Monthly Archives: March 2016

Neuroscience and Being Busy

b14We all know that mental stimulation is good for our brains and, more generally, for our wellbeing. But what about when we complain about being ‘too busy’? Are we moaning about something that is actually good for us?

Or does the stress that can come from being too busy outweigh any of the mental benefits we receive from it?

A recent neuroscience study may take us one step closer to answering this question.

The study

Scientists from the University of Dallas and the University of Alabama recently studied 330 healthy men and women ages 50 to 89 years old. They first asked them questions, including:

  • How often do you have too many things to do each day to actually get them all done?
  • How often do you have so many things to do that you go to bed later than your regular bedtime?

The researchers then awarded each a “busyness score,” based on their answers and then participants were tested to measure their cognitive abilities. This included their brain’s processing speed, working memory, episodic long-term memory, reasoning, and crystallized knowledge.

Tests included viewing two strings of numbers and determining whether they were the same or different; looking at boxes on a computer screen and maintaining the location of a blue token; and reading words presented in turn on a computer screen, and then recalling them.

The study authors concluded the following:

“Higher levels of busyness were associated with better cognition in adults aged 50-89.”

“Individuals who reported greater day-to-day busyness tended to have better processing speed, working memory, episodic memory, reasoning, and crystallized knowledge, and these relationships persisted after controlling for age.”

Results were especially impressive for episodic memory, which is the memory of autobiographical events.

What does this mean for organisations?

So, being busy can be good for our brains. Before management and leadership jump on this and use it as a reason to squeeze more out of employees, we need to note several things:

  • This study was conducted amongst aging individuals
  • It is only one study and the findings have not been backed up by other studies yet
  • The study does not answer the question of whether cognitive function is improved by busyness – or if good cognitive function in the first place promotes the ability to be busy?
  • Stress can also be associated with being busy – and this could outweigh any benefits associated with mental function

On the fourth point, stress has been shown to impair certain ‘types’ of thinking; when we are stressed, our natural, uncontrolled stress responses tend to inhibit our higher thinking abilities.

Looking For A Good Company To Hire Ask These 5 Questions

b10When you’re faced with having to hire a company for the first time, knowing the things to look for in good companies can mean the difference between hiring someone for now and finding an ally you can call upon for years to come. From hiring pest control to finding a fantastic caterer for your son’s wedding, ask these 5 questions to ensure you are working with a good company:

1. Do you have references?

Ask for references, and contact them, before you do anything else. A credible company will happily provide references to show that they want to do business with you. A company having references will tell you a few things: this company values the opinions of their customers; this company is concerned with more than their bottom line; this company relishes the opportunity to wow intelligent consumers who choose to do their hiring homework. If a company doesn’t have references at the ready, or worse, scoffs at the idea of providing references, consider it a red flag and move on.

2. How would you contribute?

After you’ve contacted a company and spoken to their references, explain what it is you’re looking for. At this point the company has the opportunity to describe all the wonderful things their business can do for you. Remember that you are doing the hiring. The company you want to work with is one that understands the potential value you bring as the consumer, and is therefore hungry to impress you. If you feel rushed through your questioning, if you feel like you are a number on their spreadsheet, if you feel the company is reassuring you rather than answering your questions, take heed (and perhaps ask them to explain why they think you should hire them). Any good company worth hiring will enjoy the opportunity to thrill you.

3. What does it cost?

The understanding that everyone has a budget is one of the most important things to look for in good companies. Ask the companies you are considering what their services cost. Ask the companies you are considering what you can get for the budget you have. Explaining your budgetary restrictions thoroughly to a reputable company will only ensure that you are getting as quality an experience you can for the money you are willing to spend. And, explaining your budget to a stellar company that ends up being out of your price range will give you the valuable opportunity to decide between taking the time and effort to expand your budget, or accepting its limits.

4. How long will it take?

Your time is precious, and yet, you want a job done right the first time. Finding that special balance between quick and amazing is important. A good company worth hiring will be able to give you a trustworthy assessment of the time it will take to complete your job properly and efficiently. Also, while situations may differ, the more experienced the company, the more likely it is that your approximate time frame is accurate. If you get push back when asking for a timetable, consider that a warning sign.

5. How do you handle dissatisfied customers?

This is the question few customers thinks about ahead of time. Of course you’re looking for the best possible outcome when hiring a company, but really, what is the harm in knowing a company’s policy on customer dissatisfaction? Or if it even has a policy? It would be telling to learn that a seemingly great company refuses to guarantee their work. Or, alternatively, a company may rise in your esteem if you knew they wouldn’t call a job finished unless you were completely satisfied. And, if you like what you hear when a prospective company answers this question, get it in writing!

Criteria for Choosing the Right Kind of Barriers

b9Crowd control and highway control barriers come in various materials and sizes. They have to be selected according to the purpose. They are widely used for different reasons from construction, highway to law enforcement. It is important to pick the right barrier for safety and security of the people and property.

Criteria to Choose Quality Barriers

Your choice should be economical and efficient while providing protection against unexpected traffic. It is important to source the barriers from reputed companies since quality is crucial for achieving the purpose of a barrier.

The barriers have to be portable for events and other purposes. In this case, water-filled barriers can be purchased. You should choose the supplier based on his record in the industry and reviews. The supplier should satisfy your budget and individual requirements. Water-filled barriers are portable and serve the purpose of regulating crowd efficiently.

Value Added Benefits

You should also make sure that barriers have interlocking hooks that can bend and are properly welded to the frame to avoid any separation. Choose a concrete barrier which has a good gauge for durability and strength to withstand the heavy traffic.

Concrete Jersey Barriers

When choosing a jersey barrier make sure that they are of the highest quality and don’t get damaged in extreme weather conditions. They should be designed to withstand any accident. The design should have elements which can thwart vehicle colluding to stop going overboard on the other side.

The selection of barriers should depend on its durability, flexibility, affordability, and functionality. If a barrier satisfies these criteria, then you just have to match the right kind of barrier for the event since some barriers are not suitable for managing a massive crowd.

Choosing K-Rails and Plastic Barriers

K-Rail barriers are modular and durable and withstand heavy traffic and help regulate it. If the barriers are of temporary nature, then you may go in for plastic barriers which come in various colors, with light reflectors and signage options for easy recognition. They are also easy to transport and recyclable.

A major condition in selecting the barrier is to ensure that they meet the specifications of National Corporate Research Highway Program for maximum effectiveness and durability. If you require the best barriers, then you can ask for ones that are specially designed for military and highways.

Taking A Look At The Different Types Of Threads

b13If you own a cloth, embroidery or any other business that requires you to use sewing threads you need to use the highest quality of threads for you to get ideal results. There are many types of threads in the market that you can go for. The most common being:

Cotton thread

It’s probably the most common unit used in sewing delicate fabrics. It’s also heavily used in lingerie sewing companies. These threads come in different categories including: all purpose, cotton, perle, stranded, tatting, flower, quilting, and coton a broder. The different categories are ideal for different types of fabrics. To avoid damaging the fabric, always use the right thread for the right fabric.

Polyester

It’s said to be a true all-purpose thread and a great choice for both machine and hand-sewn projects. Its main feature is the wax or silicone finish that allows it to easily slip through the fabric that you are sewing. There are two main categories of these threads: all-purpose and invisible. You use the all purpose in sewing almost all types of fabrics. While you can use it in almost all of your projects, experts recommend that you avoid it in embroidery projects. The invisible thread resembles the fishing line. It’s strong and invisible thus ideal when you want to sew a large area of fabric while keeping the thread hidden.

Wool

It’s ideal when you are sewing heavy fabrics such as blankets, canvas or wool. There are many categories of wool that you can go for: Persian, tapestry and crewel wool. You only need to choose the one that is ideal for your needs.

Metallic thread

This is a unique, tough type of thread that you use in sewing handbags. It comes in different varieties including: gold, silver, and copper. It’s also used in the making of car seats. While there are many types of these units, two are the most common: purl and Japan.

Leather threads

From their name, these are units that are made from leather. Due to their tough nature they are used in sewing handbags, leather seats, and other tough fabrics.

Conclusion

These are some of the sewing threads that you can go with. When making the purchase you should not only consider the type of thread, you should also consider the thread color. As rule of thumb match the color of the fabric with that of the thread-unless you are looking to create an interesting look.