Making yourself more productive.



Being under pressure at work can be stressful. You have too much to do and you don’t have enough time.

 

Learning the difference between urgent and important is vital if you are to become more productive.


If you are one of the many thousands of us who constantly check your emails, immediately respond to every query from colleagues, clients and even friends then you can’t be concentrating on those things that are important. If something is so urgent, wouldn’t your colleague, client or friend have picked up the phone?

 

Right! So, we now know the emails can wait a while until the important jobs are out of the way. Some people have been known to put an out of office message saying that ‘I will next be checking my emails at 4pm this afternoon, if your email is urgent, please ring me.’ Would that work for you?

 

Equally, are you one of the many thousands of us who write a ‘to-do’ list every day and then pick off the ten easy ones only to wonder what you’ve really achieved – with the important stuff still outstanding?


The difference between urgent and important.

Urgent tasks:

 

There is demand for your immediate attention all the time – daily deadlines, answering phone calls and important texts, emails from your boss, emails from your best clients, social media messages needing a reply. All of these feel important but often some are not.

We are drawn to these tasks because they make us feel wanted and important; people want a reply from us but do they need that reply right now?.

Important tasks:

These can be less dramatic with no alarms or drama like urgent tasks. It’s easy to ignore them. But rather than someone else’s goals, important tasks contribute to your long-term goals whether these are professional or personal and could include hitting those sales figures, completing that project, getting more financially secure, and advancing your career.


If that seems like an easy distinction we’re often quick to confuse the two. If you are checking your email so often but it’s preventing you from getting in the actual work done you mistaking urgency for importance.


What you can do.

Have a look at your to do list each day and grade each task with a ‘u’ or an ‘i’ according to their importance or urgency. Work on the important tasks first and the urgent stuff will get done because it has to be done. If something urgent tries to get your attention ignore it until your important work is done for the day.

 

As US President Dwight Eisenhower once said – “I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”

 

Remember, Mayfair cares

Headaches - cause, effect and remedies


Headaches are on top of the list of the common medical complaints that people from all over the world experience at some point in life. According to the World Health Organization, almost half of the adults in the world experience headaches in any given year.

Headaches cause a pulsing sensation or throbbing pain in the head and may be accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting, nausea, or heightened sensitivity to sound and light depending on the severity.  

Causes  

A headache may occur in one location of the head, one side, or on both sides of your head. Depending on what causes them, headaches are classified into: 

1. Primary headaches   A primary headache occurs as a result of a problem with the blood vessels, nerves, and chemicals that set off pain signals in the brain. Primary headaches are not a symptom of any underlying diseases.

Chemical activity in the brain, blood vessels or nerves in the head, and the muscles of the head can play a key role in setting off primary headaches. Some people also have genes that make them more susceptible to primary headaches. Primary headaches can also be caused by lifestyle patterns such as stress, skipping meals, poor posture, sleeping habits, among others.   The most common types of primary headaches are migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches.   

2. Secondary headaches   These are headaches that arise as a symptom of an underlying illness that can activate nerves in the head. Such illnesses include brain tumors, blood clots, glaucoma, dehydration, concussion, stroke, influenza, among many others.   

Types of headaches  

1. Tension headaches   These are the most common and can either be episodic or chronic. Tension headaches normally start gradually in the middle of the day and can last anywhere from a few hours up to several days. Tension headache feel like a constant, dull ache coming from both sides of your head and spreading to or from the neck.   

2. Migraines   This is probably the worst kind of headache. Migraines cause a severe pulsating, throbbing pain on one side of your head. Such pain may be accompanied by light-headedness, nausea, blurred vision, or sensory disturbances referred to as auras. Migraines can last a few hours or even go on for 2-3 days. Migraines are one of the common reasons for sick leaves.  

3. Cluster headaches    These are severe, one-sided headaches that last between 15 minutes and 3 hours. They may occur once suddenly per day or up to eight times each day for a period of weeks or longer. Cluster headaches are often described as a sharp, burning pain that typically affects the area around one eye.   

4. Rebound headaches   These arise as a result of excessive use of medication in an effort to treat headache symptoms.   

5. Thunderclap Headaches   These are severe, sudden headaches that result in unimaginable pain. They reach their maximum intensity in a minute or less and last longer than 5 minutes. They are usually as a result of other life-threatening conditions and people who experience them should seek medical attention immediately.   

Treatment of headaches  

There are many ways to deal with headaches. The most common way is by resting until the headache is gone or taking pain relief medication for quicker results. You can get such medication over the counter or from a doctor but you must always follow the instructions to avoid rebound headaches or worse complications.   

Alternative treatments 

There are other ways to treat headaches, but you need to first consult your doctor before trying them. They include:  a) acupuncture   b) nutritional and herbal health products   c) cognitive behavioural therapy   d) hypnosis  e) meditation.

Summary

Headaches can be both worrying and debilitating but there are remedies available and we would always recommend that you refer to your doctor if they persist or you have any concerns at all.

Mayfair, we care

Mobile phones are smart now – but are we?


We are rarely very far from our smartphones these days, they are as much a part a necessity everywhere we go as the clothes that we wear! As a result some very bad habits have developed. Some are thoughtless, others downright rude, several are bad for business or relationships and the most serious can be life threatening. In short, the majority of us are not so smart when it comes to mobile phone use. See which categories you fit into:

In the car

If you are the driver it is illegal in many countries to use a mobile phone whilst the car is moving. Checking social media – your emails or texts, as well as texting or talking on the phone unless you have hands-free technology endangers not only your life but the lives of others. It’s irresponsible but so many drivers flout the law.

In staff meetings with colleagues

A recent Intel survey of HR managers said that mobile phones ringing during a meeting were top of the ‘mobile irritation’ league table! Very close was the annoyance caused by having the phone on vibrate – good mobile etiquette recommends silent or off completely.

At sales pitches

Many people will put their mobiles on the table during sales pitches – this is not a great idea! This sends out the wrong signal about how serious you are about being there and first impressions count. Good mobile etiquette is for the phone to be out of sight and on silent and it’s also better for business.

On public transport

Loud and lengthy phone calls on the bus or train are known to be a massive irritant to fellow passengers. Is it really necessary to raise your voice so that everyone can hear about the importance of the deal that is just going through, or what you fancy for dinner that night? Good mobile etiquette would be a quiet brief conversation saying you will ring back when you are somewhere more private.

In restaurants with your partner

How many people have been out for the evening and looked around at tables with couples barely communicating as they gaze at their shiny smartphones and text their friends or catch up on Facebook. If you want to spend quality social time with someone perhaps it would be a better idea to leave that phone at home or in a pocket?

On Holiday

One recent American survey has recorded that we check our phones 80 (yes eighty!) times a day even on holiday! Give yourself, and your travelling companions, friends, family etc a break and leave your phone in the suitcase for use only in emergencies! You don't need it on the beach, by the pool or sightseeing........do you?!

I am probably only scratching at the surface of irritating mobile phone habits here – what are the ones that annoy you – let’s get them all out there!!

Mayfair we care.

 

 

WHO priorities 2019

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a number of issues that will demand its attention during the course of this year. Many will not come as a surprise to readers but others might.

 

Air-pollution and climate change.

9/10 people breath in polluted air every day and air-pollution Is considered by WHO as the greatest environmental risk to health. Encouraging world leaders to take the climate change issue seriously when self-interest is also an issue continues to be a challenge.

 

Non-communicable diseases.

These are responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide and include illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Over 85% of these premature deaths are in the low to middle income countries and the rise of these diseases has been driven by five major risk factors. These are tobacco, sedentary lifestyle, alcohol, diet and pollution. All of which have been highlighted on this blog and we will continue to do so.

 

Global flu pandemic.

Every year the world faces a flu pandemic. We don’t know when or where it will hit but we know that it will hit hard somewhere in the world. Flu vaccines are constantly being developed to protect people from seasonal flu because there are many different strains, and combinations of flu strains and research is an ongoing need.

 

Fragile and vulnerable settings.

Many of the poorest countries in the world will suffer drought, famine, conflict, and population displacement. They have weak health services which leave them without access to basic care. WHO continue to be active in these areas.

 

Antimicrobial resistance.

The overuse of antibiotics in both people and animals – especially those used for food production, is creating drug resistance within the population. Taken to its extreme, the inability to prevent infections could seriously compromise surgery as well as procedures such as chemotherapy.

 

Ebola and other threats.

Ebola continues to be a threat and 2018 saw two separate outbreaks. WHO has designated 2019 as a “year of action on preparing this for health emergencies“.

 

Weak primary healthcare.

Primary healthcare is usually the first point of contact people have with the health care system and ideally should provide comprehensive affordable community-based care throughout life.

 

Many countries do not have such adequate primary healthcare facilities and WHO will work with partners to strengthen primary healthcare in such countries during 2019.

 

Vaccine hesitancy.

Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease and it currently prevents between 2m and 3m deaths a year. However, measles has seen a 30% increase in cases globally due to vaccine hesitancy which, if such attitudes develop, could see the return of diseases that were long thought to be under control.

 

These 8 issues will keep a very busy and important organisation occupied in 2019 directing and coordinating health work where it is most needed on an international stage.

Mayfair, we care.

Source:

https://www.who.int/about

Some 21st Century phobias.


As the famous saying goes, there's nothing to fear but fear itself. However, while this may have applied many decades ago, it is quite a different case in the modern age.

People now have all sorts of fears and phobias that range from the weird to outright crazy. The following are some of the common 21st-century fears:  

Nomophobia 

This is the fear of being without your smartphone or being unable to use it for reasons such as low battery or poor signal strength. Most people today spend most of their awake time looking at their phones scrolling through posts on social media and replying to texts. While phones are a great invention, they have created a world where people cannot imagine life without mobile phones.  

Cyberathazagoraphobia 

This is the fear of forgetting a password. Given the hundreds of passwords we're forced to remember, a growing number of people are feeling phobic about forgetting an important password.

Luckily, they have made it considerably easy to remember passwords and recover them when lost. But still, there's always the chance that you lose one forever.   

Editiovultaphobia 

This is the fear of Facebook. Facebook is the largest and one of the oldest social media platforms with over 2 billion worldwide monthly users. However, there are a small fraction of people who are afraid of Facebook and will never risk opening an account or even opening the website.   

Methylchloroisothiazolinonephobia 

This is the irrational fear of texting. According to a study by Experian, the average 18 - 24-year-old smartphone owner sends more than 2,000 texts and receives about 1,800 texts. Looking at these statistics, it's clear why texting can become so overwhelming for some people to the point that they fear it.

Agmenophobia 

This is the fear of joining the slowest line. We've all been there; you go to the store, banking hall, or DMV and find a bunch of queues leading up to the service you seek. They may look the same but deep down you know one of them will be the slowest one. Some people really fear that.   

Allodoxaphobia 

This is the fear of opinions. In our modern world of social media, it's easy for people to share their opinions about various aspects about your life especially if you are one of those people who share everything about their lives on social media. Some of the opinions expressed may not be too kind, and some people are afraid of such opinions.   

Hodophobia 

This is the fear of travel, particularly in the modern means of travel such as autonomous vehicles. The fear of riding in modern vehicles is called amaxophobia or Ochophobia. A lot of people are also afraid of flying especially with recent reports of modern Boeing airplanes taking a nosedive recently. This fear of flying is called pteromerhanophobia or aerophobia.   

There are many more fears people keep coming up with, but if you want to live a happy life, you can't let such fears weigh you down or prevent you from having fun.

So tell us, what weird fear do you have?

Remember. Mayfair, we care.

Workplace bullying and its influence on morale

Often, when we think, read or talk about bullying, a teenager or an elementary school child is involved. Many people think of bullying in the lines of "give me your lunch money" or “do my homework" statements.

Unfortunately, there is another prevalent form of bullying which is on the rise and few people are willing to talk about it – bullying in the workplace.   

There is no legal definition of workplace bullying but the many people confuse it with other common vices such as harassment, micro-management or discrimination.

However, bullying can be described as repetitive unfair treatment of an individual by his/her boss, employer, colleague or a group of colleagues at the workplace. Workplace bullying affects the victim and the organization in unimaginable ways. But before we delve into the effects or workplace bullying, we first need to understand the forms in which it manifests;    

What is workplace bullying?  

Bullying can be as basic being isolated from team duties, copied emails or withdrawing information that would otherwise be helpful in performing one's duties.

It could also be physical whereby, an employee is pushed, grabbed or hit by someone at the workplace. Hurling insults, making derogatory comments, 'whispering' behind the victim's back as well as issuing threats such as "I can get yout fired" are other common forms of bullying.

Sometimes corporate bullies intertwine their actions with discrimination in the case where gender, sexual orientation or race is involved. For instance, in a 2015 report by YouGov, Asians and other minority races were more likely to experience some form of bullying disguised as discrimination.

The report also revealed that women were more likely to be victimised than men, but female co-workers and bosses were reportedly biased towards fellow women.    

Effects of corporate bullying on the victim 

Bullying has a lot of negative effects on both the victim and the organisation - the most common effect being on company and team morale. The victim will feel less interested and motivated to go to work and over time, their self-esteem will be deeply wounded.

Often, victims end up being retrenched due to under-performance or stagnation, which is an indirect result of declining morale.    In extreme cases, victims could develop mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. This in return could lead to suicidal thoughts or hospitalisation and an inability to work.      

Effects on the organisation?  

The organisation may not be affected by bullying in the short term but eventually, repeated cases of bullying take their toll colleagues which in turn will creep through the entire organization.

First, colleagues may feel threatened. This affects their morale and productivity.

Second, an organisation's turnover rate is likely to rise as employees take the decision to move away from a toxic working environment. 

Lastly, if a victim decides to take legal action against the bullies, an organisation's image and reputation could suffer immensely. If such cases attract the public interest, people may boycott the organization's products and services. In addition, it may be difficult to attract and retain good talent in future.      

What can be done about workplace bullying? 

There are no notable policies or laws governing how to tackle workplace bullying. This, however, does not mean that bullies should get away with their actions. To resolve this issue, both the victim and the organisation need to take action. 

First, the victim should keep record of all instances of bullying. These will serve as evidence, if they decide to take legal action, either through a lawyer or their trade union.

Second, the victim should discuss their plight with the human resource personnel to establish whether there are policies that touch on their situation. If HR lacks a suitable solution, industrial courts can resolve such issues but at a cost.

Lastly, if their mental or physical health is affected, it is advisable to seek medical attention and counselling.   

The organisation's management, on the other hand, can take measures such as educating all employees, from the top down, about corporate bullying and its consequences. In addition, every organisation should put in place policies that deal with bullying effectively.      

In a nutshell, corporate bullies don't disappear after senior school.

They proceed to colleges and universities and some will become bosses. The fact that people are not willing to talk about bullying at the workplace doesn't change the reality. There is an imminent need to tackle the issue, not just at a personal or organizational level but on a legal or national scale. If people can deal with harassment and discrimination, then there is room to deal with workplace bullying.      

Remember Mayfair, we care.


Sources:  

https://www.forbes.com/sites/pragyaagarwaleurope/2018/07/29/workplace-bullying-here-is-why-we-need-to-talk-about-bullying-in-the-work-place/#6c39fed23259  https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2013/07/On-line-Catalogue216953.pdf

 

Are protein supplements all that they seem to be?


 

Protein is big business, in fact protein powders and amino acid supplements are worth billions of dollars worldwide, and this figure increases year on year.

 

But are the affects all positive? We take a look.

 

Myth no. 1

The more protein you eat, the more muscle you will build.

This is the widely held belief that additional protein will build additional muscle – either through meat or supplements. Professor Thomas Sanders of Kings College London says, “this simply isn’t true, there are some quite nice trials which now shows that giving people extra protein doesn’t actually increase muscle mass, what builds up muscle is exercise and load-bearing and the body has ways of conserving its existing protein to do that“.

 

Myth no. 2

Protein supplements are a great way to meet your protein needs.

We get protein in our normal diet. It is found in meat, fish, eggs and dairy food, as well as vegetables such as legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. Many people consume double the amount of recommended intake of protein every day, and when you rely on supplements for protein you may miss out on all the other nutrients that natural foods contain such as iron, zinc, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids.

 

Snacking on protein food during the course of the day is a good way to spread out your protein intake. Snacks such as vegetables fruit or a handful of nuts to graze on are good options to a protein supplement.

 

Myth no. 3

There is no harm in protein powder.

 This largely depends on how much protein powder you’re taking. Up to 2 to 3 g/ kilo of body weight per day doesn’t appear to carry any health risks, but you should be more careful if considering protein intake that go beyond this acceptable level.

 

Any surplus amino acids you are taking get broken down and excreted, while any protein your body doesn’t need is usually stored as fat. This can lead to weight gain over time.

 

Other potential risks of excessive protein include constipation, dehydration, calcium loss and kidney damage. Additionally, several large observational studies have linked high-protein diets with an increased incidence of cancer, heart disease and other diseases.

 

Summary

In conclusion, experts on their urging caution claiming that protein powders and supplements are relatively new trend and we really don’t know the long-term effects.

 

With this in mind, research would appear to be a wise course of action as well as consultation with your doctor if you have any doubt.

 

Remember Mayfair, we care.

Move on up to a healthier mind.


 

Research indicates that people who exercise on a regular basis have better mental health and emotional well-being. So why are you sitting there?!

 

Exercise, as we know, is great for our physical health. It helps to keep our hearts in good shape and our weight under control. In general, we are lowering the overall risk of heart disease. However, being active has a knock on affect that is often overlooked as it is also a powerful mood booster and stress buster.

 

Working out doesn’t only exercise the body it also lowers the stress hormone cortisol, which in turn helps relieve feelings of anxiety. It encourages the brain to release endorphins and serotonin which are often referred to as the bodies’ feel-good chemicals because of the positive impact on mental health. So it is easy to see how exercise is not only helping you keep physically fit but also having a positive effect on your mental health.


Sleep

By exercising regularly the likelihood is that you will sleep better. Poor sleep quality and mood disorders have been closely linked. Sleeping well boosts cognition because your body works to support healthy brain function while you sleep.

 

Self-esteem

People who are active often report feeling a sense of achievement which in turn increases their self-esteem. When we make new year’s resolutions and stick to them this gives us a sense of empowerment and control over our lives with an increased ability to cope.

 

Social benefits

Not only does exercise give you the chance to try new experiences such as walking, gym, cycling and dance classes, it provides the perfect opportunity to socialise and meet new friends. When meeting new people and experiencing new situations, the mood is enhanced accordingly.

 

Energy boost.

Being more active increases your fitness and your energy levels and this also has the positive impact on your mental well-being.

 

Don’t be put off.

When you think of exercise you probably have a vision of working out in the sweaty gym toiling away! However, research has indicated that just 30 minutes of moderate to intensive working out each day can provide significant benefits to overall well-being. So forget the gym, put on the walking shoes and go for a quarter of an hours walk at lunchtime, and a quarter of an hours walk in the evening - whatever suits you!

 

The brain loves exercise.

There is a benefit to taking your first walk of the day before you go to work. Exercise pumps blood to the brain which increases your ability to think clearly. This will have clear benefits when you arrive at your place of work with a clear mind and an action plan.

 

In conclusion, regular exercise is a no-brainer, it is simply a matter of making it part of your daily routine because the benefits are enormous.

 

Remember Mayfair, we care.

 

How healthy is your heart?


 

Did you know that almost 30% of all deaths each year are due to heart disease?

 

Now that you do know, might you make an effort to pay a little more attention to looking after a healthy heart? For starters, here are 3 good habits to maintain a healthy heart:

Activity.

Exercise and activity is key to nearly every aspect of a healthy heart. Thirty minutes of exercise five times a week will help enormously. Whether this is on a treadmill or taking a brisk walk around your neighbourhood, a swim, a gym visit or a sports activity try to fit in whatever you can that suits your lifestyle.

Diet.

We hear all the time that diet and exercise are a most effective combination for remaining healthy. I wonder why this is?! Perhaps it’s because it is true?!


Where food is concerned try to base your meals around plant foods such as fruit, vegetables wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Include healthy fats like Olive Oil and have small amounts of red meat and fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, these are all good for you.

Relaxation.

As mental and emotional stress is now believed to be a significant risk factor for heart problems try to factor some time to relax into your day.

 

There are numerous ways of reducing your stress levels such as yoga, meditation, going for a walk, reading, listening to music, or just socialising with friends.

 

3 health checks you should have on a regular basis.

Blood pressure.

According to the Heart Foundation the biggest risk factor for both heart disease and stroke is high blood pressure. High blood pressure is called a silent killer because there are no obvious symptoms so many people don’t realise they have it.

 

These days it is easy to buy blood pressure monitors for the homes where you can keep an eye on your it. Alternatively, make sure you visit the doctor on a regular basis for your blood pressure to be checked.

 

Cholesterol

Once again, it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis by the doctor. High cholesterol can be dangerous to your health and a simple test will tell you where your levels up.


Blood sugar.

Even if you don’t have diabetes, too much sugar in your blood can damage your arteries so please ensure that you get this checked on a regular basis as well.

These six tips will all contribute towards a healthier heart and remember, Mayfair cares

Mayfair, we care

 

Can Physical Health Impact on Mental Health?

  

Despite the clear distinction between mind and body, our mental and physical health are connected. The human body is essentially a well-oiled machine. If you think of it as a car, then you can see how our physical state can impact on our mental wellbeing.

For instance, a car with worn out wheels will consume much more fuel to slow down even though the wheels and the engine are two entirely different parts of the vehicle. Similarly, with us humans, our bodies can dictate how our minds feel and vice versa.        

Our physical health can impact on our mental health in a positive way and in a negative way. If you eat a balanced diet consistently, then your physical state will improve and so will your mental health. If you are a chronic smoker, your physical state deteriorates and eventually so does your mental wellbeing. Let’s look at some clear-cut examples of physical health affecting mental health.      

Exercise and Depression      

Physical activity has great benefits for both the body and mind. For the body, it yields better overall fitness and helps build muscle mass, making us stronger. For the mind, exercise increases activity in the frontal lobes and increases the brain’s uptake of endorphins, which are otherwise known as feel-good hormones.      

Physical exercises improve our physical state, but they also have a great impact on mental health. In fact, exercise is considered the best natural antidepressant because of the effect it has on the mind. Exercise improves our physical health, and our physical health positively affects our mental wellbeing. Better physical health enhances confidence and self-esteem, and this can uplift a depressed individual’s mood considerably.      

Depression and Chronic Illnesses      

On the flip side of things, poor physical health is detrimental to our mental health. A study conducted in 2009 on patients with chronic heart disease discovered that 22 per cent of the subjects had mild depression. 17 per cent of the participants were even taking antidepressants. At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that poor quality of life brought on by chronic illnesses can cause depression.

This conclusion was echoed by one professor from the Institute of Psychiatry in London. Professor David Goldberg noted that chronic illnesses put people at higher risk of depression. Interestingly, he also stated that depression could cause some chronic physical illnesses, saying “depression and chronic illness [es] are in [a] reciprocal relationship with one another.”      

Poor physical health is often a precursor to mental illnesses, but the reverse is also true. Let’s look at how our mental health can impact our physical state.      

Stress and Chronic Illnesses      

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that affects millions of people worldwide. This condition, which is characterized by the development of flaky sores on the skin, is triggered solely by stress, making it a prime example of how poor mental wellbeing can affect our physical state.      

85 percent of psoriasis patients are irked by their condition. One in ten contemplate suicide, and one in three feel shame and humiliation over their condition. This shows us the profound impact our mental health can have on our physical wellbeing, but it is also a clear example of how something like a bad skin condition can cause depression and even promote suicide.      

Physical stress has just as bad an impact on mental wellbeing, which is why many professional athletes suffer from mental illnesses at some point in their careers. Retired athletes often fall into depression due to the sudden shift in routine at the end of their careers. Their bodies are adapted to strenuous training schedules, and the sudden switch to sedentary living often instils them with a sense of hopelessness and lost purpose.      

Our physical and mental health are tied to one another in complicated ways. What we know is that they can both impact on each other positively and negatively. Many chronic illnesses are predated by mental illness, but our mental health also suffers significantly when our bodies undergo a prolonged period of illness. The two are cyclically linked, so your physical health is just as important to your mental wellbeing as your mental health is to your physical state.

Mayfair, we care