Minimalist Miscellany: Busyness, Kids, and Handling a Rough Week

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Today’s Minimalist Miscellany is about having too much to do, being more productive, kids and nature, kids and screens, increasing your willpower and how to “get through a crap week.”

I recently wrote about feeling too busy and my solution. In Primer: When You Have Too Much to Do, Leo Babauta offers a way out when you really are too busy, noting that by following his tips, “You’ll find that you’re not so overloaded, but that each task is just perfect for that moment.”

You might also want to read The Case for Using a Paper Planner, which says, “Aside from the nostalgia factor, writing by hand forces you to slow down and approach your planning with more mindfulness. Research even suggests that writing things down by hand helps you retain information better, which is a useful perk if you really don’t want to forget that important work deadline.”

Do you have enough time but find yourself not accomplishing as much as you would like? The Physics of Productivity: Newton’s Laws of Getting Stuff Done presents Newton’s laws of motion as “an interesting analogy for increasing your productivity, simplifying your work, and improving your life.”

A recent study found that children are much more attentive and engaged with their schoolwork after an outdoor lesson in nature. An indoor lesson after an outdoor lesson retained students’ attention for nearly twice as long without redirecting students as compared to an indoor lesson taught after an indoor lesson.

Researchers have also found that spending more time on electronic devices is linked to a higher risk of depression and suicide among teenagers. There’s no need to take screens away from your kids, though, according to study authors. “It comes down to moderation. Parents should try to make nonscreen activities as attractive as possible because a lot of them are attractive. It is fun to hang out with your friends or play basketball. Just remind kids those things are available, and they’re just as fun as trading texts.”

Amazingly, believing you’ve got strong willpower means you do, according to a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign study. The study’s lead author says, “When we view our willpower as limited, it’s similar to a muscle that gets tired and needs rest. If we believe it is a finite resource, we act that way, feeling exhausted and needing breaks between demanding mental tasks, while people who view their willpower as a limitless resource get energized instead.”

And if you’re having a bad week, watch this video by Dr. Mike Evans.

Do you have any links to share with Minimalist Miscellany?