We used to put “ability to multitask” as a positive on our resumes, but maybe it’s best to start leaving that one off next time you are hunting for a job.
Here’s why: Only 2% of people are able to multitask effectively, according to Ragan Communications. The rest of us – yes, going ahead and counting myself in the other 98% (but not to be confused with Occupy Wall Street, or whatever they are calling themselves these days) – need to focus on one project, one memo, one e-mail at a time.
We burn 10 IQ points for each distraction. That’s the same as missing a full night’s sleep (and as a new parent, I value sleep and I’m already apparently losing IQ points for having an infant – so you can bet I’m putting my focus on one thing at a time today).
Here are some startling facts that an OnlineCollege.org infographic offers about multitasking at work and at home:
89% of people with smartphones use them at work, even though 45% of U.S. workers already believe they have to work on too many things at once.
On average, employees who use a computer for work are distracted once every 10.5 minutes.
It’s not just adults – students multitask while they learn, but 62% of the web pages students open during class are unrelated to the subject (don’t think I’ve ever heard of a class in Facebook).
And we are not truly relaxing, either: 67% of people use smartphones on dates; 45% do it at movie theatres; and 33% check phones in church.
Trying to focus on more than one thing causes a 40% drop in productivity – which is twice the effect of smoking marijuana. The average desk job employee loses 2.1 hours a day to interruptions, equaling 546 hours total for the year.
Using a cell phone (hands-free or handheld) while driving is distracting – it slows a drivers’ reaction as much as having a blood alcohol content of .08%.
Try to remember these statistics at work and at home and leave the little glowing technology box in your purse or pocket to reach your full productivity.
Earl Brooks, the longtime president of Trine University, has been a thoughtful and insightful contributor to past BizVoice magazine and other higher education conversations. Last week, he authored a column (for Inside INdiana Business) that hits the nail on the head regarding delivering postsecondary education.
A few excerpts:
A 2009 Boston Globe article, The Four-Year College Myth, states "Census data from 2005 tell us that only 28 percent of American adults have a bachelor’s degree. As for how many adults took the ‘traditional’ path and received their BA within four years of high school, some rough number crunching of federal education data shows that the percentage dips to below 10 percent."
Universities should consider options that educate the public in ways that meet current demands. Students should be afforded accelerated paths to degrees and cut out the fluff. I want engineers to read Hemingway, but sometimes that’s just not realistic. Some classes, which are required by national accrediting bodies, only add to educational cost, delay education and do not contribute significantly to acquiring a specific skill set. Curricula need to remain rigorous and ensure quality. We should provide a means by which you can attain a meaningful education in less time in order to become a contributing member of society and the workforce.
Kudos to Brooks and others who don’t fall into the trap of "but we’ve always done it this way."
“I’ve just had an aha moment about crossing something off my bucket list. Instead of having that energy drink over at the gastropub and dropping F-bombs all night, we should head back to my man cave for a game changer to discuss cloud computing and listen to some mash-ups.”
It might seem like I am writing a story about the most boring group of people ever put onto paper, but that is not the case. (Whose bucket list includes discussing cloud computing while listening to mash-ups?)
Would you believe that those two sentences include nine of the words that Merriam-Webster has added to the 2012 update of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary? Can you pick out the nine words? I’ll give you a hint – F-bomb is one of them, clearly. As are cloud computing and mash-up.
Last week the organization released just a few of the words (or the updated definitions) added to its newest edition. Aha moment, bucket list, energy drink, gastropub, man cave and game changer – along with those others I’ve already identified – are just a few of the new ones.
Some of the other new words that have been released so far include other shocking, yet vivid words such as:
Sexting (yes, sexting) – “the sending of sexually explicit messages or images by cell phone"
Earworm – “a song or melody that keeps repeating in one’s mind” (Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe, anyone?)
Brain cramp – “an instance of temporary mental confusion resulting in an error or lapse of judgment”
Other words point to the Great Recession:
Underwater – “having, relating to, or being in a mortgage loan for which more is owed than the property securing the loan is worth”
Systemic risk – “the risk that the failure of one financial institution could cause other interconnected institutions to fail and harm the economy as a whole”
Toxic – “relating to or being an asset that has lost so much value that it cannot be sold on the market”
The word-lover in me is initially excited about these new provocative words added to the dictionary. The parent in me goes, “I don’t think I want my children discovering F-bombs and sexting.” The educated snob part of me exclaims, “This is a sham! We’re just lowering the quality of the English language another notch.”
But, it’s clear that – just as humans and technology evolve – the English language is ever-evolving. What do you think about these new additions?
Four years ago, young voters age 18-30 helped propel Barack Obama to his party’s nomination and the presidency. But due to a variety of factors he is not expected to receive as enthusiastic a backing this time around.
That’s the conclusion reached in an article this week from the San Francisco Chronicle. Read an excerpt below and check out the full article.
For many in the youth voter registration business, those conversations have a much different tone from four years ago, when a record 23 million young people cast ballots. It was the first time that voters under 30 made up a higher percentage of the electorate than those who were more than 65 years old.
But this year, major organizations who register young voters, from HeadCount to Rock the Vote, project no increase in youth voter registration over four years ago.
Part of the reason is that enthusiasm among under-30 voters has faded like the colors in Shepard Fairey’s iconic 2008 "Hope" poster of Obama — and that will hurt the president, who received two-thirds of the support among 18- to 30-year-olds in 2008.
As often is the case, voters and analysts said, it is easier to get excited about a thrilling campaign than it is about an incumbent who has spent four years governing — and making decisions that are bound to disappoint at least some.
In the wake of Indianapolis announcing its intention to seek to host another Super Bowl, we recently asked what other major event you would like to see come to our state. The results:
NCAA football championship game: 43%. Unfortunately, local officials indicated that potential bid (a new agreement puts the title game at a neutral location as part of a four-team playoff beginning in 2015) will likely not occur as a result of the Super Bowl effort
Olympic Games: 26%. OK, most responses came in while the world was watching what was taking place in London and Olympic fever was high. Can Indiana be a lead player in hosting the Olympics? No. As great as we are at big events, we’re not big enough for this big event. A previous Chicago bid would have included some events taking place in Indiana. That’s likely the best we could hope for.
National political convention: 24%. Indianapolis has tried before and came close. Democrats were hinting at a future effort, but also indicated that would not be possible in conjunction with another Super Bowl try (extensive corporate support for both is extremely critical).
U.S. Open golf championship: 7%. Hey, we hosted the PGA in 1991, have the BMW Championship event in a few weeks and have welcomed some other national and international events in between. Why not the top U.S. tournament?
Next (check out the top right of this page), we want to know if Tampa and Charlotte (both nice areas in their own right) will have your interest in the next few weeks.
Chamber President Kevin Brinegar offers insights on the Wellness Council of Indiana, which has grown 400% since it became part of the Indiana Chamber in 2011. The council is now leading a smoking cessation program aimed at helping employers institute smoke-free policies and individuals break the costly and deadly habit.
There was a past perception about temporary workers that really doesn’t apply today. That perception revolved around "not good enough to work full time" or "just filling in when some regular key people are missing."
No longer. Check out this brief item from a recent edition of Forbes.
Ten years ago, Daniel Pink wrote a seminal book predicting that America was becoming a "Free Agent Nation." Today, depending on whose statistics you believe, anywhere from 10 million to 42 million people in America are now freelancers. Or choose your preferred term: Temps. Contractors. Freelancers. Contingent Workers. Independent Professionals.
No matter what you call them, businesses today are getting good work done with talented non-permanent workers. In fact, Harvard Business Review recently reported that 58% of companies plan to use temporary employees at all levels over the next few years.
If the picture you get in your head when you hear "temp" is of a really young, old or unskilled person who sits at the front desk when your administrative assistant is away, it’s time for a new perspective. Many temps today have advanced skills and a strong work ethic. Need a CEO? There’s a temp for that. Need an iOS developer? There’s a temp for that.
Temps can offer fresh perspectives that they bring from previous workplaces. Also, when you have a project that requires knowledge that you don’t have in-house, an experienced temp often needs less ramp-up time than a permanent hire.
I’m currently looking into dropping our landline telephone (I know, really keeping up with the times). The reason is increased cell phone quality. There were just too many dropped calls previously in my basement cave of an office.
Enhanced cell phone quality is having additional impacts, according to a new report.
For many, the cell phone is replacing the computer for Internet browsing. The Pew Internet & American Life Project has identified a "cell-mostly" segment of the population, who read, Web-surf and shop online – chiefly on their phones.
Among adults 18-29 who use the Internet on their phones, fully 45% do most of their Web surfing on phones, while on any day, 41% of all cell owners are using their phones to go online at least once. Of adults 50 or older, 11% of cell Internet users now use their phones for most access, while 29% of adults 30 to 49 do the same.
Noting that the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Pew senior research specialist Aaron Smith observed that "within the space of five years, we’ve gone from basically zero to half the country, with a sizable percentage using cell phones as their main source [to go online]." Pew Internet Project began measuring this behavior in the spring of 2009, at which point, just 31% of cell owners used either the Internet or email on the devices.
The point is that, for all the noise around tablets and complaints around small screens, phone apps and phone-optimized websites are necessary to reach 45% of the 18-49 age group.
The Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act. The Court’s decision means that employers are facing upcoming compliance obligations and important strategic decisions. Join us for a half-day seminar that will discuss the Supreme Court’s opinion and what it means for future compliance with the ACA. Among the topics to be discussed are:
The creation and distribution of the Summary of Benefits and Coverage
Form W-2 reporting obligations to disclose the cost of group health plans
New fees imposed on health plans for patient-centered research
New limits for health flexible spending accounts
State-based health insurance exchanges
Employer penalties for failing to provide minimum essential health coverage and effects on future plan design
The expansion of the Department of Labor’s audit program to include demonstrations of health plans’ compliance with the ACA
The Chamber will also soon be offering an ePub (onlne publication) to help you comply ($99 or $74.25 for members). Set for an October release, you can pre-order the book online.
Botht the seminar and the publication are put together by Ice Miller LLP.
We hear often that humans aren’t the only ones suffering in a recession.
Typically, when families can hardly afford to feed themselves, their furry canine friends are often abandoned or given to rescue organizations or shelters. But the animals still need to eat – and the cost of dog food is one of the biggest expenses for these organizations.
California-based FreeHand™ is trying to fill the gap with a new “buy-one-give-one” food donation program called Pound for pound, scoop for scoop, meal for meal™. For every pound of dog food sold, the company will give an equal amount of food to an Indianapolis rescue organization or shelter. Though the company is out of Los Angeles, animals in Indianapolis will benefit from the donations.
The more products it sells, the more dogs’ lives FreeHand and its partners can save.
FreeHand Managing Director Tom Bagamane stresses that the donated food stays in the local communities where it is purchased. Affiliated resellers designate recipients from a list of local rescue groups and shelters screened and approved by FreeHand. Online purchasers may select recipient organizations from a pre-approved list provided at checkout. Importantly, all recipient organizations must adhere to strict criteria established by FreeHand to ensure the respectful treatment of the animals under their care.
To date, Indianapolis area rescue organizations and shelters that have qualified for FreeHand food donations include: Beagle Buddies, Greyhound Pets, Indianapolis Animal Care and Control and Indy Pit Crew.
“We are proud to announce the introduction of FreeHand dog foods in our clinic,” said Dr. Bill Neumann, DVM and medical director at Broad Ripple Animal Clinic and Wellness in Indianapolis. “FreeHand has a noble mission that we support wholeheartedly – to provide dog food donations to local rescue groups and shelters. The FreeHand buy-one-give-one concept is great and unique in that donations are given to local organizations as opposed to programs that send donations someplace around the world.”