Personal development

Multitasking- a threat or an opportunity?

  1. Introduction
  2. What is multitasking?
  3. What are the threats of multitasking
  4. Is it also an opportunity?
  5. Conclusion

Introduction

I have been searching for work for a while now, and I have realized this one expectation that many recruiters have, they want someone who is effective at multitasking. I have lived in a belief that multitasking is a myth and wrote on LinkedIn, that I feel like multitasking isn’t a good expectation to have. Many people agreed with me, yet many didn’t and this is why I decided to dive deeper into the whole multitasking world. What is multitasking? Is multitasking a threat or an opportunity?

What is multitasking?

Multitasking when speaking about humans, is when we do many things at the same time. This could be cooking, trying to take care of your kids and answering an email or what ever your life forces you to do.

What are the threats of multitasking?

Despite being well meaning, multiple studies have noted that multitasking can hinder ones productivity and isn’t actually as effective as expected. Some studies like 2009 Standford Univeristy study by Clifford Nass shows that multitaskers were actually less organized. It was harder for them to see the crucial details compared to non crucial ones. Another study (Bryan College) found that peoples productivity suffered from trying to multitask costing up to $450 million per year.

The issue with the concept of multitasking, is that people believe that they are actually doing more than one task at the same time, which isn’t possible. The brain needs to switch from task to task which requires quite a lot of effort. Mostly this is an issue if you are working on something hard. Since as we know certain things we can do at the same time, talk and walk, breath and move our hands etc.

The benefit or negative impact that multitasking has on productivity is subjective and depended on the task at hand

Rachel Gauthier

The issue comes when we try to force our brain to do many difficult things at once. “Multitasking can hurt efficiency for couple reasons: It takes time to switch between gears, and the process of switching ‘working sets’ of information can lead to errors and mistakes. Being efficient at multitasking really means trying to make those costs as small as possible”. Bob Schafer, VP of research at Lumosity states.

Bryan Collage study also has noticed millennials changing platform to platform up to 27 times per hour. There has been proof of even IQ lessening by 15 points during cognitive tasks and even emotional intelligence and brain density suffering. This for me is at least not surprising. I recognize the need to check one thing then think of another and so on.

Multitasking at a café
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash and Quote from Times article

Now some argued in my comment section on LinkedIn that there is no such things as concentrating on one thing 100% and that certain jobs like working at a café or bar could require you to multitask. And this is true, however, I would also argue that is the more different task one person has to keep track of at once the more mistakes there will be. For example: a barista has to make a cocktail for 10 people they would have way more risks in making a mistake than if they only have to serve 3 people. Also making 10 cocktails that are all the same will be way easier than to to make 10 different ones. On top of all this if you know the cocktails well its easier to do it as if automatically, rather than something you have never done before. Same thing in a café while making lattes. Or being a baker and waiting for the batter to rise while you decorate the cake. There is a reason why we have alarms and reminders set. So we actually remember to do things we are “doing” at the same time.

The neuroscience has proven over and over again that we thrive of doing one thing at a time. Only 2.5% of people can multitask effectively. Not only is multitasking mentally exhausting it could be potentially life threatening (e.g. texting and driving). While multitasking we lose out attentiveness, we hinder our learning and we lose our mindfulness.

Remember this the next time you’re tackling two tough tasks simultaneously.

 CYNTHIA KUBU AND ANDRE MACHADO 

Is multitasking all bad?

This is a matter of perception. What do we count as multitasking? For example is taking notes and listening to a lecture a task or two? We can apparently form tasks better if we thing we are multitasking, because we make more effort to not make mistakes. Those who see taking notes and listening as one easy task, don’t do as well on it.

While this idea doesn’t take away the countless research done before on the negative effects of multitasking (the actual one where we try to do too many difficult tasks at once) it does show that the idea of multitasking can be motivating. And I actually have seen this in myself too. I love the idea of being efficient and for someone reason we live in a society that has romanticized multitasking.

In conclusion

So? Multitasking- a threat or an opportunity?

Unless a task is automatic, like breathing and driving a car or walking and talking, it most likely will cost us in our productivity if we try to force it to work with other tasks. This is why at least for me, if I drive somewhere unknown and I need to see where to make a left turn, I will stop talking (but not breathing). If someone asks me to write an essay and give a speech at the same time, I won’t be able to do it.

I will however be able to make meeting notes while listening to the meeting. I will be able to write myself a reminder to do some other task after I’ve completed the one at hand. I’ll be able to answer a question while doing something …kinda, technically I will have to stop the task at hand and answer the question and get back to it. (See, multitasking seems to be a myth)

I would argue that word multitasking is just wrong for what we try to explain with it. We need to come up with another word to explain that we can do many things intertwined with each other, and the more they are similar to one another the better.

Recruiters, I hope that by multitasking you mean the capacity to write a post-it note for a task that you need to do right after you written an email to someone. Because in that case, I also am great at multitasking! It better not be the idea that someone can write two emails and have a phone call at the same time. Cos then, sorry but our paths don’t cross, and honestly that’s sad cos I do love working hard and I would be a great addition to your team.

You do you boo

If you think you can multitask and you honestly feel you need to in order to be happy, successful, etc. Be my guest, and if you actually are a great multitasker, I am just a little bit envious of you. But if everyone who reads this says they are… then I’ll call bs, cos 2.5% of the population isn’t much…

As always thanks for reading! Hope you liked this post. It was slightly different than what I usually write. Don’t hesitate to comment!

Here is a link to a post about things you should stop right now….multitasking should be on the list 😉

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Lessons in life, Personal development, Reading and Books

What is the science of success?

Success seems to be this elusive, unidentified object that is always a little bit out of reach. You keep on running and all the time they change the place of the goal. Just when you think your are on the finish line some asshole just erases it and draws a new one.

New exam, new competition, new goal, new limit to what counts as financially successful! This is so frustrating, here you are ripping your hair out, because nothing you do seems to be enough. And the simple answer is…. it isn’t and it NEVER will be. Because, if you ask others what your success should be, they will always answer how they think their success should be, or what they have been told, their success should be. So number one goal, for YOUR success, is to figure out what it is for you.

Quote by Bo Bennett

Why I 100% believe that success is very subjective I do think there are certain things that all successful people, who also feel like they are successful, emulate.I have watched a lot of interviews of successful people and most of them have this recipe for success;

  1. Over come obstacles and push yourself to be better
  2. Be passionate about something to the point it is almost an obsession
  3. Help others
  4. Have fun with it
  5. Constantly grow and know thy self.

The Entrepreneur has a similar list to this. It goes like this:

  1. Create often
  2. Understand self
  3. Have fun
  4. Suspend judgments
  5. Seek challenges
  6. Pursue meaning
  7. Make change work for you
  8. Develop resilience
  9. Constantly improve

Why are these things that make people generally happy and successful? I would see this as the affects of the Hierarchy of Needs that Maslow has coined in a paper he wrote in 1943.

The hierarchy goes in a shape of a pyramid, having the most basic needs for survival on the bottom, as a foundation and getting more into the details of human fulfillment as we go up to the point of the pyramid.

The construction is as follows(from bottom to the top):

  1. Physiological needs: food, water, warmth, rest etc
  2. Safety needs: Security and safety
  3. Belonging and love: intimate relationships, friends
  4. Esteem needs: Prestige and feeling of accomplishment
  5. Self actualization: achieving ones’s full potential, including creative activities

What is my point with this? We often try to skip ahead on this pyramid. Obviously biologically we must take into account our need for food and safety, but what about love? Friends? Quite often when we speak of people who are monetarily successful, we hear of their break ups, hard marriages and so on. Often we are ready to compromise our relationships for money, and that in the end is what makes us ultimately fail. I also believe that we forget how much we love effort. Not too much effort. But just enough that we can feel proud in our achievements. This is why often someone who what the lottery and has nothing to do except burn money will find themselves depressed. They aren’t actualizing themselves.

Other peoples idea of success:

I asked on my LinkedIn couple of days ago, what is success to others. A lot of people said that helping others brings them the most joy. Of course doing things that are fun and well also having monetary success came through. This all in my opinion ties in quite nicely with this idea of hierarchy of needs. We want to help others, because it gives us the feeling of belonging and love, it helps give others security. We need the money in order to take care of Physiological needs, but it also often shows directly how much effort we have put into our work. A lot of answers to my positive surprise did realize that this money as a measure of success in the end isn’t that valuable.

My idea of success

I see success as over coming hardships and figuring things out. Living a life full of experiences and being surrounded by people that I love and care about. It is definitely full of laughter and sparks of inspiration. (This is why I write the blog) But there is still a lot of answers regarding success that I am missing. I am not quite sure yet what else I want to do apart writing my blog, if we think as a job. I mean blogging could be my job, I am not sure if that is all I want to do. I do want to help people and I want to have a job that no day is alike and that I keep growing and evolving. I know however that I get closer to fining out my version of success, and in the mean while I enjoy the ride. After all my success right now, isn’t the same as in 20 years. And that is OK to. Dreams, plans and you change with time, why wouldn’t your ideal version off success change too?

Want to read more posts relating to success? Read the post about #CHANGE, 5 Simple habits for guaranteed success , and this one on the mindset of success!

Personal development, Reading and Books

Why wait for tragedy? Change now!

We live in a society that has it all! Information at our fingertips on your phones, libraries with books from the floor to the ceiling. We have internet to contact our mentors, either through books or perhaps if you are daring enough by sending them a message on LinkedIn.

Waiting for a tragedy to wake up

For some reason we decide to change the most the next week, or the next year. And quite often when something bad happens like losing a parents or getting into an accident. The shock of the tragedy just wakes us up, and we get moving. But do we actually need to wait for the New Year? Or that car crash? Of course not. The best thing for us, is to commit to making our lives the best we can today. Just because we actually deserve to be happy.

I’ve written on this subject before. But I wanted to get more into depth on this. Instead of just telling you to try something new and to write down your goals, let’s get really really deep on this! Brain and psychology deep? Sound interesting? Let’s go!

The science and Moran Cerf

Moran Cerf is a bank robber/hacker (it was an actually paid job, not criminal behavior I promise) turned neuroscientist. He has done major research on how the brain works and how to change behavior. He is also well into the research of dreams and so much more. I have seen his amazing interview on Tom Bilyeu’s show as well as his speech on training the brain. Both of those were extremely informative. If you want more data, see his own speech and if you need more info on how to make changes yourself, watch the interview with Tom.

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Here are some facts. The easiest most active way we can change our habits, are by activating your brain during the sleep, long sleep to be more specific. What this looks like, that right at the right moment, you will either use smells, words or the like, to make the brain file away information in a certain way. For example, if you want to stop smoking; someone would sprits nicotine into your brain, and right after that something that smells horrid. Your brain will make a connection right away, that smoking is bad, after a while of doing this, the result stays. You can affect your brain in other ways too, nutrition, medications, exercise and so much more.

My idea

There are other studies that show that you are more likely to remember things with high emotions attached to them. Anger, sadness happiness etc. this brings me to a theory, that I haven’t checked and I am not sure if anyone else has, but we will see if it works for us! So as I want myself to learn more and study more on various different subjects, I will use studying as an example, but you can chose what ever you want to change in your life. I am using positive things to change my attitude to studying but if you want to stop doing something you can use a negative enforcer. Ok? Let’s go!

Right before you start studying for something (or doing sports etc) watch something that will lift your spirits, a good comedian, a strip of Tom and Jerry cartoon if you a re a kid at heart like me, anything along those lines. Right after that start studying. Try to think of funny ways of remembering the things your are studying. (e.g Never Eat Soggy Waffles = North, East, South, West) Once you are about to go to sleep, try to read through these fun notes you have made yourself (or listen to them if you made them in an audio version) Once you have done all of this try tho get yourself into a very happy mood. I suggest not really watching or reading anything new, but just elevate your emotions. Then go to sleep.

Now I have again now studies on how this will work. But based on the studies done on how memories are formed and how mood affects those memories, I think it is safe to assume your are more likely to remember those things. Like I said I want to get a positive connotation to studying in my brain that why I use humor and joy to remember those things, if you want to stop eating certain foods, I guess banging your leg against the corner of a table could work… or going to eat that food next to the trash… I mean depending on how desperate you are to change a habit, you will do a lot for it right?

My idea is this, that while you get yourself into a better mood while you study (or do other things you normally wouldn’t want to do) you are able to remember things better but ALSO able to trick your brain into actually liking the process of studying or doing sports etc. Two flies with one hit.

Your turn!

What I would love for all of you lovely readers to do is, test this theory (actually properly not just once half assed) and tell me how it went. What worked what didn’t and why do you think it didn’t? I will be doing this myself as well!

Can’t wait to hear from you guys, as always thanks for reading and I appreciate any feedback I get! I am going to link more resources below so you can learn about changing yourself, without having to wait for a tragedy to strike! Happy learning! Happy autumn everyone!

Resources for further learning:

Psychology of invention, How hobbies can boost productivity and creativity, Neuroscience; rewiring the brain

(Would you like me to react on these articles? Maybe give my own advice that is more catered into our “normal” lives? If so, leave a comment down below )

Lessons in life, Personal development

How to have great conversations?

You might be thinking; you are a personal development blogger. How does this relate.?Everyone can talk. First things first; no, not everyone knows how to talk effectively. And secondly, if you want to learn more, become successful or connect with people you MUST know how to effectively communicate with others. Also in this society where shock value of a conversation is way more important than actually getting forward with topics that might have multiple view; I feel it is essential to learn how to communicate effectively and to learn from one another!

Let’s define terms

What does a conversation mean. A dictionary definition is: ” a talk, especially an informal one, between two or more people, in which news and ideas are exchanged.” How would I define a great conversations? A great conversation, is where both participants get a voice, both state their opinions/experiences and are able to; despite potentially disagreeing with other, be civil. In a great conversation, even if it ends with people “agreeing to disagreeing”, both participants feel listened and respected. This conversation, despite it being emotional, political or tied to ones identity, remains civil and no slurs, raising of the voice or argument( heated one) is anywhere to be seen.

Very short a sweet things to consider when having a conversation;

  1. How emotionally stable am I right now, to have this conversation?
  2. Do I actually have the facts, to base my opinions on?
  3. Am I capable of being an adult in this situation, since I am so emotionally invested in the topic?
  4. If I know someone wants to criticize me, can I without referring to childish ways of “You started it”, have it or should I ask them to come back to the topic later?
  5. This is the right time, place and am I in the right mindset right now, to start this conversation.

Very great change starts from very small conversations held among people who care

Margaret J. Wheatley

Here are the 5 short tips in a longer form:

1. Don’t yell/cry/ have a tantrum

You want to seems intelligent and level headed. This doesn’t mean you can’t show feelings, just make sure that those feelings don’t come out as a protection mechanism. It often does goes like this to me, and trust me when I say that it has never helped me to get my point across… other way around. I am extremely emotional. And often I start crying if I am angry/frustrated. This just makes me seem younger and not as mature in the conversation, meaning that even the points that are valid, that I would make are disregarded… because I am crying.

2. Do not make statements that sound like you know what you are talking about, but are actually bs.

For example; “billions of women are mistreated everyday. I read about it just yesterday”. A) If you read about something yesterday, you probably remember the source. B) Unless the number is actually billion(s) you shouldn’t use that word for shock value. Stay to the facts, or make sure to make clear that that point is your understanding of the situation, not 100% fact.

3. Don’t get personal with someone just because you feel strongly about the subject.

If someone is being sexist, you should say things like “Well you were probably abused as a kid, and this is why you are being so fucked up right now.” There is no reason to assume that, and just because someone’s opinion hurts you, doesn’t mean you should hurt them back. Most of the time it is more healthy to rather not have a conversation with someone than to become verbally abusive in the situation. Even if the person is actually wrong in that case.

A conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue, that’s why there are so few conversations; due to scarcity, two intelligent talkers seldom meet.”

Truman Capote

4. If someone is giving you criticism, responding back with criticism.

It is selfish, childish and it won’t take the conversation forward. There are two ways to react to criticism. 1) Note that this sound actually truthful and you should probably take this into consideration. If this thing you are criticized for hurts others, apologize. 2) Realize this doesn’t apply to you and try to explain why you disagree. If you can’t come up with an understanding, let the conversation die out and live your life

5.When starting a conversation doing it in an attacking kind of way.

We all know with extremes that it is probably not the greatest time to break up with someone if their parent just died. You shouldn’t point out someone’s problems when they are down. Having a conversation, especially where you are planning on criticizing someone, is important that you do it, when they are in a receptive mode. (This doesn’t mean you should break up with someone on their b-day or something like that either….)

If some topics interest you, say racism, feminism, religion etc etc. You should research before trying to have a debate/conversation with someone. If this conversation is totally spontaneous, explain your points clearly, or if you notice that you can’t verbalize yourself in a way you want to. Tell that to the other person. There is no shame, in saying that you don’t feel comfortable talking about something due to lack of knowledge or because you are uncomfortable.

So shortly;

Don’t be too emotional, don’t get on a high horse, don’t be a bitch, don’t get defensive and don’t attack. It is very simple… very very simple. And people seem to just decide to muck it all up, because of feelings and because of EGO….. Also I am noooooot on a high horse right now. I have made pretty much every single one of these mistakes in some type of fashion.

Here are some great resources in order to be more educated, be a better communicator and also just how to keep a conversation up, so that it doesn’t become awkward. I will also link some posts on similar topics written by me 🙂

Ted Talk – Celeste Headlee: How to have a good conversation

Practical Psychology on YouTube. They have a great vault of new ideas, information and tips and trick, not only for communicating more “fluently” but also to just learn more things and having more interesting topics to discuss.

How to not be that polarizing in conversations

Charisma on Command : I must admit, I have binge watched these videos more than on one occasion. He has a great way to analyze a persons actions (positive and negative) and show through very clear example of how to command respect, how to be funny and how to despite not always being correct, being able to have a proper and respectful conversation. If you want to become a public speaker, a good writer or a likable person in general, you should totally check this channel out !

Now to the posts I have written that I think you will benefit from: Not everyone listens; do you? , Learning and age, 10 simple things I do for a positivity boost

As always thank you for reading. Please don’t hesitate to comment and let’s start conversations.

Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development

5 Ways to combat laziness

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired

-Jules Renard

1st some science: Science shows that there are people who are more likely to be lazy and those who are less likely and it is a lot to do with our genes. So there is such a thing as “couch potato gene”. Essentially what it does makes us have fewer dopamine receptors, that means that we aren’t going to be awarded as easily for the activities we do by our brains. (And while this is usually related with sports, it is just as accurate with other daily tasks) And really we don’t have many idiots who do things without awards. So when does this become a problem?

Video by AsapSCIENCE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gd7wAithl7Ii

When is laziness a problem? 

It becomes a problem when instead of living your life you just exist. At least for me, that is an issue. I have realized that I am bored with life. I just go through the motions. I go to school see my friends once in a while and other than that I just watch YouTube. Don’t get me wrong. Having a pause and go through social media is great, sometimes. It can’t be your life. And really, you watching dog videos or insta pics is something that makes our brains even lazier. Why should you do anything when you get a dopamine hit right from the comfort of your bed. And this is how the vicious cycle starts. So what to do?

What are my 5 tips?

  1. Force yourself to do more things. Put yourself into projects and situations from which you can’t back out of easily. I am doing to projects now where there is quite a bit on my shoulders and me backing out of them would just seem pathetic. Of course, if it would be a life or death thing, it’d be different. I wouldn’t go there if I’d be in a car crash. BUT I am not comfortable just letting them hear an excuse, you know?
  2. This is related to the last tip but: Add things to your calendar so you just don’t have time to lazy around for 5 hours. Look it’s easier to be lazy when you have only like 4 lessons a week and you seem to have so much free time. But what if you work, have a couple of extra projects and then also some of your own goals? This is not to say that you should work yourself to death. But when you don’t have too much extra time you are forced to organize your time. There is no; “I’ll do this later” because you literally don’t have any time later. Or you don’t want to risk it in case of something coming up. And I mean I am sure all of us also want to see our friends right?
  3. Do not sleep in. I know half of you hate me right now because you love to sleep and the other half because you have heard this so many times. But at least for me if I sleep more than 7 -8 hours I feel very sluggish. And sometimes it’s fine. But if you want to stop being lazy becoming sluggish and having a heavy head is not doing you any favors. Most people are at their best when they sleep 6 to 8 hours (depends on your age) and this is something I have found to be true.
  4. If you, however, sleep in, start your day slow, that doesn’t mean all your hope is gone and you have an excuse to be lazy all day. (Sorry old me and anyone who uses this as an excuse) Look just this weekend both days I slept in. I gave myself permission, to be honest, because I have been a bit sick and don’t want to make it worse and after sleeping in I got this sluggish feeling like I often do. Saturday I only started working after 4pm. I went for a walk before that and took a cool shower to wake me up. Then I just got paper and wrote the things that are on the top of my head (those things usually are the ones that bother you the most thus very likely to be a high priority) I didn’t do all on that list but I can honestly say I was productive for at least 4 hours. And that is way more than nothing  I could have done because I didn’t wake up at 5 like I would have liked to)
  5. If you don’t do the little things don’t expect yourself to have the energy to do the big things. If you are too lazy to brush your teeth, wash your face, make your bed, get dressed properly; why the f*** would you have the energy to finish a project or go for a run? All the small things count. You give yourself momentum when you finish the small tasks. And if you start your day by choosing that those things aren’t important why would anything else be? Just be a smelly blob for a day and wonder why you can’t make yourself do anything… I’ve been there and done that and you know what. It isn’t a very positive space to be in. This is why so many highly efficient people are obsessed with routines. If they can finish up a good routine be it in the morning, gym or evening. It builds momentum for the day or the next day.

Bonus tip:  Do not burn yourself up. I don’t want you to faint one day and say it was because I told you to keep yourself so busy you can’t ever be lazy, because that is not my goal at all. Quite frankly once I have perfected my calendar I want to cross out Sunday totally and make it just a funday. It doesn’t matter if it’s for friends or for me to just be in bed and watch a movie. The main point is just for it to be free for whatever I want it to be. Also, this isn’t the only day you have a right to be lazy or to have fun. If your steps for your goals have been met on a Monday by say 4pm you have a right to go out with friends or whatever you want. Don’t have to form an army routine. BUT at first, an army routine might be helpful so that the “couch potato gene” doesn’t get you.

Thanks for reading and good luck with battling laziness!

More posts by me: 

5 things I’ve learned while trying to change my life

Stars sentenced to death

-Alisa

Personal development

Are you addicted to internet? I am

While researching this topic  I found an article written by Billi Gordon: “How social media is harmful to your brain and relationships”.  (PsychologyToday)

The phrase that stood out the most was  “Right place, wrong brain” What he meant by this, is that our brain isn’t up to date with the new technology. Our brain still lives in the society where we have to be afraid of bears and wolves. Our brain really needs an update, but it seems our brain evolves very slowly, last change has been about 6 000 (Correct me if I am wrong) years ago, and major changes were probably 10 000 years ago if not more.

According to Gordon’s article, there have been negative impacts to our health from overuse of the internet. Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) in our brain, that monitors our social needs, doesn’t see the difference between social behavior online and in real life. This means that we get as much dopamine, the feel-good hormone, from a successful picture post to Instagram as we would if we would have an actual conversation with a person.

This also means if we don’t get “enough” likes our pleasure hormone levels go into deficits. This experience could be compared to being banished from a tribe for our ancestors, as Gordon states. The problem with VTA in regards to social media is that is can’t control its reactions. It is too primitive.

Social media encounters are seen as a threat by our brain, and internet trolls and death threats aren’t helping our brain with that. These experiences are stored in the hippocampus that works as the memory center in our brain.  It then compares what it sees on the outside with the information that it has already obtained. Technically every time we are on social media, we are reinforcing some sort of a version of the reality into our hippocampus, whether it’s negative or positive.

Due to the perceived threat, our Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal axis initiates the stress response. The same as in the old times would have made us run from wild animals. The issue with is is that stress in small doses is perfectly normal, healthy even. But stress on the daily, many times a day can lead to elevated blood pressure, which is meant to help us in a fight or flight situation.

Too much stress can lead to cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance, diabetes, and obesity plus many other health issues, whether physical or mental. Stress makes us reactive, as we stop thinking logically and think with the animal part of the brain “Survive now, ask questions later” as Gordon put in his article.

It also makes us more awkward in actual social situations, online we are way more comfortable just saying what we think and being ourselves (or assholes sometimes). A YouTube video by Asapscience mentioned 5 ways that social media is changing our brains and behavior. First of all due to the fast dopamine release when we use social media 5-10% of internet users are not fully in control of when they use it. Have you sometimes noticed that you reach for your phone because you swear you heard a bling or it “vibrated”? This phenomenon is called Phantom vibration syndrome and it is fairly new, but the idea of it is terrifying. Can you imagine, that your brain is so addicted to the social media, it will imagine a sound just to get to check it again?

Dopamine releases are so addictive, that actual brain scans reveal that people with drug addiction have similar impairment in their brains as internet addicts.

What else are we all addicted to? Talking about ourselves, in a normal face to face conversation we talk about ourselves 30-40% but online it is up to 80%. And imagine how much dopamine is released when you are celebrated by hundreds of people? Or how horrible it feels if no one likes that one super cute picture of you?

Social media is giving us the same dopamine boosts as love, motivation, and orgasms give. Imagine the generation that would rather just sit on the computer than find love or have the satisfaction of finishing a demanding task. Or that likes to pretend that we achieved something just because the picture of our dog got up to 100 likes (or more, if you are really famous online), oh wait that generation sounds a bit like the current one… oh shit…

What is the harm in being addicted to social media/internet?  Spending hours in front of the computer for work, plus social media? Not going out with real friends because Friends are airing their 6000000th episode? (Or you have to watch all the previous ones) Not being satisfied with anything because it doesn’t happen in 1.5 seconds? All of these things are going to affect your life and how fulfilled you feel in it. I have often felt and still feel like I am unmotivated and “shit” at something because it doesn’t happen fast enough. Or I start looking at social media or my email in the morning and I feel like I don’t even want to get up because that girl is so pretty and I am not and also I have to answer to 5 emails.

Schedule social media and emails in, if you lose people with taking care of yourself? Well, then those people weren’t supposed to follow or be your friends anyway. Adios to them!

It has been a while since I have written, how this post makes up for it a bit. I should be back with full vengeance again. Please tell me what you thought about this blog and what you would like to learn next. Until next time 

– Alisa
Sources:

Social Media Is Harmful to Your Brain and Relationships, Billi Gordon, Ph.D. 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/obesely-speaking/201710/social-media-is-harmful-your-brain-and-relationships)

5 Crazy ways Social Media is changing your brain right now, AsapScience, Youtube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HffWFd_6bJ0

Is the human brain still evolving?

https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/human-brain/brain-evolution1.htm

 

 

 

Health, Lessons in life

Everything wrong with school (My POV)

Education is great, teaching all the subjects that our society is prepared to teach kids (if you are born at a right time, to the right family with a right financial situation in the right country…) But there are many problems within teaching itself.  I would like to remind everyone reading that these issues I mention are purely my own experience and something I have noticed with friends or for example from YouTube videos.

One amazing YouTube video that is going to introduce you the issues with today’s schools, is this talk/rap by Prince EA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqTTojTija8 (The video state that Finland’s educational system is so ahead, and that may be the case, but it has been going down quite  a lot and even when it has been at its best it has had some issues. This coming from a Finnish student.)

So, what do I think that are the issues with schools; standardized tests, having a school class that looks the same as 150 years before, teachers not paid enough? What else?

We aren’t taught how to write good notes when we are young. Now, of course, everyone has their own way of making notes the best of the best for them. But while a lot of teachers assume we write notes for their classes no one teaches how to take them. This is not only something I find extremely frustrating. Sometimes teachers do lectures so very fast but never has bothered to explain how to make concise, smart notes that make sense after the lecture as well.

And people not knowing how to write good notes is very easy to notice on all the study tumblers, note taking videos on YouTube and so on. Students want answers, and who is better to push them in the right direction than schools and teachers who should know the most effective ways, right?

Science is against the way schools are now… but still, nothing changes? School starts early when science has proved that not everyone’s brain is functioning up to par in the mornings. Many very influential writers have a totally different schedule, they write when they are the most effective. Yet students are forced to wake up early and study very late.

Some lectures can last up to 3 hours if not more, sometimes pushing through with no breaks, so we get home earlier, but again studies indicate that people can’t concentrate more than 45 minutes at a time and that is on a good day.

Science proves chewing gum, doodling and fiddling with something during studying/listening can help concentrate, yet many teachers and parents tell the kids to stop being restless and “misbehaved”.

Speaking of being restless. If we go back to when I was in preschool or during my first years of “real” school, things weren’t that much better. We were assumed to sit through a class and concentrate, listen to the teacher and answer questions and not really get any reward for it per se.

Now let’s think about this realistically. Tell someone who can sit calmly and concentrate when they are under 10? When older than 10 years old’s have issues too. And WHY would we even make students study like this? I mean again studies prove that the brain goes into a standby mode when we are sitting for a long time and that is when the mind starts to wander or daydream. I am not saying that students shouldn’t learn how to concentrate for more than 5 minutes at a time. But the kid’s age should be considered and making studying active rather than passive, would probably help students learn more anyway.

So, not only do we take away the excitement from learning by making too many rules, but we also make those students learn less because physical movement literally helps walk the information into the brain.

Making us compete for a grade, instead of making us learn information. An A* or 5/5 if you study where I do, doesn’t mean anything, if after the exam you remember nothing. What if that same test would be held a couple of weeks later again, would we have anyone getting A’s then? Studying isn’t about the grade. It is about processing the information, making it part of us for the long-term and then, in a couple of weeks when we are taught something new, we get the moment of the light bulb going BLING – “This is relating to that thing A we learned 2 weeks ago.” This is what learning is about. Not if you know how to answer to A, B, C questions correctly after you learned your textbook by heart.

And one might argue that it is on the students to learn for themselves, and partly that is the case, but I would argue that the way we are taught, and the way society makes letters and numbers and GPA’s such a big deal, we are making studying off-putting. It makes students judge themselves by a number or a grade instead of how much they worked and how many BLING moments they had. And I can say that those BLING moments are satisfying af.

Look education is a right that every child is supposed to have, but not at the price of their identity. The right doesn’t include them feeling like shit because they aren’t as good as the math geek (total respect to that math geek) in their class and because the way they understand sciences isn’t the conventional way. All great breakthroughs in science, biology and even art were made by people who had the audacity to look outside the box. Einstein is told to have been quite bad at school, but he is one of the most known scientists in the world.

Changing the way schools are isn’t easy. But maybe we should start actually asking what do the students need. Even a simple question like, what did I miss when I was a student, is a great start. It would improve our student’s mental health a lot too. Making them see that their opinions matter.

In my humble opinion schools need to teach students to think for themselves. Not teach them to read everything by heart from the book. But make them analyze different information and come to a conclusion. Like playing Sherlock Holmes.  That is only the start though.

What do you guys think? What should we do to improve the schooling system, or do you think that I am totally wrong and schools are doing an amazing job with teaching today’s generation?

Thanks for reading,

-Alisa

Lessons in life, Reading and Books

Learning and age?

In march I will be celebrating my 22nd birthday, and while I am not old by any means, I must admit that hearing that age makes it more difficult to learn starts to nag at my mind.  But is it really harder to learn?

While science  has shown us that brain loses some of its neurons in the process of aging, we also know that an active mind helps with keeping Alzheimers at bay. So what does this actually tell us?

Quotefancy-167913-3840x2160
Just keep learning

The quote above, by John C. Maxwell is spot on. Also think about it like this:

As much as we know about the brains today, we hardly know anything; and I find that fact is very important to remember. If we know almost nothing, why give the “knowledge” of losing some neurons over time so much power? I would say that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if we just become stagnant because “learning becomes harder and slower etc.”

I would almost argue that it is easier to learn new things. Why, you ask?

Because while it might take longer to make the new information to stick, but it is easier to connect the new information to the older.

If you are 50 you probably have more information than me who is in their early twenties, thus you can make connections more easily between A, B and C. But in order for that to be the case, we have to keep learning, studying and being curious on the daily.

Sometimes the things that we “have” to learn aren’t interesting, but they help us evolve as learners, as they give us the possibility to make connections between new and old information. Plus it makes our brains work harder to keep up with the synaptic connections.

What is the most efficient way to learn? The article on Forbes (Originally on Quora)  states that learning is easiest if we chunk the information. What does this mean? You take a confusing mix of information and form it into a clear “chunk” of information. The article gives you an example of a undone puzzle is mixed information and a chunked information is a finished puzzle.

The articles used for this post:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/07/08/science-says-this-is-the-best-way-to-learn-and-remember-new-things/#224f73033ea2

Article about aging and brain:  https://www.canyonranch.com/blog/health/how-your-brain-changes-with-age/

Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development

Bye bye bye comfort zone

Have you ever had the feeling of butterflies fluttering in your stomach? Feeling like you will burst at the seams from excitement? And what if I tell you that this feeling is possible to achieve even without having a crush on someone, or being in love?

I am sure that that feeling has been achieved by those who are adrenaline junkies, those who love performing for big crowds. What makes you feel this way?

For me it seems to be abroad and getting out of my comfort zone. That doesn’t mean jumping from a plane with a parachute. For me it’s just learning new things. And I want to give you couple of tips in order to make you achieve the same feeling of excitement towards you life.

I would first like to mention that you being afraid of being out of your comfort zone is natural. It is caused by two things. Our routines become very easy over time for our brains, due to the neurological paths in our brains. The other thing is, that brain makes us feel like we are in danger when we  try to change those pathways. (To read more: https://medium.com/the-mission/the-science-backed-guide-for-destroying-your-comfort-zone-and-optimizing-your-success-7ce0b12a1275 )

So what to do when our brain is the one working against us?  Stop thinking and just do it.

I don’t mean this as a motivational phrase because quite frankly it isn’t for me. But it is a fact. The more you think about whether or not you should do something, the more likely you are to reason why you shouldn’t and thus you don’t.

  1. Don’t plan ahead what you should do. Rather just take your chances when something comes up. What I mean by this, that sometimes goals are just us wanting to feel like we are doing something “smart”. And some goals are great; like stopping smoking. But to get out of our comfort zone, we shouldn’t have time to think about how horrible it can be. So why prepare yourself for a failure by actually writing a goal on a paper (or thinking about it) giving yourself time to overthink it? Just take sudden chances, like friends asking you to go hiking or a job opportunity online that you weren’t expecting.
  2. If at all possible say yes before thinking. I say if possible because sometimes we have things happening at the same time like school , work or similar. But if someone asks you to go for a hike next saturday and you know you have nothing then, say yes right away. You saying you will come, will make you accountable for the promise.
  3. Spend time with people who are more daring and ready to do a lot of different things. You wouldn’t want to be a party pooper. So spend time with those who will make you want to do new things. By being with interesting people, who do other things than just watch youtube, will make you more interesting.

Why should you get out of your comfort zone one might ask?  There are many reasons. Not getting stuck in your old routines helps fighting of Alzheimer’s. It makes your life interesting, no-one wants to lie on their deathbed and remember their life as : “Wake up, eat, work, eat, come home, sleep–> and again” The more you do new things, the better you will get at it, the less anxious you will be, when life forces you out of that zone without your permission.

Goals, Lessons in life, Personal development, Reading and Books

Be taught and teach

For couple of days now I have been watching people from TOTALLY different specks of life tell their story, their vision on Tom Bilyeu’s show Impact Theory. And not only is all that I have watched been so extremely inspirational, I understood, that we ALL learn all the time AND that we all teach all the time. Let’s get deeper in my idea and what I think this could or should mean.

So my idea as a whole is that we suck information from our surroundings, people, books, online sources and so on. And this information can be true or untrue, wrong or right. That doesn’t matter because in order to learn something it doesn’t matter if it is true or not. It is enough that we believe that it is.

As we learn new things, we right away start teaching other. As kids, we are often told to say sorry if we do something wrong, right? So if someone does wrong to us and they don’t say sorry, we end up telling them about it. “Hey, my mommy says you have to says sorry if you do XYZ” And obviously this an VERY early on example, but I think you get the point.

I strongly believe, that realizing this fact, and absorbing this idea, could be a tremendous help. Imagine what the world would be like, if those people who write books, blogs, make youtube videos or hold long speeches, wouldn’t exist? No Aristotle, no Platon, no DaVinci, Voltaire, Oprah no Tom Bilyeu or anyone else you find has in a way or another influenced today’s world. If they wouldn’t exist or their works wouldn’t, there wouldn’t be knowledge.

Einstein could have written all his theories and said F*** this S*** and burned all that he figured out. Same goes to all the others. And that would just make our world of knowledge very very empty. Obviously this is just what if’s, but I swear I have a point here.

We learned all the things we have from other, normal people. So why is it that when we want to influence, our first reaction is that “I’m alone I can’t make impact”? I mean all the other people were alone with their thoughts, I mean especially the Philosophes, “normal” people rarely understood what they ment, because talk about meta philosophy sometimes.

What if all the influencer also would have thought that they can’t make an impact. And really do they even care? I mean if you think you have something worth spreading, it might now win a nobel price, BUT I am sure someone will read it. And if you work hard enough and long enough, I am sure you will gain the platform that will help you shoot the message you have to the wide audience.

And even if it doesn’t have this snowball effect where everyone will be cheering you onto a stage in front of thousands of attendees. It can be small things that, if a lot of people separately do, it will affect the masses.

For example, if  you want to lessen sexism, why wait for “influential ” people to make a difference. Teach the people around you, your kids, your friends, write blogs etc. Or you want someone  to be excited about math? Teach them that.

Attention, nothing can be force fed, or the person might choke on it. But by giving them an example, telling your opinion, in the end it might just be that your actions have made an impact to the world.

There is this paradox in everything, every one who ever became an influencer, was first all alone in their spreading of their belief. Many of them are dead, and got a following of thousands only after their death, BUT  no one can say that they didn’t make an impact.

Just choose your words and thoughts wisely, and let us all, work as individuals, to make our togetherness on this planet the  best it can be.

Thank you for reading

-Alisa