Why Multitasking is a Myth

I’m here to warn you about something that might be ruining your daily life and up until now you may have considered it a good thing or even a skill, but not one that improves with practice. I’m talking about how Multitasking is a myth.

I’m that old-fashioned person that (for the most part) works on one task at a time. Not surprisingly, this is a habit that has sparked some questions from my co-workers and past classmates or friends in college. The truth is, the majority of millennials would work on an assignment on their laptop while watching Netflix on a tv, texting a friend, and eating ramen. I have a headache just thinking about it.

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Work

Constantly switching tasks at work is kind of like red light, green light for your brain. This is better known as “serial tasking” instead of multitasking by psychologists (American Psychological Association). Therefore, instead of seamlessly changing responsibilities the brain is having to forgo a few seconds delay every time there is a new goal.

As a millennial, I am part of the “multitasking generation,” who grew up with video games, smartphones, and e-readers can somehow concentrate on several things at once. In fact, research indicates that frequent multitaskers are often the worst at it, according to Scientific American. This is a skill that does not improve with practice.

Relationships

Have you ever been sharing vulnerable news with someone to look up (to your dismay) that they are totally engrossed in their cell phone? No one wants to be this person. Thus, their attempt at completing several tasks at once leads you to believe that they are not listening to you because they are too busy responding to someone else. It turns out, multitasking is only possible if the activities involve different brain processes. If you are doing two things that activate the language center of the brain, you’re only retaining one channel.

I’m not saying you should never try to complete 2+ tasks at a time. Let’s be real, a lot of situations in life require you to do so. One kind of multitasking that is proven to work is listening to music. Multitasking is only possible if one or more tasks are like second nature or if they involved different brain processes, according to Entrepreneur.

Driving

Yes, we are all warned about texting and driving but as drivers, we need to take this information very seriously. In the most serious of situations, our confidence in being able to juggle several situations can result in someone losing their life.

 “When Strayer and his colleagues observed fifty-six thousand drivers approaching an intersection, they found that those on their cell phones were more than twice as likely to fail to heed the stop signs. In 2010, the National Safety Council estimated that twenty-eight per cent of all deaths and accidents on highways were the result of drivers on their phones. “Our brain can’t handle the overload,” Strayer told me. “It’s just not made that way.”” – The New Yorker

I know this is one of my more serious blog topics, but it is so disheartening to look around at a red light and see that almost every driver has their eyes glued to their phone.

The Challenge

If multitasking truly does work for you then don’t let me slow you down! However, if you are finding that certain parts of your life are lacking attention or are never being completed then look no further than the statistics! In these busy lives we lead, it can be easy to feel like we are never getting anything done. At the end of the day, if we are thoughtful and have intentions of completing tasks they will eventually be done. If you consider your self a multitasker who is open to change… keep reading.

The next step: I challenge you to try transitioning to focusing on one task at a time. Do you find that you are more productive at the end of the day? Do you feel less frantic? You will most likely see a boost in your overall productivity, as counter-intuitive as it might seem.

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Why I Reject Valentine’s Day

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I actually (kind of) HATE Valentine’s Day.
This always confuses people because I’ve been in a long-standing relationship, and to be clear, a healthy and happy relationship. So, why would I of all people be one to dread this holiday? Heck, one time when I shared this viewpoint with a past co-worker she gasped “How could you!??” Oops…

To be blunt: a lot of this day brings out the worst in us. It makes us feel like we have to show off what gifts we received like that somehow equates to how worthy we are of love. And if our significant other doesn’t purchase something for us then that means they aren’t a suitable partner?.. okay.

I know this may sound dramatic. To be clear, I would never ever turn down a gift from Chase on this special Thursday. BUT I will never ever be upset if he does not purchase an item for me on a day when society tells him he HAS to. Let’s be real, what is romantic about someone doing something for you because they feel like they have to. Um, not much in my opinion! At the end of the day, coming home to a freshly cooked dinner or chocolates on a random Monday means x100 more than mass commercial goods on a day when marketers sell us on a false idea of love.

At its core, the message behind Valentine’s Day is great! Love and celebrate those in your life you mean the most right?? I’m not trying to sway people into disliking this day meant for love. Instead, I want to tell people that you are special whether you’re single or not. Don’t let a relationship define you. Don’t let others opinions of you define you. And most importantly, realize that you are the only one in charge of your own happiness. And if your boyfriend didn’t buy you roses at the last minute he’s not a terrible partner. I have seen too many girls caught up in the comparison game of he got me this, etc. The truth is that you are beautiful, unique, and worthy even if you receive nothing at all on this day.

So, have fun getting dressed up and boujee for no reason! Remember, don’t let anyone dull your shine.

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Do you find yourself questioning long-standing traditions too? Even if they are in your favor?

Xo,
Lauren

One Year In the “Real World”: What I’ve Learned

Hello lovely readers,

Where have I been?!
Honestly, it’s so much harder to keep up with a blog when you’re not in school anymore. In college, it was so easy to add “write X blog post” as a line on my to-do list when I had so many assignments to work on along with it. Writing blog content was an activity I looked forward to as a break from academic writing and a way to express myself creatively. Sadly, I’ve drifted away from that and am hoping to write at least one post a month this year. Who’s going to keep me accountable?
Anyways, enough of the pity party. The reason you’re reading this today is that I am reflecting on not only a new calendar year (heyyy 2019) but the day that marks exactly one year at my first full-time job at Trunk Club. As I was flipping through my 2018 agenda I realized how drastically my life has changed over the last 12 months. I entered the workforce, adjusted to life post-grad, got married, and moved to Dallas. Below are a few takeaways I have from being in the “real world” (insert sound effect: dun dun dun…)
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Your major in college doesn’t define what you do with your life 
I’ve had a few people (with a puzzled look on their face) ask me why I am working in fashion since I majored in public relations. Well, I have a few things to say about this, but the main one is to not box yourself in! The truth is that I use writing skills, speaking techniques, and countless other skills from my degree at my job every day. Sure, we all grow and change interests but we shouldn’t hold ourselves back from exploring different options.
Invest in classic pieces (I had to put at least ONE fashion tip in here, LOL!) 
There are a lot of tips I could write about that I’ve learned in training as a Stylist and with working with so many different clients but I will just start with this. I started building a capsule wardrobe for myself in the last year and it is so much easier to get dressed in the morning! What is a capsule wardrobe you may ask? It can be defined as investing in quality and timeless pieces while getting rid of/ stop buying trendy pieces.
If anyone needs help with this, I’m your girl!
Life is what you make it 
Even though it may not look like it, I have experienced heartbreak, defeat, and loss of creativity in the past year just like everyone else. “50 percent of happiness is genetically predetermined, while 10% is due to life circumstances, and 40 percent is the result of your own personal outlook,” according to Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky discusses the “happiness set point,” in her book, The How of Happiness. This just proves that at the end of the day we are just as happy or sad as we decide to be.
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What are you doing to keep yourself accountable for this year? I have a feeling 2019 is going to be BIG!
Xo,
Lauren

10 Things You Don’t Know About Me

I tried to avoid making a boring list including things like “my favorite food is…” or “I love ____ movies…”. Instead, I hope this is an interesting list of things you did not previously know about me!

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1.     I am made up of almost all recessive traits. Yes, most of these you can see by just looking at me including: red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. I am also left-handed! I am a poster child for recessive genes.

2.     I am a foodie thanks to Chase. My mantra for life is to always try new things (including food). I have tried everything from crickets to sea urchins. One of my favorite foods is sushi, especially sashimi like smoked salmon. Why make food boring when it’s something you have three times a day every day for your life!

3.     I am Type A to the max. Yes, I can still cut loose and have fun. No, you will never have to move trash or items out of the passenger seat of my car to sit down. I live by my planner and the thought of losing it strikes fear. That’s where I write down everything I need to do and don’t know how some people get by without one.

4.     I have a serious case of wanderlust. This is something most people know about me, but I love learning about the world even while I’m at home. I love Anthony Bourdain’s series Parts Unknown and watching YouTube travel vlogs from bloggers like Mimi Ikonn. Anyone who has been to my apartment has seen several maps plastered on my walls with pins of places I have been and lists of places that I want to go. This world we live in is too vast and full of too many interesting people to stay confined in a bubble.

5.     I am the ultimate city girl. I claim Fort Worth because I was born here and my family moved back when I was in middle school but I actually grew up in a small town called San Angelo, Texas. Now, I can’t imagine living outside of a metroplex like DFW. Don’t get me wrong, I would enjoy camping or visiting a small town for a weekend but I thrive off of meeting new people. To each their own, but I love the energy a city carries and how there is always something to do.

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6.     I used to hate having red hair but now you couldn’t pay me to change it. The truth is, redhead kids get bullied a lot growing up just for being different! I plan on writing a blog post about this experience soon.

7.     I am obsessed with Pinterest. I love all things creative including: crafting, photography and fashion. I could spend hours pinning ideas that I love and hopefully try one day.

8.     I am super competitive, but not in the way that most people think. I’m not really into sports to be honest. I’m always competing against myself. I know that may sound silly to some people but if I don’t reach a goal I’m really hard on myself. The reason I get such good grades is because I know what I’m capable of.

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9.     I love coffee. I remember trying coffee in high school and almost spitting it out on the kitchen counter. Now, I can’t make it to my internship on time without it. I’ve gotten to the point where I can drink my coffee black but I prefer some cream and sugar. It also bothers me when people tell me it’s bad for you. I bite my tongue so I don’t scream “Well, that diet coke and cheeseburger you’re eating aren’t good for you either!”. Let people drink their coffee in peace, please.

10.      I am ecstatic about starting this blog! For those of you who read my first blog post, you already know that I have wanted to start one for years. I am so glad I finally did and fully intend on making it the best I can.

Thanks for reading! Anything you didn’t expect? What are some fun facts about you?