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Die liewe internet!

InformationOh, the internet – that amazing global collaboration that brings the world to a digital device near you.

Like all awesome technological progress, it also brings plenty of problems. In this case, it’s the huge amount of useless or even dangerous information it puts at your fingertips.

Let’s see how we can sort the digital wheat from the chaff.

Honestly assess your information diet

recent post likened the abundant information from the digital revolution to the abundant calories from the agricultural revolution.

Calories are food for our bodies. Information is food for our minds. 

So, how’s your mental diet been lately? Do you feed your mind with healthy amounts of wisdom-rich information? Or is it more like one long empty information binge?

Empty information is just like empty calories: great for instant endorphin releases, terrible for long-term health and vitality. 

Cutting out empty information is key to a healthy digital diet.

Video streaming

Digital video entertainment offers an excellent example of this comparison between information and food: 

  • Semi-illegal streaming of series and movies is like dirt-cheap empty calories. A decidedly average experience that makes you prone to catching some nasty viruses, but oh so addictive.
  • Budget subscription platforms like Netflix are like a cheap all-you-can-eat buffet. To get good value from your purchase, you have to stuff yourself to bursting point.
  • Platforms like Google Play where you pay for what you watch promote quality over quantity. This is like buying a fine chocolate and enjoying it slowly, preferably with friends.
  • Going to see a highly rated new movie in the cinema is like a fine dining experience.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the last two are much preferred to the first two.

Just like food, endorphins from digital treats are sometimes useful to improve mood or enhance a nice social situation. And just like food, we should focus on healthier snacking.

The key bit of wisdom in the above-linked post goes thusly: if you can’t get yourself to pay for a healthier snack, you clearly don’t need it.

So, it’s either healthy digital snacking or no digital snacking. 

It’s not just video

This simple rule works for any other type of online information.

Online news offers a highly topical example in these virus-infested times. Having all the world’s problems conveniently summarized at your fingertips is a smooth highway to overwhelm and anxiety.

Oorspronklike post: https://schalkcloete.com/intelligent-internet-use/

 

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Benut jou rekenaar (desktop) ten volle!

RekenaarThis week, we’ll be spending some quality time with the digital revolution – that wave of clever gadgets that changed our lives forever.

Like all the other technology revolutions, this one certainly has its pros and cons. Our mission is simple: catch all the pros and dodge all the cons.

And what better place to start than the digital agent that first infiltrated our homes: the personal computer (PC).

Ergonomics

This should be top priority for anyone spending a sizable chunk of their day on a PC.

Make sure your work space features the following work and life enhancers:

  1. A supportive chair at a height where your feet comfortably rest on the floor.
  2. Positioning of your mouse and keyboard so that your forearms (and the entire weight of your arms) can rest comfortably on a flat surface.
  3. Positioning of your monitor so that your neck is always in a comfortable position.

Movement

It’s vital to get into the habit of moving your body at least once per hour. 

Actually, there are some studies that want us to get up every 30 minutes, but I find that too disruptive.

A fitness watch that buzzes when you’ve been stagnant for one hour is just the right tool for the job. The cheap Mi Band 4 discussed earlier helped me to finally get this right.

Discipline

Creating a comfortable environment for PC use is awesome when you’re at your productive best, but wrought with danger when you’re getting lost in Netflix or YouTube.

The single best antidote for this slow poison oozing from your PC is RescueTime

You can use it to block distracting websites after a certain amount of time, depending on whether it’s work hours or not. It also gives you some eye-opening statistics on how you use your PC.

Efficiency

There are three keys to graduating from PC user to PC master:

  1. Become an expert in the software you use regularly as well as your chosen operating system. A good test of your expertise is how many keyboard shortcuts you know by heart.
  2. Two words… Blind typing.
  3. Excellent organization of your files (including fully automatic cloud backup), combined with a keystroke launcher like Launchy.

Comfort

Those who have mastered the movement habit, good discipline and high efficiency have earned the privilege of taking ergonomics to the next level: genuine comfort.

Personally, I do most of my work on my PC in a comfortable recliner in front of my TV, which serves only as a computer screen.

Over here in the far North, I’m always working under a lovely soft duvet, often with a nice cup of hot tea on the table beside me. This makes the process of working on my PC deeply pleasant.

So, once you’ve proven yourself worthy, proudly claim your just reward: a luxuriously comfortable workstation 🙂

Hier is die oorspronklike post: https://schalkcloete.com/intelligent-pc-use/

 

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Wees slimmer as jou slimfoon!

SlimfoonMy oudste trek nou heel toevallig met sy blog by die maniere waarop ons tegnologie kan bestuur:

The smartphone is one of the sharpest parts on the double-edged sword of the digital revolution.

It put the world at our fingertips, but, in so doing, it created the most distracted and overwhelmed generation ever.

As always, today’s post is all about swiping right on the good and left the bad.

Notifications

As the world is finally cracking down on smoking, saving millions of lives, a new addiction is quickly filling that void: notifications

Addiction is horrible for the user, but great for sales and even better for profits. Tobacco companies exploited this despicable marketing strategy for decades. Now it’s the turn of app developers.

And notifications lie at the heart of this digital addiction: that hypnotic “ping” or alluring little number on an icon telling you that someone liked the selfie you just posted.

Indeed, notifications are highly addictive and extraordinarily distracting.

Turn them off.

All of them (including email).

Your phone should only demand your attention for calls, texts and important reminders.  

Addictive apps

There are countless apps out there that essentially sell distraction. Why on Earth would the most distracted generation in history pay good money for more distraction?

Simple: addiction.

Here’s a simple 3-step digital detox strategy:

  1. Classify: Carefully consider each installed app and classify it as either essential or addictive.
  2. Clean: Delete all addictive apps without which you’ll still be able to breathe.
  3. Rearrange: Shift apps around as follows:
    1. Essential apps on the home screen
    2. Non-classified apps on the next screen (so you have to swipe at least once to see them)
    3. Addictive apps you literally can’t live without on the last screen (so they’re multiple swipes away)

Inefficiency

A smartphone is great for getting information on demand, but there are many tasks where your PC is a way better tool.

Here are three examples of badly inefficient smartphone tasks:

  1. Writing longer messages, emails or documents.
  2. Doing serious online research (you phone is OK for some of life’s big questions like why dogs eat grass and cats are scared of cucumbers).
  3. Online shopping.

Who owns who?

Do you own your phone or is it the other way around? Be honest now…

If you’re in full control of when you use this digital tool, you’re the owner and all is well.

If this digital tool regularly takes control of your actions, you’re the owned and have a serious problem.

Rule your phone with an iron first that will make the world’s worst dictators squirm. There should be no doubt about who’s the boss 😉

 

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Emosionele oorlewing in die tyd van Korona

Was jou hande! Bly by die huis!

Moenie aan jou gesig vat nie!

Ja, instruksies oor hoe om die verspreiding van die virus te beperk, kom van alle kante op ons af.

Soms is daar ’n paar instruksies op die lysie wat vaer is, moeiliker om vas te vat, ingewikkelder om uit te voer: Bly kalm! Moenie paniekerig raak nie!

Ja, die fisieke sy van enige situasie is dikwels makliker om te hanteer as die emosionele aspekte. Ons is nou eenmaal geneig om ons fisieke welsyn bó ons emosionele gesondheid te stel. As ons in hierdie tyd egter nalaat om ook na ons geestesgesondheid om te sien, kan die pandemie merke op ons laat wat ons nog lank ná die Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Die ooreenkoms tussen kos en inligting!

My seunskind se blog trek nou heel toevallig by die belangrikheid daarvan om die inligting te beheer wat na jou toe kom en seker te maak jy stel jou nie aan goed bloot wat jou net ontstel en waaraan jy niks kan doen nie. 

InformationThe digital revolution is the dominant influencing factor in our lives today. It’s impact is so great that the whole of next week will be dedicated to digital mastery.

But before we get to that, let’s take a bit of a detour and talk about diet…

Information: food for your mind

The previous post introduced the striking similarities between food and information.

Just like nutrient-rich food nurtures your body, wisdom-rich information nurtures your mind. And of course, on the dark side, we find empty calories and empty information. 

The good, the bad, and the useless

Distinguishing between good and bad information is easy:

If it takes your mind to creative places that can genuinely benefit your life (or the lives of others), it’s good. If it gets you stuck in a distressed or distracted state with no positive outcome, it’s bad. 

Good information is like nuts, seeds and berries – super tasty and very good for you. Bad information is like a tub of cheap ice cream – not really all that great, but for some reason you can’t stop eating.

And then there’s the useless. This is the mindless flipping through TV channels, the purposeless scrolling on Facebook or the random YouTube adventures. It’s primary cost is time. 

In terms of our food analogy, useless information is like filler carbs – not good, not bad, just there. And just like filler carbs, too much of it can crowd out your capacity to consume the good stuff.

Treat your information like food

This analogy is very interesting to play with in day-to-day life.

Does the information you consumed today remind you more of a green salad or a deep-fried doughnut?

Are there perhaps some signs of addiction to your deep-fried doughnut digital treats? Or perhaps an information snacking problem? Do you know where to find the green salads of information?

Do You Maintain a Healthy Information Diet?

 

 

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Gesonde eetgewoontes!

Eat
We all have a pretty good idea of what we should and shouldn’t eat. The real challenge is actually implementing this common sense, consistently.

That’s why the last two weeks were dedicated to strategies for building permanent healthy eating habits, allowing optimal nutrition to happen naturally. Let’s summarize how this can be done.

The checklist

There are five categories of foods that should be an integral part of healthy living. To automate our consumption of these foods, we need to maximize taste, practicality and affordability. Here’s how this can be done:

  • Nuts, seeds and berries: Here we focused on maximizing the practicality and affordability of this surprisingly tasty superfood combo, particularly through bulk purchases of seeds.
  • Raw green veggies: These green nutrient bombs taste rather bland, but things like a green drink and smart combinations with other tasty foods can make them regulars in your diet.
  • Cooked veggies, mushrooms and beans: This strategy revolves around the use meat and other flavors to include surprisingly large quantities of these colorful bits of health into cooked meals.
  • Fish and eggs: The convenience of smoked and canned omega-3 fish and scrambled eggs or omelettes make these high quality protein sources easy to include.
  • Avocado (and other fruit): Here we discussed the fine art of avocado ripeness management together with several ways to make fruit consumption even easier.

Next, we need to keep self-destruct foods out of our lives. A strong defense against the world’s worst foods that lurk around every corner in your local supermarket looks like this:

  • Refuse to pay for self-destruction: Trading time, effort, vitality and life expectancy for fleeting endorphin highs is a truly terrible deal. Realizing this on a deep level is a great first layer of defense.
  • Healthier snacking: Sometimes really tasty treats can actually have some longer-term benefits. For these rare occasions, choosing healthier alternatives makes all the sense in the world.
  • Home-made meals: Taking care of your health becomes a lot easier when you take direct control of what goes into your body. Home-made food also makes overeating much less likely.
  • Whole foods: Buying more whole produce is a great way to keep self-destruct foods out of your life. Getting into the habit reading food labels can also add many good years to your life.

So there you have it. These strategies combine very nicely to build healthy nutritional habits that last a (considerably longer) lifetime 🙂

Recap: Building permanent healthy eating habits

 
Lewer kommentaar

Posted by op 20/12/2019 in Gesondheid, leefstyl

 

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The world’s worst foods: Convenience-first foods

KitskosOK, what do I mean by convenience-first foods? Well, these are all those foods that are made with convenience as the first priority. An obvious example is fast food.

Wow, this is getting tough… First I attack the great taste of empty calorie carbs and fats and now I attack convenience. But there are good reasons behind today’s post as well. Let’s take a look.

What’s so bad about convenience-first foods?

Foods that are made for convenience first generally prioritize taste second, budget third, and health dead last. This is a serious problem.

Like the empty calorie carbs and fats we discussed over the past two days, this prioritization creates a badly lopsided calorie/nutrient ratio. As a result, your body gets plenty of fuel, but no maintenance – perfect for contracting serious lifestyle diseases like heart attacks, stroke, cancer and diabetes. 

But we’ve covered this problem in detail on MondayThe other big reason to avoid convenience-first food is that it makes overeating far too easy. A totally lopsided calorie/nutrient ratio is bad enough, but when this is combined with a calorie overload, it gets really scary.

Any food that does not place health first should have some friction built into the process of eating it. Because of our primitive cravings, this friction is critical for staying at a healthy weight. Convenience-first foods remove all this friction, driving the global obesity epidemic.

Lastly, the processing required to make convenience foods so convenient often destroys much of the remaining nutrients and/or introduces some potentially dangerous additives. Rapid cooking (frying and deep frying), typical of fast foods, also tends to destroy nutrients and add trans fats and other toxins. 

Some examples of convenience-first foods

Anything that places convenience before health falls in this category. Here are some examples:

  • Almost all fast food
  • Many ready meals
  • Frozen pizza
  • Sandwich spreads
  • Processed meats
  • Anything fried in vegetable oil (olive oil is OK)

Yes, convenience is important in today’s world where everyone is so super-busy. But it just takes a little bit of thinking to make healthy eating super convenient. We’ll get to this next week…

The world’s worst foods: Convenience-first foods

 

 
Lewer kommentaar

Posted by op 05/12/2019 in Gesondheid, leefstyl

 

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