Last time you read a book?

 

bookamandalia

I spent this whole week (except for Monday morning) indoors. Hence, my radio silence. I missed out on work, my brother’s birthday celebrations, coffees and beautiful sunny days. The flu got me this time, and it was everything but pleasant. And so, I had (and still have) to rest as much as possible. Doctor’s orders.

Watching TV or too much time in front of my laptop worsened my headaches and made me feel even more drowsy. But, staying at home doing nothing gets boring after a couple of hours; even though I have Nina, my hyperactive puppy, by my side.

I grabbed a book. I bought it last January on my way back from London and had only managed to read a couple of pages. In fact, I didn’t even bother sticking a bookmark inside. There was no point.

The first thing I weirdly enjoy doing once I open a book, is smell the pages.  I don’t know if any of you do this. Maybe it’s just me and my weird habits. Alas, my nasal congestion denied me this simple pleasure. I can’t even taste anything at the moment.

The feel of the pages, though, is soothing. Don’t you miss reading an actual book book and not swiping away through articles, books and magazines on your smartphone? Ah, I remember going to the local library every week and read until my eyes watered. I used to bring home five books at a time (I think that was the limit back then), read the last sentence of each and start with the one I found the most compelling. Again, weird habits. I found solace in fiction and spent hours on end with my favourite characters. How times change.

Back to the present. As I sipped on my honey infused cup of hot water, I read through the first chapter. And then the second. And now, I’m hooked. It’s actually a pretty good read; Anthony Horowitz’s Magpie Murders, a captivating #whodunnit story within another story.

It feels good to be able to absorb the words on the page without having to go through the same paragraph at least three times. There is no clatter in my mind; only the author’s story (or in this case, stories) unfolding. Nothing else.

I know how hectic life can get, believe me. And it’s exactly for that reason why reading can be beneficial.  Leafing through a book can be therapeutic. Plus, I have also read somewhere that it helps boost your concentration. Think about it. You’re exercising your mind whilst enjoying a good page-turner.

I guess it’s nice to free up some time for yourself to simply read without any distractions. You should try it.

Now, I will take my leave. Magpie Murders awaits.

Amanda x

#boostyourconcentration

3-5

I started writing this blog post when I got an idea on how to design my service packages. So, I stopped writing to take what I thought was going to be a quick note. I ended up writing and designing the whole thing. While doing that, I remembered about my husband’s birthday coming up next week and did a quick follow up on the gift status (can’t say what I have in mind because he might actually read this). In the meantime, I had to prepare a baking order for a friend to deliver in the afternoon (baking is something I love to do on the side). Once I got that covered, I found myself staring at my laptop screen. I blinked, twice. What was it again that I was supposed to be doing? That was this morning.

Sometimes, we refer to it as multi-tasking. It’s not.  It’s stopping from doing one thing to start something else entirely without having completed your first task. So instead of getting something done, you will end up with a hundred pending things without concluding anything. This happens to me when I dump ‘the list’ and go rogue. Bad idea.

By all means, if you have an idea jot it down! But if you set out to complete a task, concentrate on getting it done. Otherwise, you will end up with a million incomplete tasks and stress yourself unnecessarily. So, I thought about it and decided that I need to do at least these 3 things to boost my concentration.

  1. Remove any distractions

This may be challenging. I work in a somewhat quiet environment (except for the occasional shout from the neighbour announcing that dinner’s ready) so that helps a lot. Try and find a spot void of visual stimulation (e.g. TV) and noise so that your full attention goes to the task at hand and only that. If necessary, put your phone away. I, for one, tend to have this bad habit of just scrolling through Facebook for minutes on end. And that is super unproductive.

     2. Do not multi-task

If what you’re doing requires your 200% concentration, do only that. Don’t check your phone for emails or other notifications. Don’t switch to another project just for the sake of having started working on it as well. Keep a scrap of paper or notebook nearby so you can jot down any ideas that might pop in your head just so you won’t forget and get back to them later.  Plan ahead – if need be prepare a to do list in the morning or even the night before and stick to those tasks, one by one.

     3. Relax & Unwind

I understand that it is sometimes hard to keep up with the fast paced life that we seem to be living. But do find time for yourself. Take breaks, go outside for a walk (or a coffee, in my case). It helps to shake work off for a while and just be. You will probably return to your work refreshed and reinvigorated!

If you need a little encouragement, I have prepared a couple of motivational quote cards for you!  Just click on the image below to get your free printables 🙂

Amanda x

motivational-cards