In case you weren't aware, yesterday was Information Overload Awareness Day - as if we needed to be made aware that we are overloaded....
This piece in The New Yorker does a great job at how many of us are [not] handling the deluge of e-mail we receive each day. Funny and brilliant.
Dear Friend, Family Member, Loved One, and/or Business Associate:
Thank you for your e-mail, which, if it is under three (3) sentences long, I have read. Owing to the large volume of e-mails I’m receiving at this time, please note that it will sometimes take up to fourteen (14) calendar days, though sometimes longer (and sometimes much longer), to respond to your e-mail; in the interim, please rest assured that I am attempting to address, resolve, or think about the matter you have described, unless, of course, I’m avoiding the matter entirely. Some possible reasons for this include:
—Thinking about the matter gives me a headache.
—Thinking about the matter takes longer than forty-five (45) seconds.
—Thinking about the matter is simple enough, and takes less than forty-five (45) seconds, but, when combined with all the other e-mails in my in-box, it creates a synergy of matterdom, exacerbating the headaches mentioned at the beginning of this list.
Please note that if your e-mail is more than three (3) sentences in length I have read the first three (3) sentences, skimmed the opening paragraph, and sort of eyeballed the rest of it. Please do not expect a response to your e-mail anytime soon, if at all, for I am not a mind reader, and therefore cannot guess the nature of anything beyond the first three (3) sentences. For those of you who continue to insist on sending e-mails longer than three (3) sentences, here is a Wikipedia entry on haiku. Reformat your e-mails accordingly, as in this example:
I am busy now; The Internet has stolen So much precious time.
Under certain circumstances, you may feel as though you cannot express the matter at hand in less than three (3) sentences. Below, please find some possible reasons for this, and their solutions:
Bosses matter. They matter because more than 95 percent of all people in the workforce have bosses, are bosses, or both. They matter because they set the tone for their followers and organizations. And they matter because many studies show that for more than 75 percent of employees, dealing with their immediate boss is the most stressful part of the job. Lousy bosses can kill you—literally. A 2009 Swedish study tracking 3,122 men for ten years found that those with bad bosses suffered 20 to 40 percent more heart attacks than those with good bosses.
It would be really great to have cell service, etc. out here in the mountains for safety's sake but only if people use it for good. Seriously, intrepid outdoorsmen - pack your sunscreen, take your water/camera/sunglasses, but for God's sakes, remember your common sense...
The national parks’ history is full of examples of misguided visitors feeding bears, putting children on buffalos for photos and dipping into geysers despite signs warning of scalding temperatures.
But today, as an ever more wired and interconnected public visits the parks in rising numbers — July was a record month for visitors at Yellowstone — rangers say that technology often figures into such mishaps.
People with cellphones call rangers from mountaintops to request refreshments or a guide; in Jackson Hole, Wyo., one lost hiker even asked for hot chocolate.
A French teenager was injured after plunging 75 feet this month from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon when he backed up while taking pictures. And last fall, a group of hikers in the canyon called in rescue helicopters three times by pressing the emergency button on their satellite location device. When rangers arrived the second time, the hikers explained that their water supply “tasted salty.”
And you thought you knew how! From Tuesday's UK Daily Telegraph....
It is our life force, so it’s no wonder “a breath of fresh air” has come to mean relief. But are we harnessing it the way we were designed to?
Breathing “properly” and to our full potential is not only good for our overall wellbeing, it’s increasingly seen as having a key role in alleviating all sorts of modern ailments, from anxiety to exhaustion.
Increased awareness and control over our breathing mechanism, and using our lungs to their full capacity, can lead to all sorts of benefits – from pain and stress relief to improved energy levels, enhanced athletic performance and singing ability, and even gaining control over a stutter.
I actually discovered the documentary, Happy, about a week ago when I fell into a rabbit hole looking at articles on coaching and liked the trailer for the movie enough that I became a fan on Facebook. The idea behind this movie is not really a new one and I have discussed it on this blog before (Money Isn't Everything).
I think that, despite the movement to downsize our lives, it's easy to get caught up in the message that more [stuff] is better. I certainly succumb to it more often than I'd like and I try to rationalize it (So, what if I have more books than I could possibly read - when I retire or take a vacation*, I'll just hole up with my books and read). What having too much stuff does is clutter one's environment and one's brain and the best money spent is on time with friends and traveling. I was about to add film to that but I've also found that the best pictures are the ones not taken. They reside in one's memories :-)
This is a nice piece from CNN that I hope moves you to support the production of Happy. If not, may you be moved to support the production of happiness - in your life, and in those of others.
* My friends will tell you it's not in my vocabulary, so I looked it up: Main Entry: 1 va·ca·tion Pronunciation: \vā-ˈkā-shən, və-\ Function: noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English vacacioun, from Anglo-French vacacion, from Latin vacation-, vacatio freedom, exemption, from vacare Date: 14th century 1 : a respite or a time of respite from something : intermission 2 a : a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended b : a period of exemption from work granted to an employee 3 : a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation 4 : an act or an instance of vacating (Source: merriam-webster.com)
U. MICHIGAN/U. PENNSYLVANIA (US)—Drinking alcohol during a lunch or dinner job interview—even when the boss does—could lower the likelihood of getting hired, according to a new study.
“Alcohol consumption plays a prominent role in many professional interactions, including job interviews, negotiations, and informal meetings,” says Scott Rick, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Michigan.
“By introducing alcohol, managers can create a relaxed atmosphere that facilitates information exchange and relationship development.
“But merely holding an alcoholic beverage may reduce the perceived intelligence of the person holding it, in the absence of any actual reduction in cognitive performance—a mistake we term the imbibing idiot bias.”
I post more than occasionally about stimulus overload and I really enjoyed this video presented by Greg Head at Phoenix Ignite about the Pomodoro Technique for getting through tasks that require concentration. Essentially, it calls for the use of attention bursts. You dedicate a set amount of time to a single task, 25 minutes, followed by 5 minutes spent on a reward, like a walk, or chocolate. I prefer the latter :-)