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Time to stop being so busy

“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” ― Lin Yutang

So all you gotta do is decide not to be a part of a rat race, enjoy life and …

and do what makes you happy.

and do what makes you happy.

We are busy. And we’re only getting busier. All the tech tools that were supposed to help us break free from the office have wound up keeping us online and working virtually 24/7. Rather than succumbing to that mad scramble, however, I recommend being more strategic about how you manage your time, to help increase focus and improve performance.

Most people just assume that being overly busy and scattered is the nature of business. While some small tweaks to your schedule and trying to stay more focused may not result in less to do, you will experience increased impact, less stress, and more joy from your work, rather than letting it burn you out.

With that in mind, here are five strategies that can help you take on your heavy load more productively:

1. Stop doing work that is not aligned with your talents

2. Be discerning when you book meetings

Don’t attend meetings where your perspective or participation is not completely essential. Watch out for the tendency to participate only because you have been asked. Make sure that you can contribute and that there is a clear objective to any meeting. Otherwise, cancel or decline.

3. Schedule time for thinking

Most people run from task to task without setting aside time for thinking. Either create a habit of setting aside time every day to think or schedule it during your day as a “meeting” with yourself.

4. Ask yourself why you are so busy

By examining, every week, what is causing such a busy schedule, you can create a strategy to address it. Taking some time to understand what’s causing your personal bottleneck may add to the load in the short term, but figuring out what your capacity is–and learning not to take too much on–can save you time in the long run.

5. Stop multitasking

“People can’t multitask very well, and when people say they can, they’re deluding themselves,” neuroscientist Earl Miller told NPR in an interview several years ago. “The brain is very good at deluding itself.” Miller, a professor of neuroscience at MIT, says that for the most part, we simply can’t focus on more than one thing at a time. So if you find you’re multitasking, you may think that’s the solution for getting more done–but that alone can be the reason for feeling busy and losing focus.

At the end of the day, there will always be endless amounts of work you can be doing. But if you follow the five strategies above, you may find that managing your bandwidth is a task well worth adding now–to save you the stress that being too busy ultimately has on your performance and well-being.

source: http://www.inc.com

ISLAND ESCAPE: Spectacular islands of the world

It has been said that no man is an island – be that as it may – it sure does feel good to escape to one. Take a look at these eleven stretches of sand surrounded by sea, dotted across the globe.

 

Aruba, Dutch Antilles

1. Aruba, Dutch Antilles.

Aruba is said to be an expensive island – but it’s really worth the effort of exploring beyond the appeal of its main town Oranjestad. Spectacular beaches are a given and venturing towards the Arikok National Wildlife National Park you’ll find an alien landscape of divi-divi trees and cactuses, as well as abandoned gold mines. (Shutterstock)

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

2. Bora Bora, French Polynesia.

Bora Bora is one of the group of dots in the Pacific Ocean that is French Polynesia and its appeal with honeymooners or the rich and famous happens to be legendary. Why? Some would say it is due to the island’s strange mix of the ostentatiously hip, oh-so-romantic and slightly naughty exotica. Top activities would be scuba diving where the rewards include sightings of lemon shark and manta ray encounters.

Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

3. Fernando de Noronha Island, Brazil.

Formerly an island escape ruled by package tours, but the independent traveller can enjoy what is said to be four of Brazil’s best beaches by visiting Fernando de Noronha. The Fernando de Noronha Marine National Park and conservation projects based there have ensured its place as a top eco destination. Offering rich marine life and spectacular tropical landscapes, it is addictive for both land or water based activities.

La Digue,Seychelles

4. La Digue, Seychelles.

ChosEn by Prince William and Kate as their honeymoon destination – visiting this island you can expect everything that goes with being on an Indian Ocean island but taken a notch up. It is also ideal stepping stone to surrounding islands such as Félicité, Grande Sœur and the fairy-tale Île Cocos.  (Shutterstock)

Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

5. Lanikai Beach, Hawaii

What makes Lanikai special is that it isn’t near any of the major resorts, making it an off-the-beaten track beauty offering up one of the best beaches in Hawaii. While it’s not home to the 50-foot rollers of North Shore’s Oahu, here you can go kayaking and snorkelling to your heart content.  (Shutterstock)

Greece

6. Navagio, Zakynthos, Greece.

At the base of steep white cliffs on the Greek island of Zakynthos you will find some of the bluest waters on the planet. The beach Navagio also holds a surprise – a shipwreck, left behind by smugglers that eventually washed ashore. Makes you want to hop on a plane immediately, doesn’t it!?  (Shutterstock)

 

Phillipines

7. Palawan, Philippines.

When wanting beach perfection the Philippines does not spring to mind as easily asThailand or Malyasia, but it should. Palawan is the Philippines’ least populated region and being a 650km long sliver stretching all the way to Borneo – it provides an unparralled island experience. Diving, island-hopping and snorkelling trips in the Bacuit archipelago and Calamianes group are some of the top activities.

 

spain

8. Playa San Miguel, Ibiza, Spain.

Said to be nestled in one of the most sheltered coves on the island, here you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush pine-covered cliffs. It’s also a great alternative for those seeking tranquility instead of the hustle and bustle usually associated with Ibiza.  (Shutterstock)

Thailand

9. Phi Phi Island, Thailand.

Forever known as Thailand’s movie superstar. Falling in love happens in an instant as you see the island rising like a fortress from the surrounding jungle laced with its pristine beach. The beach!  (Shutterstock)

 

australia

10. Whitehaven, Whitsunday Islands, Australia.

The largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays, it’s obvious to see why this is one of the most photographed beaches in Australia. Those visiting are advised to invest in a helicopter flip around the islands to witness how the white silica sand and turquoise shades of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a swirl of Whitsunday colours.  (Shutterstock)

Turkey

11. Fethiye, Turkey.

Said to be an old town with quite a few interesting sites to explore such as a ghost town of Kayaköy. Fethiye’s inner bay is an excellent natural harbour, protected from storms by another island, Sövalye Adasi. the much larger outer bay has 11 more islands. From here you can also explore one of Turkey’s seaside hot spots Ölüdeniz.  (Shutterstock)

7 reasons Love is Good for your Heart

love is good for the heart

I found this picture today – 7 reasons why love is good for your heart from http://www.positivemed.com. These 7 things should be reason enough to love and be loved! And we’re not only talking about romantic love for the singletons out there.

Love is that happy and positive feeling you share with family and friends as well, so make time to spend with them. I especially love the ‘holding hands calms nerves’ point above, because I hold hands with friends and family whenever I can. And everyone knows that laughter really is the best medicine, so it makes sense that it would help our heart too.

The feeling of being loved makes us secure and content, which reduces our stress bringing me back to the heart. A stress-free heart is a happy and healthy heart. So surround yourself with love and love those around you – having a positive attitude makes you attractive and lovable.

source: http://www.msn.co.za

New Year’s resolutions – why they dont work!

1. They’re all about what you think you should do.

Stop smoking? Start exercising? Eat healthily? More work/life balance?

These all sound good on the surface, but typically a resolution is based on what you think you should be doing, rather than what you really want to be doing.

Too often, resolutions are decided upon by looking at other peoples expectations or by reading a magazine that tells you how to ‘get fit by summer’.

Nonsense – forget about what you or other people think you ought to be doing and look at what you really want.

2. Resolutions are like goals.

Some resolutions are like goals in that they’re about getting more of something.  The trouble is that goals – which have been pushed down our necks by the self-help industry for at least the last 20 years – rarely work.

The problem is that as soon as you set yourself a goal you’re saying to yourself that you want more in your life than you have right now. The very nature of goals make you look forwards at what’s next, never at what you’ve got right now.

Goals have the tendency to make you feel less-than, because there’s something you don’t have now that you aspire to have in the future.  Goals introduce a gap between where you are and where you’d like to be, which instantly makes part of where you are right now a place you don’t want to be – and this is how the very nature of having goals can hurt your self-confidence and self-esteem

Most people tend to think they need to set themselves goals and objectives to see things happen, but that’s missing the point. Show me a goal-hungry person and I’ll show you someone who’s always wanting something better to come along, someone who’s convinced – albeit perhaps not consciously – that reaching their goals will lead to their happiness. Even if that person reaches a goal it’s all too likely that it lacks meaning and personal relevance, and so the hunt for meaning, relevance and happiness goes on.

Once you reach a goal, what’s next? Gotta have another goal. Then another, then another. When do you get to stop and just enjoy life right where you are?

The real gold and real value is in the experience, NOT in the end result.

3. There’s no motivation or commitment.

Over a third of resolutions don’t make it past January  and over three quarters are abandoned soon after. The reason?

No commitment.

The problem is that you’re taking something that doesn’t mean anything to you and trying to make it happen.  Resolutions lack a foundation of meaning and personal relevance that makes sure they run out of steam.

Sure, you might get an initial burst of motivation that gets you started, but that never lasts. Motivation is like the big rocket boosters on the space shuttle – it gives you an initial spurt of energy to get up and get moving, but it’s just not sustainable.

What you need is something more fundamental, more central and more important to you. What you need is something that comes from the inside, something that’s based on what’s important and what matters to you.

That’s the only way to get behind it, have confidence in it and keep the motivation and commitment going.

4. The timing’s all wrong.

Not only are you coming off the back of the holidays and getting back to the harsh realities of the world, but you see the whole of the year stretching ahead of you and summer’s a whole 6 months away.

It’s not exactly an inspiring picture, is it?

And what kind of person waits all year to make a choice about something anyway?  Why wait for one particular day to make a decision, when there are 364 other equally great decision-making days available to you?

So forget about making New Years Resolutions.

Living a full life isn’t about making some woolly, half-hearted decisions that don’t really mean anything. That’s not what truly confident people do.

Instead, make confident choices based on what really matters to you, and jump in with both feet.

Superfoods To Try In 2013

red beans

From omega-3-rich seeds to cancer-fighting spices, we take a look at the less well-known superfoods you should introduce to your shopping basket.

First up is the adzuki bean which is a red bean that has one of the highest antioxidant ratings among superfoods and is a good source of carbohydrates, vegetable protein and soluble fiber that can help blood cholesterol levels. It also has high levels of potassium which can help lower high blood pressure and zinc, which helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and protects joints from inflammation.

cape gooseberries

Also known as cape gooseberries or Incan berries provide a wealth of health benefits. Not only do they contain a nice dose of antioxidants but they also contain anti-inflammatory bioflavonoids and are a great source of vitamins A and C. They are believed to help maintain a healthy weight, ward off disease, and improve organ function.

garlic

Black garlic contains twice as many antioxidants than traditional raw garlic and has high levels of the cancer-fighting compound S-Allylcysteine. And even better it has a sweeter taste which means it doesn’t leave as pungent a taste in your mouth.

herb

The herb that is often used in Asian cooking has been known to fend off the common cold and relive the symptoms of a sore throat. It has also been claimed that it can help improve the symptoms of diabetes as well ease menopausal symptoms and soothe menstrual cramps.

oil

Oily fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines are the most oft-cited sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids, which the body needs to prevent illnesses such as cancer, keep energy levels topped-up and improve cognitive function. Experts recommend eating oily fish 2-3 times a week, but this shouldn’t be your only source of these essential fats.

Chia seeds, which you sprinkle on salads, soups, vegetables and muesli, are relatively tasteless but add a satisfying crunch as well as a healthy dose of omega-3s, dietary fibre, protein and low-GI carbohydrates, helping you feel full up for longer and putting a stop to cravings.

mango

Studies have found that extracts from the African mango increases fat burning through accelerating the metabolism naturally, and helping the body burn stored fat. The fruit which is indigenous to coastal West Africa has very high source of soluble fiber which helps to suppress your appetite.

The weight loss supplement has become hugely popular to aid weight loss and extracts from the seeds are available in a tablet form.

coco

Billed as the new super fruit, the cupuaçu has tons of antioxidants within the pulp and seeds as well as essential fatty acids that help reduce cholesterol and increase energy. They are used as ingredients in face and body creams as they contain properties that work to nourish, repair and regenerate skin cells, as well as hydrate and smooth the skin’s surface.

sticks

Kukicha twig tea is made from the twigs and stems of the Kukicha plant and is a green tea that has high levels of disease-beating antioxidants. It has an alkalizing effect and lowers acidity which help to reduce bloated stomachs and ease nausea.

veggie

The vegetable which looks more like ginger than an artichoke is high in potassium and magnesium which are both important for a health heart. It’s also high in fibre which can boost flagging energy levels and boost your metabolism.

spiti

This blue-green algae is available as a supplement in the form of a powder, tablet, or capsule and is known to be one of the best sources of protein in the world as it contains about 65% protein including all eight essential amino acids. It also contains over 100 different vital nutrients which help reinforce your immune system and can give you an energy boost that a cup of coffee can’t. Other health benefits include helping you control high blood pressure and cholesterol, protect you from cancer and can be used as an appetite suppressant to help you lose weight.

source:  Zoe Zahra