Tips for Effective Time Management

March 25th, 2019 by Editor | Permalink

Learning to manage our time will remove many heavy burdens and ease our stress. The sooner we understand that, the better. Even when it is known that Singaporeans are among the hardest-working people in the world, we should also consider working smarter rather than harder. One answer to that is to find effective ways to manage time.

Wake up early

When you get out of bed early, you’ll get a lot more things done. It’s simple enough advice but it will surely get you a long way. You’ll get to exercise, read a book, plan your day, and a lot more! Of course, waking up earlier than you usually do is not a very easy adjustment. Try to take it slow and practice waking up 5 minutes earlier than your usual, and then 10, and so on.

Set your goals for the day

List your goals down and put them somewhere you can easily see. You can also map out the ones you can prioritize and others that you can do later. Planning out your goals will allow you to space out your time during the day to accomplish them. You also don’t have to worry if you miss a goal for the day, there’s always tomorrow!

Finish the important tasks first

As said earlier, prioritize the more important tasks before anything else. If you start with the smaller ones, you’ll be too tired to finish your major assignments later. By doing this, you’re relieving yourself from a heavy burden as early as possible so that you won’t have much to worry about as the day goes on.

Rest

After finishing your important tasks, take a break for a few minutes. This gives you some time to breathe and allows your mind to take a much-needed break. Resting is a simple way to replenish your energy and refresh your thinking.

Set a time limit

For every task, try and establish a reasonable time limit. When you do this, you are able to dedicate yourself to the task and you can avoid any distractions. Challenge yourself to finish the task within your own time limit, you might just find how focused and productive you can be.

Learn to say no

If you still have things to finish, make it a habit to refuse invitations to go out. Of course, you don’t have to refuse all the time. Consider how much work still needs to be done and then decide whether you can really go out or not. When you are able to refuse unnecessary leisure time, you’ll be able to manage your time more effectively.

Don’t multitask

Multitasking, contrary to what many people may think, is actually considered counterproductive. Doing multiple things at once will make you prone to committing more mistakes. Then, you’ll find that you’re spending more time fixing your mistakes when you could have easily done everything had you only focused on one thing at a time.

Different Reasons Why You Can’t Sleep Well

March 25th, 2019 by Editor | Permalink

It has possibly become common knowledge that Singaporeans are among the most sleep-deprived in the world. Whether you want to charge it on work or stress, there are still many reasons why we can’t sleep well. And most are actually simple activities that we do in the daily.

You drink alcohol before bed

Because of its initial effects, many people assume that because alcohol makes you sleepier, it helps you sleep well. Even though it induces sleep, it actually disrupts Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, a stage of sleep where dreams are most prominent and our body undergoes a restorative process. In this case, alcohol damages the quality of our sleep as you’ll wake up feeling more tired.

Caffeine

It is obvious that people consume caffeine to keep alert and focused throughout the day. That is why you should not drink coffee or tea in the evening. Just like alcohol, it can also disrupt REM sleep and reduce the quality of your sleep. Additionally, it takes about 5-6 hours before caffeine completely flows out of your system. So, try not to take it 5-6 hours before bed.

Either you’re hungry or full

This is one of the more overlooked reasons why you can’t sleep. If you experience hunger pangs, usually you’d want to stand up and eat something to get rid of the annoying pain in your stomach. Being full, on the other hand, does not allow you to easily lie down. That’s simply because you’ll risk acid reflux and heartburn. Either way, you’ll have difficulty falling asleep.

You nap too late

If you have not had enough sleep the night before, then having a nap can be good to get some adequate sleep. But, you should try to avoid doing it near the evening. This is simply because naps that take more than 30-45 minutes can diminish your sleep drive at night, affecting your ability to fall and stay asleep.

Your room has too much light

Melatonin is the hormone that causes sleepiness and lowers our body temperature when we are about to sleep. Now the problem is, artificial light can trick the brain to keep thinking that it’s still time to stay awake hence, it produces less melatonin. That is why when you are exposed to light even, you may have difficulty sleeping even though you’ve been lying down for many minutes.

Worrying too much in bed

Of course, many of us have a lot of things to worry about. But, worrying while you’re already lying in bed is another reason why you can’t sleep easily and deeply. Sometimes people even wake up in the middle of the night and the first thing that pops up in their heads are the problems they’re worrying about. One solution to this is to have a time early in the evening to sort out problems and think of solutions before even settling down in bed (not while lying down in bed).

5 Cleaning Habits You’re Probably Doing Wrong

February 28th, 2019 by Editor | Permalink

We’re always looking for ways to clean our homes – or at least our rooms – as fast and convenient as possible, and before you know it, we’ve all come up with all kinds of cleaning habits and routines to make things easier for ourselves.

However, you may not notice that certain habits can actually make things worse, such as the following:

  1. Leaving out paper clutter

Though small, paper clutter is usually overlooked, and that gives it the tendency to pile up at home when you’re least aware of it.

To keep this from happening, assign a designated area for all things paper and go through it at least once a week for anything important, and throw out the rest.

  • Using too much cleaner

More isn’t always better, and this is especially true when using cleaning products for your home. Even a small amount can work wonders for the area you plan on cleaning, as long as you rinse it thoroughly to make sure it doesn’t stick around to trap any residue.

  • Using dirty tools to clean

No matter how hard you try, you simply can’t get anything done when you don’t have the right tools – or when they’re not kept in good condition. And if you’ve ever tried to clean with dirty tools, you’ll know this to be true.

This includes regular maintenance of cleaning appliances and tools, such as vacuum cleaners (if you happen to have one), as well as proper storage in a dry, clean area.

  • Leaving dirty dishes in the sink

It’s surprising how many people actually leave their dishes in the sink – and the amount of bacteria and house pests that doing so can attract. And when they do decide to stop by, making them leave will be really difficult and time-consuming.

To keep house pests from making their home in your home, be sure to wash your dishes immediately after using them and train everyone at home to do the same.

  • Dusting last

You can’t simply wipe everything down and expect your whole room or living space to be clean – save yourself the effort of repeated cleaning and start top-down.

The best way to go about cleaning any one area at home is by clearing everything first, and then thoroughly dusting from top to bottom. This way, when you sweep or vacuum the dust, there’s no need to go back all over again.

When it comes to cleaning your home, or even just your room, it’s not about taking the extra measures, but instead about cleaning the right way.

4 Things You Need to Keep in Mind When Buying Wine

February 28th, 2019 by Editor | Permalink

When you’re finally at the wine shop ready to make your purchase, the choice of quality wines is still quite stressful, but it doesn’t have to be as crushing as buying a new pair of pants that turns out to look terrible on you or not be in your size.

So what do you need to know about wine? Here are a few things you need to keep in mind before buying that fancy-looking bottle:

1. Price doesn’t always mean quality

Talking money can get a little weird, especially when you’re on a rather tight. However, you don’t need to stick out with something low-quality and end up regretting your purchase – there’s good wine in every price range.

What you should do is be upfront about your budget, and when you’re in a wine shop, asking for your preference in a specific price range is much safer and easier than simply picking one at random and hoping for the best.

2. What’s “new”

Keep in mind that “new” can mean a lot of things in a wine shop, from the newest released vintages to the new blends. But if you have a knack for trying out things you haven’t before – and you should, when it comes to wine – be sure to ask the staff on the new arrivals in their shop.

Not only will this help you satisfy your curiosity and your knack for novelty, but the new arrivals are also what tend to stay the freshest on their minds.

3. Think occasions

Small format bottles are great for casual nights, fancy dinner dates, or even as gifts, while large format bottles are great for social gatherings and holidays with friends and family, or with a lot of people in general.

While these big bottles age the wine a lot more slowly, they also work great for pleasing crowds, and having ten people open up a large bottle can add to the celebration.

4. The most important purchase factor: enjoyment

The most important part about getting started in your enjoyment of wines is asking questions. While this can be something scary, you can think or if instead as a quicker and much cheaper alternative to taking classes and reading wine books.

When it comes to wines and personal taste, there’s no such thing as a “dumb question”.

So if you’re buying for yourself, don’t be afraid to stand your ground on your choices. After all, you’re paying for it, so you might as well stick out with something that really goes along with your taste buds.

(Disclaimer: this list is compiled in no particular order.)

6 Commonly Overlooked Signs of Autism in Children

February 6th, 2019 by Editor | Permalink

Early warning signs of autism usually emerge before a child turns three. These symptoms can start as early as 12 to 18 months for some, while other kids may not show signs until they are in second or third grade. However, many of these signs are so subtle that parents often overlook them or mistaken them as normal phase of child development.

So, what are these symptoms that parents should be aware of? Here are five signs to look out for to help with early diagnosis and treatment of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

  1. Poor Eye Contact

Poor eye contact is said to be one of the hallmarks of ASD. It is common among younger kids to lock eyes with people, but children with autism usually avoid eye contact—or do not look at people directly or doing so fleetingly or inconsistently. However, do not rely on this sign alone as some kids could just be shy.

  • Repetitive Gestures

Repetitive gestures or motions, such as flapping hands, rocking back and forth or flicking fingers, are also warning signs of autism that many parents commonly overlook. Especially if your child does these actions when he’s excited or worked up, that is something to look into.

  • Heightened Sensory Sensitivity

ASD can also cause a child to be extra sensitive. He may enjoy touching soft or smooth surfaces, but doesn’t like to be cuddled. Also, everyday noises and sounds can be annoying for them. Noises from the vacuum cleaner or toilet flush can be irritating to them. You will know this if you see them holding their hands to their ears. 

  • Lack of Interest in Pretend Play

Kids with ASD may also lack in pretend skills. They do not use objects to pretend—such as picking up a remote to use as microphone or a comb to use as phone. If such pretend play does not happen by 18 months, see it as an ASD warning sign.

  • Unresponsive When Being Called by His Name

When a child turns one, they can often respond when someone calls them by name. If they can’t, that can be a sign of ASD. Kids with autism may not hear people or may struggle to follow or understand simple instructions and commands.

  • Stereotype Behavior

This is probably the most obvious sign, but may take some time before you realize the possibility of ASD. If you see signs of a child wanting to play with the same toy and playing with it in the same manner for hours or spend a lot of time arranging his toys in a specific order, it’s a red flag.

If you see a combination of these signs to your child, let your child’s doctor know about it. If your child really has ASD, know that early diagnosis leads to more effective treatment.

Do These 4 Things to Love Yourself Better

February 6th, 2019 by Editor | Permalink

We all heard the advice “love yourself more,” but what does that actually mean?

As we juggle career, personal life and family, we oftentimes forget to take some time off for ourselves, but it is very important that you do. A little “alone time” can help you gain new perspective, develop a stronger sense of self-worth and improve relationships.

Don’t waste time. Here are a few ways to strengthen your bond with the very important person in your life—YOU.

  1. Get Moving

We’re not saying go to the gym regularly (although that would be good!). But try not to be a couch potato or spend too much time in front of the computer. Laziness traps your emotional, creative and sexual energies in your body, which can turn into sadness and anxiety. So instead of binge-watching your favorite series with chips in hand, get up and get moving. Whether that’s taking an early morning walk, a two-minute dance party during your coffee break or going hiking with friends, find some form of movement that’s compelling to you and make it a habit.

  • Do a Closet Purge

Cleaning out your closet is a satisfying and therapeutic activity. It is a metaphor for making space for newer and better things in life: that new pair of killer heels, a brand-new designer bag, a new relationship or an exciting career prospect seem to have ample room to fit into your life.

  • Write a Letter to Younger Self

This is an effective exercise for a genuine self-love. Writing a letter to the 15-year old you lets your present self reflect on your current life and everything you have accomplished. It can also pave way for self-forgiveness for the things you have done when you were younger that may have affected you on a negative way. Unloading to your younger self allows you to let go and move on, to be less harsh on yourself and accept that you are not perfect.

  • Escape Your Routine

Go somewhere you have never been to—alone. Initially, this can be scary, but going on a solo trip to an unfamiliar place is a great way to get a fresher perspective in life and hopefully discover new things about yourself. Keep in mind, though, that vacations are the time to forget about your worries but not of yourself, so consider going fancy and comfortable by staying in a nice hotel and indulging in soul-searching activities.

As always, start with whichever of the aforementioned tips seem either the most challenging or the easiest for you, depending on what you want to work on in your life. Try to start with one, focus on it, and when you feel like you already have a solid foundation on incorporating that habit, then it’s time to work on another one.