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Improving Your Memory April 2, 2009

Posted by David Dirks in Fixing performance problems, Grow your skills, Work/Life Balance.
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David DirksAs I scanned my emails today, I found this piece on improving your memory.  I could use that as I’m sometimes moving as fast as the speed of light and invariably I’ll forget something along the way.  Sometimes its a small thing and sometimes it’s something more significant.  So when I caught this, I thought I’d pass it on to you too.  It’s provided by neuroscience researcher Mark Underwood.

Suffering from C.R.S. (Can’t Remember Stuff)?
5 Tips for Memory Fitness

While millions of us have resolved to make 2009 the year for getting our bodies into better shape, an expert on neurological fitness suggests we also make this the year to get our minds into tip-top condition.

“With Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases now starting to affect adults in their 30’s, it’s never too early to begin a simple program geared to maintain brain health and stimulate cognitive function,” says neuroscience researcher Mark Underwood.

Underwood says many researchers now believe brain health and memory can be positively influenced by simple things we can do physically, mentally, and nutritionally:

1. Stay physically active. Regular activity, not necessarily planned exercise, seems to relate to brain fitness. Activities like gardening, dancing and cleaning could increase chances of maintaining brain health.

2. Challenge your brain. Calculate, do word search games and crossword puzzles, and go to lectures, concerts and museums.  Learn a foreign language or how to play a musical instrument.

3. Stay socially active. People who are active in clubs and social networks may hold up better cognitively than those who are less socially active.

4. Feed your brain. The brain and nervous system are comprised of 60 percent fat, so ensure your diet is rich in the Omega 3 essential fatty acids found in coldwater fish, fish oil, and flax oil.  Google “brain foods” on the computer and try a few.

5. Lower brain calcium levels with supplements. Proper levels of calcium within the neurons are required for optimum brain function.  As we reach middle age, brain calcium levels begin to rise because our bodies stop producing a protein responsible for regulating calcium concentration within the cells.

“Too much calcium in a neuron will ‘short circuit’ it and it stops working,” says Underwood.

“When millions and millions of neurons become over-calcified and stop working, an individual can feel blank, forgetful, slow-witted, and begin to experience symptoms sometimes associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.”

Mark Underwood is neuroscience researcher and co-founder and president of Quincy Bioscience in Madison, Wisconsin.  Mark is responsible for researching the “calcium binding protein” found in jellyfish and developing it for use as a calcium regulator in the human nervous system. He is the author of the book “Gift from the Sea.”

Work/Life Balance December 31, 2007

Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Work/Life Balance.
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p5130012.jpg  More profits!! Work/Life balance has become the mantra of some management consultants. If we could just get our people to balance their focus at work with their focus outside work we would have more productive, happy employees. Well, this may be true. I really don’t know and a whole bunch of other people don’t know either! Just like many other characteristics of people, work/life balance is personal and as a manager you need to customize your approach to helping people achieve the work/life balance that works for them. It is easy to find a list of potential benefits and costs associated with work/life being in balance or out of balance. Here are some examples:

Benefits — In balance

  • Wider perspective, more creativity
  • Less stress
  • Better relationships
  • More focus
  • Achievement
  • Enjoyment
  • Feeling in control
Costs — Out of balance

  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Relationship impact
  • Moody and difficult to work with
  • Dissatisfaction with results
  • Drudgery
  • Overwhelmed

 If you are seeing the benefits, then you have an effective work/life balance. Just keep doing what you are doing. If you are seeing more of the costs, then here are 10 tips to help you bring more balance to your life. 

  1. Keep a log of your activities and eliminate or reduce unproductive activities.
  2. Set clear delineation goals — what time will I leave work today?
  3. Set aside time to do personal reflection.
  4. Join a car pool — this forces you to leave or you miss your ride home!
  5. Share the load; delegate some work to others.
  6. Let someone else take the “hot” tasks.
  7. Apply effective planning to both work and life.
  8. Focus on the most important parts of your world.
  9. Choose your assignments; learn to say no!
  10. Investigate the use of technology to automate some of the tasks you are doing.

 Take a look at your work/life balance. Ask yourself this question. Am I satisfied with the result I am getting today? If the answer is yes, then you are on the right track. If the answer is no, then think about implementing some of the 10 tips above.