Focus
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JUMP TO IT!
Looking to channel your inner child and get a great workout?

Grab a jump rope. Your lymphatic system will thank you.

Say what? That’s right, your lymphatic system. It’s sort of like the Rodney Dangerfield of your body: It gets no respect but it plays an important role, removing all sorts of waste from your blood. But unlike the better-known circulatory system, it doesn’t have a pump and has to rely on exercise to flush out the toxins. Turns out the up-and-down motion of jumping rope is one of the best exercises for cleansing and detoxifying the body. Just five minutes of jumping rope per day stimulates the lymphatic system and promotes a glowing complexion. Need some inspiration to get started? Check out Punk Rope, the most popular rope-jumping-based fitness regimen in the U.S. (punkrope.com). They also offer instructional videos, boot camps, and workshops with moves that make the double-dutch look like child’s play. 



FOCUS!
Multitasking is not the way to go, even if you take great pride in reading email, talking on the phone, and assembling a hot pastrami on rye all at the same time.

That’s because there’s no such thing as multitasking, according to Jim Taylor, who has a doctorate in psychology, blogs about technology for Psychology Today, and is author of Generation Tech: How to Prepare Your Children for a Media-Fueled World. “It is a myth that has been promulgated by the ‘technological-industrial complex’ to make overly scheduled and stressed-out people feel productive and efficient,” he says.


NEED HELP GETTING A GOOD NIGHT'S REST?
Take a deep whiff of lavender. Researchers at Wesleyan University found sniffing lavender oil before bedtime increased slow-wave sleep, the deepest form of slumber, by 22 percent in study participants.  

What we have come to accept as an admirable skill — doing several things at one time — is actually the habit of doing many things in quick succession, often without enough time in between to process the information of one task before beginning another, Taylor says. And it’s just not productive.

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who rated themselves as chronic multitaskers made more mistakes, could remember fewer items, and took longer to complete a variety of focusing tasks analogous to multitasking than those self-rated as infrequent multitaskers. 

“Single-tasking, meaning focusing only on those tasks that are absolutely essential to maximize performance,” Taylor says, “is an effective tool for making small, yet profound gains in productivity.”

One thing at a time, folks.




*As a way to IMPROVE WORK/LIFE BALANCE and REDUCE BURNOUT among employees, Volkswagen deactivates the emails of its German staff soon after they leave work; Goldman Sachs banned bankers from their offices on weekends; and BMW is planning new rules that will keep workers from being contacted after hours.