Why It is Important to Spend Some Time Alone

Today, because everything is so fast-paced, we end up thinking that taking a break is a waste of time. We want to stay productive because of all the demands in work, in school, sometimes even at home. But, we need to start realizing that taking a step back can also be beneficial. Here are some reasons why it is important to have some “me time”.

A time to relax

Taking a break and taking some time off things is probably one of the main reasons to spend some time alone. When you’re alone, you can generally let go of your worries for a while and even take a rest from all your work. It can be a way for your brain and body to slow down, ease up, and recharge. That is why spending time alone is a great way to refresh the mind and re-energize the body.

You become more creative

If you get the chance to notice, your thoughts flow differently if you are alone and if you are with others. This is simply because when you are alone, your mind can wander freely. When you’re with a group, on the other hand, your thoughts are restricted only in relation to the conversation. When your mind is allowed to wander, you will begin to get more and more ideas and you’ll be able to look at things from different perspectives.

You’ll be able to make plans

Of course, alone time doesn’t mean you have to do nothing. You can use this time to be productive and plan out your activities as well. Alone time allows you to list down and track your goals, achievements, future endeavors and etc. You’ll also have space to arrange your work and organize some tasks beforehand.

It will improve your emotional and mental strength

Sometimes we can get so stressed emotionally and mentally that we can’t help just having some alone time. But you really shouldn’t wait until you’re totally stressed out to enjoy some quiet time. Occasionally spending some time alone can help you take a step back and work through your problems. This, then, will help you build emotional and mental strength because you can now manage stress more effectively.

You can be more independent

Say for example there was a new trend in Singapore regarding partying. Your peers start to go with the trend but you know that it can affect your productivity at work. When you are a part of this group, it’ll be easy to submit to their way of thinking as well. But if you spend some time alone, you’ll be able to discern what’s right or not. You’ll be more self-reliant and you won’t have to seek attention and approval from others.

Multi-Tasking: 3 Reasons why it’s Actually Counter-Productive

With all the ways modern technology allows us to make our work easier for us, it’s hard to believe that there can still be a way for very little to be done – and then there’s multi-tasking.

What’s Multi-tasking? Multi-tasking sounds great as a concept – you divide your attention by doing multiple things little by little at the same time, and instead of finishing just one task, you can do two, three, or maybe even four.

However, once you actually start doing it, it’s actually hard to get anything done at all. Here’s why you should stop doing it:

1. Your brain can’t handle it. It’s designed to focus on one thing at a time, which is why many people describe being “in the zone”, or in a state where their focus is completely directed to their work and they don’t notice anything else. When you can’t focus on one thing, you also don’t feel the investment you’re putting into your work, and with this lack of oversight means…

2. You’re more likely to make mistakes. The more tasks you try to do at once, the more you try to shift between one task and the other. This means you can’t focus well enough on any one task, which means you’re more prone to making mistakes with your work. And because you’re not focusing on your work, you won’t commit it to memory, which leads to…

3. You inhibit creativity. When you’re constantly shifting your attention from one task to the next, not only do you rob yourself of the time you need to actually focus on getting it done, but you also prevent yourself from seeing any possible ways to improve the overall work. Even if you do get the tasks done, you keep yourself from accessing parts of your brain that allow for critical thinking and creativity, so you’ll only manage to come up with results that you won’t be too happy with.

Improving Focus and Concentration
With the constant stream of information being delivered to you through your computer and mobile devices, it can also be hard to focus on any one thing. However, you can still achieve focus through a number of ways.

Here are some tips you can use to improve your concentration and focus on your work:

• Eliminating distraction by prioritizing tasks from most urgent to least urgent, and start with the most urgent task first, and then work your way down until you clear up the least urgent tasks for the day.

• Engage with your work. Even if you don’t like what you’re doing and need to get it done, simply being passive and doing it for the sake of doing it won’t give you the results you want.

• Put aside all tasks not related to what you’re doing. If you find yourself researching information on the internet, close the tabs and applications that aren’t related to what you’re doing.

How to Clean Different Glasses and Screens

There’s a good chance that your work involves staring at a screen for long periods of time, and if you’re wearing eyeglasses in a humid country like Singapore, you’ll eventually come to a point where you will be squinting through lenses that are streaked with grease and smudges.

The same can be said for other types of glasses at home as well, such as your windows and mirrors, and because they are different types of glass, knowing how they should be cleaned can make a big difference.

Here’s how the different types of glasses are cleaned:

Cleaning your glasses daily prevents them from scratching and other types of damage in the long run. Wash your hands thoroughly before applying just a tiny amount of dishwashing liquid using your finger all over the lenses and the bridge.

Once that’s done, rinse it in hot water and dry off with a lint-free fabric (preferably your lens cloth, which is made of microfiber).

Alternatively, if your dishwashing soap contains oils, you can use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and distilled water. Rub the lenses with your lens cloth before letting them air-dry for best results.

LCD Screens
Some time ago, you may have used spray glass cleaners to clean CRT monitors and old TV sets. However, you can’t do the same with LCD screens.

What you can do to clean them is by using a 2:1 ratio of isopropyl rubbing alcohol and water, and just like with your glasses, be sure to use lint-free fabric when wiping them as using paper or tissue will only leave dust and paper fibers all over the surface.

You should also make sure to wipe the screen gently to avoid getting any scratches or accidental smudges.

Windows and mirrors are easier to clean by simply using glass or mirror cleaning fluid, but when you don’t have that at home, you can substitute it with a combination of distilled water and your choice of dish soap (1 tablespoon for every half-bucket) or vinegar (a 1:1 ratio).

And just like with the previous types of glasses, using a lint-free cloth is crucial for keeping smudges and scratches to a minimum. You can use a sponge for both windows and mirrors, but be sure that they don’t pick up any dust while cleaning.

To minimize the dust that’s settled on your windows, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of it before cleaning them, as dust can still stick to them, especially when wet.

And because dust can also collect on your bucket, replace your cleaner every now and then to keep the dust and dirt from depositing and leaving any streaks when dry.

How Does Human Touch Affect Us?

At one point in life, you may wonder why holding hands or hugging feels so good. Sometimes you may find yourself yearning for human touch, whether from your family, friends, boyfriends, or girlfriends. After all, there’s good reason for that.

The importance of human touch
Compared to being able to “feel” our surroundings with our hands, being on the receiving end can have just as much importance. Infants, for example, who are usually exposed to human touch can gain healthy weight faster and have improved mental development.

This, of course, carries on as we grow older. Sometimes though, social expectations limit our tactile interaction with others. A naturally touchy person will usually restrain himself/herself from hugging or touching strangers or people they just met, well, for obvious reasons.

Reduce stress and anxiety
There are some Singaporeans, for instance, who walk along nature parks with their partners as a stress reliever. If you happen to try this out, you’ll know that it is effective. Human touch, especially non-sexual acts like hugging or holding hands can provide a feeling of comfort and assurance that can ease anxiety and stress.

Can improve mood
During tactile interactions, our body gets a boost of the “happy hormone”, oxytocin. This mainly helps to improve our mood, hence encouraging positive thoughts and increased feelings of compassion for others.

Strengthen relationships
Occasional tactile interactions with our family, friends, and partners can help strengthen our bond with them. Hugging, holding hands, light touches, or even massaging can promote trust and compassion between both parties.

Boost our immune system
Just like how human touch can increase oxytocin, it can also lower the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol in the body. This then contributes to a stronger immune system and better health overall. Also, it is said that hugs can promote the maintenance of our white blood cells. This is also said to help improve immunity.

Different body parts and human touch
• Hands – hands are obviously the most common because they are what we mainly use for our sense of touch. Although that’s the case, our hands can also be on the receiving end (e.g. when someone holds our hands).
• Neck – for many people, the neck is the most sensitive to human touch. Although much exposed to others, our neck is considered an intimate area. You may notice that if someone is anxious or afraid, they will usually cover their necks with their hands or clothes. While a person who is comfortable sits back and opens up with their neck usually exposed.
• Back – Majority of men and women also prefer their back to be stroked and caressed. This is probably because the back is the most easily accessible. We are also usually fine when friends and companions touch our back every now and then.

How to Take Care of Your Refrigerator in 5 Easy Steps

Since your refrigerator runs 24/7 to keep your food fresh and cool for a long time, it’s likely that it will be the first appliance to start showing signs of being worn down with use. But with proper care and maintenance, you can make your appliance last for as long as possible.

Here’s how you can take care of your fridge in five easy steps:

1. Clean the interior regularly
Seeing the dirty interior of a refrigerator can be off-putting and unsanitary, as well as pose all kinds of potential health problems. You can avoid this by wiping them down once a week using a cloth made damp with warm water.

All-purpose cleaners are also commercially available, and can do the job without taking as much effort.
You should also eliminate any odors using a freshener that’s specifically designed for fridge interiors, which can usually last you up to six months.

2. Replace the rubber gasket as needed
The gasket outlines your freezer and fridge doors, and is easily one of the most overlooked parts of the whole unit. However, it’s also one of the most important, so when it starts to weaken or loosen after a while, be sure to clean and replace it with a new one as soon as possible.

This is because without the rubber gasket, your fridge won’t be able to do its job normally since the former is responsible for sealing out the hot air.

3. De-frost regularly
Regular cleaning also includes regular de-frosting to get rid of the ice that has accumulated on the inside of your freezer. When doing this, clear out your fridge and wait for the ice to melt – to not
However, if your fridge de-frosts on its own, you don’t have to do anything except clean the pan where the water drains into, as this can easily accumulate odors and bacterial growth. Be sure to clean it with warm water and a small amount of detergent when doing so.

4. Check your condenser coils
Your refrigerator unit can’t run efficiently if your condenser coils are covered with dust, so when you do clean out this part of your fridge, be sure to unplug the machine and reveal the coils in the back before vacuuming using a brush attachment.

5. Clean/replace the water filter regularly
If your unit has a dedicated ice-maker or a water dispenser as an additional feature, it must also have a water filter that needs to be changed regularly.

Be sure to check your owner’s manual on how when you should do this, as well as how often. However, a good rule of thumb is that you should change it at least once a month, and don’t wait around until the water starts to taste bad.

When Should You Get Your Refrigerator Serviced?

Simple maintenance and cleaning can do a lot to extend your refrigerator’s shelf life and keep it running smoothly, but even with the latest models with great insulation and cooling models, your fridge will eventually need servicing and repair as time goes on.

When to Get Your Refrigerator Serviced
If you notice that you’re using the same amount of energy per month and yet see a rise in your electricity bill, the biggest reason may be your fridge. Here are a few signs that maintenance is no longer is enough and that your refrigerator needs servicing:

• The motor runs hot – It’s normal to feel a warmer temperature change at the back of your fridge since the coils give off heat. However, the coils are insulated, so when it gets too hot, this is a sign that something is wrong.

• Food spoils faster – Another sure-fire sign that your fridge is about to break down is when food starts to spoil longer than it normally would, or that it takes longer for the interior to cool.

• Your fridge is more than ten years old – Refrigerators have an average shelf life between ten and twenty years, but the older it gets, the most expensive it may be to replace it.

• You can hear your fridge running – You should really call a technician to see what’s wrong if you can hear it running. While refrigerators aren’t usually the quietest home appliances available, an ongoing buzz or hum can indicate a serious problem.

• The freezer is too cold – Another way to indicate that your fridge needs servicing is when the freezer starts to look like an iceberg, and the frozen food stored in it becomes difficult to remove.

Keep in mind that these problems can occur with any refrigerator whether it’s new or old. When you’re dealing with a newer unit that has problems, you might be better off having your unit serviced.

However, if the fridge is nearing or well past its lifespan, you might be better off replacing it.

Should You Replace Your Refrigerator?
When given proper maintenance and care, a refrigerator usually doesn’t give you much trouble, but there are various reasons why it’s better – and much cheaper – to simply buy a new refrigerator for your home.

The biggest reason for this is because of the repair costs that mount the older the unit gets: not only are the replacement parts more difficult to find, but as each part slowly starts to wear down, you might as well be better off buying a new refrigerator and scrapping the old one instead.

Be sure to talk to your refrigerator servicing company about the best action to take.

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