Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Use Strategic Pairing to Multitask Effectively

Multitasking. It’s a controversial topic. Some people swear by it, but others hate it.

Really, this isn't very surprising. When applied poorly, multitasking can be a total nightmare. However, when it’s done properly, it can drastically improve your productivity on any given day.

Multitasking
Photo by Martin Pulaski on Flickr.

Today, I'd like to introduce a new principle to you:

Strategic Pairing: The strategic combination of complementary tasks for the purpose of effective and sustainable multitasking.

Let’s entertain a scenario: in an effort to be productive and “get more done”, you decide to implement multitasking in your day. That’s great. So, you start checking your email while on the phone at work. You also start watching TV while cooking your dinner and ride your stationary bike while working on your laptop.

Sounds great, right? Well, not really. The above scenario is doomed to fail because the tasks are paired poorly. They are not complementary because the pairs require too much energy and concentration to be sustainable.

Luckily, multitasking is not always doomed to fail. From my experience, I've found a simple technique that, when properly applied, can allow for effective multitasking.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Ridiculously Easy Way to Beat Acne

Acne, as we all know, is anything but pretty. Starting in the teenage years, nearly 85% of all people will have acne at some point in their life (according to the American Academy of Dermatology). As luck (or probability) would have it, I was in that statistic.

As a teenager, I tried everything to get rid of my acne. After numerous over-the-counter facial scrubs and treatments didn’t work, I even tried some rather unorthodox methods. I remember reading somewhere that dandelion sap would reduce the appearance of acne... Yeah, that didn’t work.

Moon acne
My face looked pretty much like this.
Photo by Gustaaf Prins on Flickr.
After years of great frustration and embarrassment, I was ready to give up. That’s when I discovered a ridiculously easy way to get rid of my acne. Now, after using this technique, I have bottles and bottles of half-opened facial scrubs and cleansing creams that I’ll never need to use.

I just wish I had known about it sooner.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Using Ali's Principle to Maximize Workout Results

I'd like to introduce a new principle to you today:

Ali’s Principle: The results of a workout will be proportional to how uncomfortable the workout is.

Rock-hard abs, ripped arms and toned legs aren't going to be handed to you. It’s evident that life follows a very simple and consistent rule: if you want something, you have to give something in exchange for it. If you want money, you have to exchange hours of your life in the workplace. If you want respect, you have to spend time appreciating others. If you want rock-hard abs and toned legs, it'll cost you a) time and b) effort.

Workout
He didn't get those muscles by accident.
Photo by siegertmarc on Flickr.

When most of us go to the gym for a few reps or hit the streets for a jog, we find ourselves disappointed with slow results.

I just did fifty pushups everyday for a month. Why don't I look like Schwarzenegger?

Well, it’s really quite simple. We count up from zero and think we had a great workout, but what many of us don't realize is that most of the workout was wasted.

We're cheating ourselves, and we don't even know it. Luckily, it's something we can fix.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Case Studies: The Remarkable Power of Competition

Today, I'm starting a segment called “Case Studies”, where I recount remarkable stories of amazing people that I've encountered in my life.

Case studies leaf
Photo by lecates on Flickr.

My first segment is about two young men I knew in high school. Although they were smart kids, they were nothing special.

In fact, they started off quite ordinary and average. You wouldn't have been able to distinguish them from one of the hundreds of other students in the school, but by the time they graduated, they were academic superstars.

One graduated high school with a 97% average and over $60 000 in offered scholarships. The other left with a 99% average, placed in the 99th percentile for an international biology competition, and received the top mark in the entrance exam for a European medical school.

Yes, this really happened. Here’s how they did it: