

Regular multitaskers have been found to perform worse than monotaskers as they struggle to filter information and appropriately organize their thoughts. 

One study found that multitasking via smartphone caused the mind to wonder, increasing the likelihood of errors. 

4- Lowers IQ

Research conducted at the University of London found those who multitask cognitive tasks experienced a decline in IQ. 

In fact, this decline was equivalent to IQ dips seen in those smoking marijuana or in individuals who are sleep deprived.

The multitasking men in this particular study were found to experience IQ drops of 15 points or more, putting them in the average IQ range of an 8 year old boy!

5- Damages The Brain

Did you know that multitasking actually damages your brain? Many once thought this damage to be temporary, but new research tells a different story.

MRIs done on the brains of those who are considered high multitaskers showed less brain density in such individuals, particularly in regions of the brain associated with empathy as well as cognitive and emotional control. 

Much of this research is centered around the effects of multitasking through the use of devices, and neuroscientists believe this to be a wake-up call to make us aware of how the overuse of such devices can alter the way we think as well as our actual brain structure.

6- Decreases Self & Social Awareness

Two emotional intelligence skills have been determined to be critical for success at work: self-awareness and social awareness. 

And, as we just saw above, research suggests multitasking can cause damage to the part of the brain associated with both empathy and emotional control, both directly related to emotional intelligence skills. 

7- Reduced Creativity

Both creativity and productivity are said to increase when focusing on a singular task. 

When multitasking, the flow of work is disrupted, hindering creativity. 

Artists, musicians, writers, etc. all report similar findings, claiming that creativity (and productivity) suffers when “the flow of work” is disrupted. 

**It is important to note, if you already struggle with concentration, focus, and organization, multitasking can exacerbate these things, making it all the more crucial for you to avoid this practice. 

Monotasking Wins

1- Reduces Stress

Switching back and forth between multiple tasks puts stress on our brains. We saw in the section above that this process actually prompts the release of cortisol, a hormone released in response to stress. 

Focusing on a single task at once decreases the amount of stress you are putting on your brain. 

Dividing your attention between too many tasks at once can also increase anxiety. 

Making the switch to monotasking can reduce this anxiety, improving both mental and physical health. 

2- Improves Accuracy & Quality

As you seek to focus on only one task at a time, over time your ability to focus actually improves. 

And, while this could be a heading on its own (improved focus), the greater result here is that an improvement in focus leads to a better quality of work. 

The work you do, when focusing on one task at a time, produces more accurate results. 

In fact, research shows that dividing your attention between multiple tasks leads to 50% more errors. 

Monotasking, on the other hand, helps you to increase focus, work harder, and do your best. 

3- Boosts Productivity

Improved accuracy means that your productivity increases as well. 

That’s right, you can actually get more done when monotasking! 

It’s easy to think that getting multiple things done at once means you’ll get more done overall, but studies prove when you focus on one task at a time, you’re able to be more productive. 

4- Increases Attention Span

In this post-Covid life, Apple estimates that its users open their phones up to 150 times per day! 

Why mention this stat in reference to attention span? 

We are continually bombarded with distractions. And, for those who are prone to multitasking, these distractions have become something we live with, something we function inside of

In 2018, it was estimated that the average person only focused for 8 second periods in the office. Four years later, opening phones 150+ times per day, I’d say attention span is something that needs to be put on the endangered list! 

Teachers are reporting an inability of students to focus at an earlier age as well, so this doesn’t concern adults alone. 

To improve our attention span, we’ve got to practice! 

Ditching our multitasking tendencies, and training our bodies to focus on one task at a time (our brains are wired for such focus already), improves focus, and in time can increase attention span. 

Through monotasking, your attention span can be expanded and rebuilt.

5- Improves Relationships

We learned in the section above that recent research suggests a portion of the brain associated with social and emotional control is damaged through multitasking. By seeking to focus on single tasks, you improve this control.

And, as you monotask your time with friends, colleagues, and loved ones, solely focusing on the people you’re with or the activity you’re doing together, you improve these relationships. 

In today’s day and time, who hasn’t felt slighted when with a friend or loved one who pays more attention to their screen than your conversation? 

Monotasking your time with people improves those relationships!  

6- Boost Mood

Believe it or not, monotaskers are happier! 

As you train yourself to focus on one task at a time, you inevitably practice living in the moment.

Monotasking focuses on what is “in the moment.” 

As you live your life seeking to focus singularly on the present moment, you can join the multitudes of people who report being happier as a result of living this way. 

7- Boosts Energy

Multitasking requires your brain to work harder as it processes an onslaught of information coming from all angles. 

Monotasking gives your brain a break, requires less energy expenditure, conserving it for other tasks. 

And, as you complete single tasks in a shorter amount of time, compared to multitasking, you’ll have time and energy to spare.

Tips For Monotasking Success

So, how can you reap the rewards of monotasking?

Here are a few tips to consider as you seek to improve your focus and boost productivity through monotasking: 

  • Since our phones can be a huge distraction, seek to keep your phone away from your workstation or simply turn off notifications while focusing on a specific task. 
  • If you’re working on a computer, close other tabs (including email) when focusing on a single task. 
  • Practice mindfulness, meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to foster a greater ability to focus. 
  • Be honest with yourself about distractions. Identify those things which distract you the most, and find ways to remove such distractions or at least keep them at bay. 
  • Plan a timeframe for each task, and work solely on that task during that time. Essentially, you can practice monotasking. An example, set a timer for 20 minutes and practice focusing on a single task until the time expires. 
  • As you plan, seek to make a list of things you need to do, then divide these into single tasks to accomplish. 
  • Listen to music proven to increase focus and improve concentration. Classical and electronic music as well as white noise have been shown to boost productivity. 
  • Over time you may find that you work best at a certain time of day. Utilize this knowledge and seek to tackle your hardest tasks during this time. 
  • Take breaks. When monotasking, seek to finish a task, then take a break before starting another task. And, if one task is particularly long, plan to work for roughly 30 minutes, then take a short break before returning to that same task. 

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HEALTH

Exploring the Role of the Health Belief Model in Preventative Health Behaviors

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Preventative health behaviors are essential for maintaining overall well-being and preventing the onset of various illnesses and diseases. One model that has been widely used to explain and promote these behaviors is the Health Belief Model (HBM). The HBM is a psychological model that was originally developed in the 1950s by social psychologists Hochbaum, Rosenstock, and Kegels. It aims to explain and predict health behaviors by taking into account individual beliefs and perceptions.

The HBM is based on the premise that individuals are more likely to take action to prevent or control a health issue if they believe that they are susceptible to the issue, that it is severe, that taking action will be beneficial, and that they are capable of taking the necessary steps. These four key elements are known as perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers, respectively.

Perceived susceptibility refers to an individual’s belief about their personal risk of developing a particular health issue. For example, someone who believes that they are at high risk of developing heart disease may be more likely to engage in preventative behaviors such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.

Perceived severity is the individual’s belief about the seriousness of the health issue. If someone believes that the consequences of not taking action to prevent a particular health issue are severe, they may be more motivated to engage in preventative behaviors.

Perceived benefits refer to the individual’s belief that taking action to prevent or control the health issue will be effective in reducing the risk. If someone believes that exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet will help to lower their risk of developing heart disease, they may be more likely to engage in these behaviors.

Perceived barriers are the obstacles that may prevent an individual from taking action to prevent or control a health issue. These barriers may be financial, logistical, or psychological. For example, someone may be deterred from exercising regularly due to a lack of time or access to a gym.

The HBM has been applied to a wide range of preventative health behaviors, including cancer screenings, vaccinations, and healthy lifestyle choices. Research has shown that individuals who have higher levels of perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, and lower levels of barriers are more likely to engage in preventative health behaviors.

Healthcare providers and public health professionals can use the HBM to design interventions and communication strategies that promote preventative health behaviors. By addressing and changing individuals’ beliefs and perceptions, these interventions can help to increase motivation and enable people to take action to protect their health.

In conclusion, the Health Belief Model is a valuable framework for understanding and promoting preventative health behaviors. By considering individuals’ beliefs and perceptions about their health, healthcare providers can design effective interventions that motivate and empower people to take control of their well-being. The HBM plays a crucial role in shaping public health strategies and encouraging individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent the onset of diseases and illnesses.

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How to Perform CPR Fast and Effectively

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(NaturalHealthyNews.com) – EVERYONE HAS SEEN THE tense moments in movies where someone collapses, and someone else dashes to the scene to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

One crucial action, such as retrieving an automated external defibrillator (AED), can make the difference between life and death. This action is typically not given much emphasis.

Follow these life-saving steps immediately:

Step 1: Check the Scene

Check to see if the person is alright by tapping them and asking if there are any chemical spills or downed electrical lines.

Step 2: Check for Breathing

Proceed to the next step immediately if they are not breathing or are only sometimes gasping for air.

Step 3: Call 911 and Grab the AED

Tell anyone close to perform these actions so that you can start CPR. Gordon Tomaselli, M.D., a former president of the American Heart Association, advises skipping the AED and beginning compressions as soon as possible if you have to search for the device that shocks the heart back into rhythm.

Step 4: Start CPR

Use the AED first if it’s nearby: When an AED shock is administered within the first minute of a cardiac arrest, nine out of ten victims survive. Perform chest compressions until aid comes if an AED is not available.

Compressions can increase the chances of survival by two or three times if performed in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest.

How to Do Chest Compressions: Place the heel of one hand in the center of the chest, precisely at the nipple line, while kneeling next to the individual to perform chest compressions.

Put the other one on top of the initial one. Put your fingers together. Locked elbows, apply force quickly. Compress between 100 and 120 times per minute; this is the beat of “Stayin’ Alive.”

Each time, delve two inches deeper.

Step 5: Follow the AED’s Instructions

The AED’s audio instructions walk you through every stage of using it after you turn it on. All you have to do is listen and answer. The instructions will tell you how to position the electrode pads and whether you should click the button to shock someone.

They also recommend restarting CPR if a shock is ineffective.

Step 6: Continue CPR

Hands-only CPR is equally successful in the initial minutes following cardiac arrest in adults and teenagers as it is when combined with rescue breathing.

Continue until your breathing returns, assistance comes, or you cannot continue.

If you are faced with a situation where someone near you requires CPR, follow the step-by-step guide below to potentially save a life.

Copyright 2024. NaturalHealthyNews.com

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HEALTH

Your 4-Week Plan for Better Mental Wellness

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(NaturalHealthyNews.com) – Everything in your day to day and your life is impacted by your mental health. There are other options outside therapy, medication, and even meditation to maximize it.

You can do many little things to improve your mental health, remove obstacles in your path, and achieve your life goals.

Being happy with your mental health does not imply that you never experience terrible days. It means you can handle those days with more extraordinary fortitude and less effort.

And perhaps you can figure out how to prepare yourself for even fewer of them down the road.

This four-week strategy helps you do things differently, think outside the box, overcome obstacles, and feel joy and amazement. In essence, it improves your mental health.

Week 1: Take a Breather

Day 1: Pause for a Minute

Take a moment to ground yourself by noticing 5 things you can see, 4 you can touch, 3 you can hear, 2 you can smell, and 1 you can taste.

Day 2: Focus on Your Breath

Practice 4-7-8 breathing: inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, and exhale for 8. Repeat a few times to relax.

Day 3: Let Your Mind Wander

Sit quietly without distractions, allowing your mind to relax and think positively, boosting creativity and mood.

Day 4: Embrace JOMO

Limit social media use and enjoy the joy of missing out (JOMO). Focus on what matters to you rather than online content.

Day 5: Get Some Rest

Prioritize sleep by setting a bedtime, keeping your room cool, and avoiding screens before bed.

Week 2: Ask a Question a Day

Day 1: What’s Going Well?

Focus on what’s working well to boost positivity and well-being.

Day 2: How Will This Decision Affect Me?

Consider the short-, medium-, and long-term consequences of your decisions to reduce anxiety.

Day 3: How Am I Feeling Right Now, Really?

Identify and understand your genuine emotions without labeling them as good or bad.

Day 4: What’s Possible Today?

Adapt to daily challenges by asking what’s achievable rather than striving for perfection.

Day 5: What Can I Let Go Of?

Identify and start letting go of negative self-talk or unhealthy relationships.

Week 3: Fuel Your Mood with Food

Day 1: Eat a Day’s Worth of Greens in One Meal

Incorporate two cups of leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, into your diet for mental and physical benefits.

Day 2: Sample the Rainbow

Eat various colorful fruits and vegetables to boost optimism and reduce stress.

Day 3: Dive Into Seafood

Include fatty fish like salmon for omega-3s and vitamin D, which support brain health.

Day 4: Shift Your Snacks

Choose nuts like almonds or walnuts to nourish your brain with essential nutrients.

Day 5: Add Friends

Share meals with friends to enhance mental wellness through social connections.

Week 4: Use These Mind Hacks

Day 1: Embrace Uncertainty

Accepting what you can’t control helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Day 2: Plan for Hurdles

Prepare for daily challenges to stay balanced and resilient.

Day 3: Change Your Language

Reframe negative emotions by noting them as feelings rather than defining yourself by them.

Day 4: Balance Your Negativity with Positivity

Counter negative thoughts with positive ones to improve mental well-being.

Day 5: Be Amazed

Experience awe through nature, art, or inspiring talks to boost creativity and mood.

Mental health impacts how we think, behave, and feel. It’s closely tied to physical health, and nearly everyone faces mental health challenges at some point.

This 30-day plan offers simple daily changes to help reduce stress and anxiety, enhancing mental well-being and resilience.

Copyright 2024. NaturalHealthyNews.com

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