Stay safe when attending the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games


Are you planning to visit Brazil for the Paralympics and Olympics or any other reason? If so then you should know what to avoid as well as what to do so that you remain healthy during your visit and after you return.

The dates for the Olympics are 5-21 August, 2016 while the Paralympics will follow on 7-18 September, 2016. The summer events promise to be spectacular and will see many thousands of participants and fans travel to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil from all over the world. If you are among those who are going to enjoy the summer games then a healthy and safe stay should be your top priority.

It is recommended that you check with your local travel agencies and government sources to inquire about health dynamics in Brazil. Furthermore, the internet is another reliable source of this critical information so this article examines some of the most vital considerations for you as a visitor to this vibrant, exciting city.

 Essential vaccinations

There are a number of routine vaccinations that you should know before booking your plane. It is advisable that you get all relevant travel medicines and vaccines based on your doctor's recommendations. This will help you to avoid particular diseases in Brazil.

Additionally, consider what you will be involved in and the duration of your trip. This is a basic safety tip for all of you. Some of the vaccines that you should not ignore include: Polio vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and chickenpox vaccine. The annual flu shot is another valuable precautionary measure.

Typhoid and hepatitis A vaccines

You should avoid contaminated water and food while in Brazil. In case this might be more difficult than it sounds, you should be vaccinated against typhoid. Furthermore, this will be handy as you visit smaller cities, eat heavily, tour villages and stay with family and friends. In addition, there is a risk of contracting hepatitis A regardless of your food joint via contaminated water and food. This makes hepatitis A vaccination a necessary requirement for you.

Hepatitis B

This is another health hazard that will compel you to do avoid certain activities. Blood products and contaminated needles are some of the major causes of this disease in Brazil. To add to this, sexual adventures will increase your chances of getting hepatitis B.

Malaria

Malaria is a deadly disease. Your Brazil visit should be free from any mosquito bites. You are advised to take precautionary measures depending on travel time and destination not forgetting the time you spend outdoors. Some medical professionals will advise you to take medication during the stay, before and after the Brazil tour.

Yellow fever and rabies 

Some parts of this fabulous country have the potential of exposing you to yellow fever. Everyone who is nine months onwards should be vaccinated to prevent yellow fever infection.

More so, mammals especially bats and dogs are the main source of rabies. This is not a great concern but you should be vaccinated if you fall in any of the following categories of people:

• Those working with animals or involved with animals in any way

• Remote area outdoor activities where you can easily be bitten by animals

• Children because of their playful nature

The Zika Virus

This virus has been in the news consistently in recent weeks and advice continues to develop but you need to be aware that Brazil is one of the 58 countries and territories which to-date report continuing transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes. While mosquitoes are the primary vectors, a person infected with Zika virus can also transmit the virus to another person through unprotected sex.

Zika virus disease usually causes mild symptoms, and most people will not develop any symptoms. However, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly (children being born with unusually small heads) and other brain malformations and disorders in babies born to women who were infected with Zika virus during pregnancy.

This virus will be the subject of a later blog in July when we will relay the most up to date advice but it is certainly something to be aware if you are planning to go to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.

In Conclusion

The Olympics will only be a lifetime experience if you are safe and healthy. Speak with your doctor, take all the necessary precautions and you will enjoy the trip of a lifetime at the world’s greatest athletic event in one of the world’s most exciting places.

With acknowledgements to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel  and https://www.passporthealthusa.com as well as https://www.who.int

Procrastination, Priorities & To-Do Lists


Our daily lives demand that we appreciate the importance of effective time use and having clear priorities on a daily basis. How you choose to spend your working day can influence business success or failure. It is important to learn self - disciplined time management even if it might be difficult at times.   

There are various ways to prioritise and manage your daily activities or engagements, to make the most out of your time. With proper time management, you will be more productive. On top of that, you will be able to avoid those last minute panics that characterise a lot of us. 

Create a to-do-list 

Creating a to-do-list of everything that you can think of that may be outstanding is a good start; it can also be overwhelming!

From your list of maybe 15 / 20 items, what are the priorities? The top 5 most time sensitive tasks that need your attention?

Create a second list of this 5 and as you complete each one delete it from your to-do list of 5 and replace it with another from your original thoughts.

The dangers of procrastination

With a long to-do list it is very tempting to pick off the easy tasks for that feeling of satisfaction that striking out tasks one after another can give. This can lead to the important tasks such as a difficult phone call or research into a complex sales proposal being put off. Procrastination such as this can be damaging. A business coach of mine used to say ‘your first task every morning should be to eat that frog’.

It wasn’t breakfast advice, it was his way of emphasising the importance of developing a habit of tackling your most difficult issue first, and getting it out of the way, then the rest of the day is plain sailing by comparison.

If you cannot complete a task in a single day as expected, let it be top of the priorities for the next day. However, it is important that you accomplish as many tasks as possible on your list of priorities. According to research, an effective, focused to-do-list can significantly boost your productivity. 

Priorities and deadlines 

Priorities are not complete without creating appropriate deadlines for their completion. Once you have clarity over deadlines, the top priority list of 5 becomes clear. Ensure that your deadlines are achievable. It helps you to remain motivated. 

When setting deadlines, you can put reminders on your laptop or phone to stay informed before the actual activity. Due to our busy schedules, it is easy to forget things that we have planned to achieve. However, with regular reminders, you will remain focused and ensure that you accomplish the tasks on time. 

Conclusion 

Firstly remember that it is good to appreciate that you can only do justice to one task at a time.

Be realistic and practical in what you want to achieve. Allocate realistic amounts of time for what you want to accomplish.

Once you set your priorities and handle them in priority sequence then you will experience improvement in your productivity.

Good luck.

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The Effects of Alcohol on Work Performance


Alcohol and work performance do not go well together. In fact, they repel each other and should not be mixed. Drinking excessively the night before work, or during working hours is a big no-no, as the effects of alcohol on your brain could significantly affect your work performance negatively, and even hurt your career.

Yes, that glass of wine or pint of beer over lunch seems harmless enough but it could be the reason for being unproductive in the afternoon. Here are several other reasons why you should avoid alcohol when you work:

1. The risk of workplace injuries.

For people who work in industries where driving or use of machinery is involved, drinking is not only wrong and potentially illegal, but also dangerous. The risk of getting into or causing accidents is heightened, and the outcome could range from serious injuries to fatalities.

2. Absenteeism.

People sometimes over-indulge or binge at after-work events or conferences. This could lead to missing work the next day or calling in sick more often. While it’s okay to have a few drinks at such events, it is also best to drink in moderation keeping in mind the need to be sober for work the next day.

3. Under-productivity.

Alcohol has various effects on your brain, which could lead you to be unproductive at work. Lower concentration levels, lack of attentiveness, procrastination, and more frequent errors could all stem to alcohol consumption before or during work hours, leading to poor quality of work.

4. Tardiness/sleeping on the job.

The after-effects of alcohol consumption, such as lethargy, hangovers, sleepiness and headaches, can also cause under productivity at work. They can even cause you to be entirely absent from work. You might find yourself sleeping on the job or performing very poorly. Alcohol and work performance do not go hand in hand.

Your appearance also matters a lot and showing up at work drunk or hangover could make you look tardy.

5. Damaged customer relations.

The consumption of alcohol can impair judgment and makes you quite gutsy, which could lead to actions and decisions that you would not make in other circumstances. This could cause you problems with your clients, colleagues and senior management, putting you at risk of losing your job. 

What can the workplace do to manage this problem?

Organizations and companies can manage issues of alcoholism at work with awareness and support strategies, such as:

  • Establishing programs which focus on improving health.
  • Putting in place an anonymous Employee Assistance Program where employees can get support for the external issues they may face within or outside the workplace.
  • Educating employees about the dangers of working under the influence.
  • Establishing known substance abuse policies and consequences for employees who fail to observe them.

The responsibility of showing up to work sober, focused and on-time solely lies with the employee. It is an employee’s duty to steer clear of all alcohol and any other intoxicating substances during work hours and right before work. The effects of alcohol on your performance at work could cost your job and reputation.

The message is simple – alcohol and excellence at work do not mix.

Mayfair cares and would like your opinion.

Nomophobia - why is this becoming a real problem in today's society?

 

90% of the Americans at least own a cell phone. 58% of them are Smartphone users. This is according to the research carried by the Pew Research Center. Nomophobia is a name given to Smartphone addiction which is gradually creeping and drifting away most youths and adults alike. SecurEnvoy reports that nomophobia or no-mobile-phobia is common with young people aged 18-24 years followed by those in the age bracket of 25-34 years. Regarding gender, women are more nomophobic (fear losing their smartphones) with 70% while men are 61% nomophobic. Further reports show that men are more likely to own two Smartphones.

Signs of nomophobia

If you find that you are incapable of turning off your Smartphone, or you regularly check for missed calls or new emails and can’t bear to see the battery running down if you have no way of recharging it, then the chances are high that you are Nomophobic. Some nomophobics can’t even think about leaving their Smartphones behind when going to the bathroom. 

Why is nomophobia becoming a major issue of concern?

According to a study done at the Iowa State University, this is how students felt when separated from their Smartphone:

  • They lose connection to their online identity
  •  Cannot communicate with their friends / clients
  •  Lose access to information on what happens around them
  •  Sense of isolation and inconvenience

When some people are separated from their Smartphone, they can feel panicky and desperate with an inability to focus on even the most routine of tasks.

It is not a surprise that a huge percentage of people develop a full-blown psychological attachment to their smartphones. Maybe we can attribute nomophobia to the smartphone portability, easy access to the internet, and availability.  

Though mobile technology has enabled us to accomplish most day to day tasks with much greater efficiency, the downside is that it poses risks to our health. Nomophobia is a small portion of the larger problem. The quicker you get access to smartphones, the more the nomophobia intoxication you get.

So, far there are no certified nomophobia practitioners to save us from this condition of despair. The consequences of nomophobia vary from one individual to another. Panic, depression, and recurring anxiety attacks have become the order of the day with youths who lose their cell phones.

Accidents happen due to drivers paying much of their attention to their cell phones. Dr. Sanjay Dixit, the head of Indian Journal of Community Medicine confirms that nomophobes cause about 25% of the accidents.

You will probable have heard of tennis elbow and housemaids knee but have you heard of ‘textthumb’?! Excessive texting accounts for 20% of the thumb pains among the nomophobes. 

Solutions

Is there a way we can tackle nomophobia? To some extent, although it is both obvious and sensible, switching off your phone when driving and when doing other tasks requiring your concentration can help.

The Facebook likes and the shared Tweets received also encourage a constant check on the Smartphone because they provide a feeling of self-importance and reassurance to the insecure which, although in most cases are irrelevant, can increase nomophobia.

Mayfair cares and would like your opinion on this growing trend.