Been Meaning to Catch Up on Reading? Here’s How:

December 9, 2007

 
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kid-reading2.jpgThis article is about how to turn “down time” into “catch up” time by always having something to read - ALWAYS!

Last week while waiting to be seen by my doctor, I had the unfortunate pleasure of witnessing a true A-hole in action. Anybody who’s ever been to a doctor’s office more than once knows the routine. Upon arriving you first check in with the receptionist. Then you fill out a million forms. Finally, you take a seat and wait for the nurse to call your name. Oh, and more often than not, the doctor will be running late.

Well, all this just proved too much for Mr. A-hole. First he let out a very loud sigh that was immediately followed by an even lauder, “THIS IS RIDICULOUS!” Obviously, he was on a hunt for fellow mutineers to help him take over the lobby, and demand to be seen immediately. Thankfully, everyone chose to ignore him. Of course that only proved to aggravate him even further. He continued, “WHY DID I EVEN BOTHER MAKING AN APPOINTMENT!” Again, we all just ignored him.

Just as he began his third tirade, the receptionist finally shut him up by explaining the doctor was running late, and assured him that this was not an elaborate conspiracy specifically designed to waste his time.

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I really don’t understand people like Mr. A-hole. Hey, I hate waiting just as much as anybody, but if the doctor’s running late, the doctor’s running late. You can chose to get upset about it, or you can plan ahead by brining something to read. As busy as I am, I actually enjoy having a few extra minutes for catch up reading.

Whether a book, magazine, or your new cell phone instructions – It’s a good idea to ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING TO READ. Keep it in your car, purse, briefcase, backpack, or someplace else accessible. That way you’re always prepared to productively fill that otherwise wasted downtime.

Oh, and I hope this goes without saying that reading while in a waiting room is always better than obnoxiously chatting on your mobile phone. That’s what Ms. A-hole, the girl sitting next to me on the other side, was doing (No it wasn’t Paris Hilton). But I’ll save that for another article.

Bellow I’ve listed 3 golden opportunities for catching up on reading. As obvious as they might seem, there missed opportunities for a lot of people because they failed to plan ahead. So the next time you find yourself in one of these 3 situations make sure you have something to read:

* Anytime you’re in a line: Grocery store, deli, bank, DMV, etc.

* Anytime you’re in a waiting area: Restaurant, automobile service, jury duty, Doctor/Dental appointment, etc.

*Anytime you’re going for a ride: Subway, cab, carpool, airplane, train, etc.

What have I left out? Please share your favorite place for “catch up” reading in the comment section below. Thanks!


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Breathing is Underrated!

November 26, 2007

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Well folks, it’s upon us once again - the holiday season! Busy work schedules, parties, shopping, travel, family gatherings, and for most of us a bit more stress than we’re used to.

To help make your holiday season a bit more pleasant, I thought I’d pass along this quick and easy stress-buster tip about breathing. One of the first things that happens to us when we get stressed is that our breathing becomes more shallow. You’d be amazed at just how much better you’ll fell after only 60 seconds of proper deep breathing. Here’s some helpful tips on proper breathing from the Ririan Project - give it a try:

“The way most people breathe does not maximize the amount of oxygen one inhales, nor does it expel the right amount of waste gases. Here’s how you should be breathing if you want to achieve the best results:

  • Sit comfortably, keeping your back and neck straight.
  • Close your eyes and imagine that your upper body is a plastic bottle with a cork on top.
  • Slowly inhale, and imagine the cork being released and air rushing to the bottom of the bottle.
  • When you feel you can’t inhale anymore and the bottle is full, slowly exhale while imagining someone squeezing the bottle from the bottom. Make sure that your exhalation lasts at least 1.5 times longer than your inhalation.
  • Repeat the process for one minute.
  • Open your eyes slowly and enjoy the feeling of relaxation.”


  • If you’re serious about making the technique a habit, grab a sticky and write the word “breathe” on it. Then attach it to your monitor as a reminder.




    Sleep Your Way to 100 With Power Naps

    November 13, 2007

    12.jpg Napping is a great way to jump start the second half of your day. Way better than the cup of coffee I often settle for instead. The power nap not only energizes your afternoon performance, it’s also really great for your heart!

    In a recent article Dr. Maoshing Ni an anti-aging expert, and author of the best-selling book, Secrets of Longevity writes, “In America, coronary heart disease is the single largest killer of men and women. Taking a midday nap is one of the best ways to lower stress on your heart. … Studies show that people who napped 30 minutes every day were 30 percent less prone to heart disease than those who didn’t take a midday snooze. If you want to live to be 100, you need to take a few naps along the way!”

    Do you think nappers are lazy? You might want to check out this impressive list of of prolific nap enthusiasts before you answer: Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, JFK, just to name a few.

    The key to an effective power nap is keeping it short. 15 - 30 minute is best for most people. Pablo Picasso employed an interesting technique in which he’d hold a spoon as he napped in a chair. Just as he began to doze off into a deeper sleep, the muscles in his hand would relax and he would drop the spoon. The loud clanking of the spoon as it hit the floor would then wake him (He must have had hardwood or stone flooring). A bell is a great alternative even on carpeted areas.

    For most of us mid-day is not the most convenient time for us to scope out a place for a nap. I find it easiest to take a later lunch and then spend a few minutes napping in my car. If you’ve got a cool napping tip or trick, don’t keep it to yourself! share it bellow.

    Take the “Everyday” Stress Test

    October 28, 2007

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    Purpose:
    The purpose of this stress test is to increase your awareness of stress in your life.

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    5 Ways to Kill a Great Idea Fast! And How to Avoid Them!

    October 17, 2007

     
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    1. Neglect writing it down.

    Unfortunately, many great ideas die mere seconds after they’re conceived simply because they were never captured in the first place. This is understandable when we consider how our brains generate creative ideas.

    Creativity begins in the right hemisphere of the brain. The right brain becomes most active when we’re engaged in activities that require spatial (No, that’s not a reference to SNL’s Church Lady) perception. These activities include walking, cleaning, showering, exercising, driving, mowing the yard, etc. That means the creative juices really start flowing at the most inconvenient times to write stuff down.

    For instance, I always think of the best ideas (if I do say so myself) while driving to or from work. That’s an inconvenient time to try witting things down. That being the case, the simplest solution I’ve found for capturing ideas while driving is using my mobile phone to leave myself a message about the idea. Since I have a wireless headset and voice dialing, it’s quick, easy, and safe. Yes, calling yourself is kind of silly, but it works!

    2. Over aggressive self-editing.

    Self editing is an admirable quality, but one that requires balance. How many inventions do you suppose don’t exist today, because the would-be inventor prematurely gave up on pursuing his/her idea? Don’t let self doubt or fear of failure keep you from exploring your great ideas. Like the old expression states, “It’s better to try and fail than to never try at all.”

    Thomas Edison believed he failed his way to success. If it weren’t for him we’d never have had the light bulb, motion picture camera, or the phonograph (that was the original 8-track player, right?). But Edison didn’t get it right every time. Did you know he had an obsession with cement? He built all kinds of stuff using cement, including a piano! It was probably the piano movers who kept that idea from catching on. But it was Edison’s determination to keep testing his ideas that lead to the creation of over 1000 patents!

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