Why To-Do Lists Don't Work

Written by Steve Gillman

Do you use to-do lists? Do you find it satisfying to check offrepparttar items on that list? Too satisfying perhaps?

More than once I've found myself adding something I've already done to my daily list. I get to check it off then, you see. I get "credit" for allrepparttar 140724 things I've done. Whatever satisfaction this may give, it's also an indication I'm confusing effectiveness with just being busy.

Do To-Do Lists Help?

Of course it helps to write down meetings and events and necessary tasks. The problem is we sometimes start to work forrepparttar 140725 list, and thenrepparttar 140726 list may not work well for us. It's easy to feel like you're getting a lot done when you have a list to "prove" it. The question is whether you are gettingrepparttar 140727 important things done.

It seems so reasonable to sort my files again right now. I would feel good to cross that offrepparttar 140728 list. I have many such things that show up on my to-do lists, giving me plenty of opportunities to avoid more dificult things, like writing this article. This is what I need to be doing, however.

When Laughter Does Not Come Easily

Written by Abraham Thomas


The surge of emotions.

Duringrepparttar middle ages,repparttar 140619 court jester was often summoned to try and liftrepparttar 140620 monarch out of an angry or melancholic mood. Emotional problems were hardlyrepparttar 140621 choice ofrepparttar 140622 king. Uneasiness was an inescapable load, borne byrepparttar 140623 crowned head. Neither did this burden sparerepparttar 140624 citizen. In more recent times, science has confirmedrepparttar 140625 subversive power of emotions, emanating from a region calledrepparttar 140626 limbic system, buried deep withinrepparttar 140627 brain. Being a more primitive part ofrepparttar 140628 brain, this region is reported to berepparttar 140629 seat of emotions. Electrical stimulation of neurons in this region caused you to feel anger, fear, or shame. More often than not,repparttar 140630 wide range of feelings and emotions, generated by this region, control our actions. Such responses ofrepparttar 140631 mind were reported to occur within a bare 20 milliseconds.

A spontaneous event.

Paul Ekman,repparttar 140632 famous emotions scientist, reported thatrepparttar 140633 evaluation that turned on an emotion happened so quickly that people were not aware it was occurring. "We become aware a quarter, or half second afterrepparttar 140634 emotion begins. I do not choose to have an emotion, to become afraid, or to become angry. I am suddenly angry. I can usually figure out later what someone did that causedrepparttar 140635 emotion." The nervous system processed allrepparttar 140636 available information and drove us to anger, or despair, within just half a second. Paul's window was fully open in half a second. Open to a deluge. The book, The Intuitive Algorithm, describesrepparttar 140637 speed and power ofrepparttar 140638 intuitive process that opens this emotional window.

The stress response.

"I was suddenly anxious." The department was to be “restructured.” Termination notices. Rent payments. Overdue bills. The churning had begun. Emotions had intimate links torepparttar 140639 body. Anxiety and stress triggeredrepparttar 140640 production ofrepparttar 140641 adrenal hormone cortisol. Adrenaline supported bodily functions designed to cope withrepparttar 140642 fight or flight response, including increased heart rate. The production of cortisol also initiated one ofrepparttar 140643 most insidious processes in nature. Its excess production was shown to damagerepparttar 140644 immune system, arteries, and brain cells, and cause premature aging. Acrossrepparttar 140645 ages, philosophers sought to reducerepparttar 140646 impact of this deadly cycle. Couldrepparttar 140647 anxiety be mitigated, so thatrepparttar 140648 emerging crisis could be evaluated calmly? Medieval medicine believed that emotional imbalance could be corrected byrepparttar 140649 court entertainers -repparttar 140650 fool or jester. Laughter was believed to be an excellent medicine.

Benefits of laughter.

Laughter is, more often than not, triggered by a sudden release of tension. The door opens slowly in a dark room. As you wait with baited breath, a kitten walks in. You laugh. The system relaxes. There is much recent evidence that laughter aids emotional well being and health. A belly laugh is said to result in muscle relaxation. The processe is aerobic, providing a workout forrepparttar 140651 diaphragm. The workout reducesrepparttar 140652 hormones associated withrepparttar 140653 stress response. Decrease in stress hormones relieve constricted blood vessels and support immune activity. It is a wholly beneficial response. Unfortunately, belly laughs are hardlyrepparttar 140654 response of normal people when faced with stressful situations. Laughter is not exactly easy, when you are seething with anger, or sweating in fear. Yet, you need a response to stress, which you can produce naturally.

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