Why and How to Stop Multitasking

Reclaim Your Productivity; Increase Enjoyment of Your Time Off

On the surface, it seems as though multitasking would make a great productivity tool. After all, if you can book a plane ticket and quickly shoot off an email while you’re on a phone meeting at work, why not? Haven’t you just masterfully killed two birds with one stone? Shouldn’t you be congratulated for being a brilliant time manager?

Research says no.

multitasking

Multitasking will drop your I.Q. faster than smoking pot.

One study showed that workers distracted by incoming email and text messages saw a whopping 10-point drop in their I.Q.s.

What’s the effect of a 10-point drop in I.Q.? It’s the same as losing an entire night’s sleep, and more than twice the effect of smoking marijuana.

Multitasking slashes your productivity by as much as 40%. 

We delude and fool ourselves into believing that we’re getting more done by multitasking. In reality, a day of multitasking results in less accomplishment, less productivity, and at the end of the day, something perhaps worse than mere low productivity.

Multitasking skyrockets feelings of stress and anxiety, eating away at the enjoyment of free time.

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4 Amazingly Easy Steps To Get Out Of Debt

If you as a parent are out of debt by the day your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to help with college bills. If you start the process of getting out of debt years before your kid starts college, you’ll have more cash on hand to save for college.

Either way, you’ll dramatically increase the chances that your child will graduate from college and begin adult life debt-free.

Today I’m featuring four amazingly easy steps to get out of debt, from best-selling author Dave Ramsey. These steps to get out of debt are so easy, you can fit them on a post-it note.

get out of debt

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You’re 20? Here’s the Career Advice Nobody’s Telling You

Today I’m featuring a must-read article by Forbes contributor Jason Nazar on career advice for 20-year-olds. If you’re parenting a child age 16–29, read this article and pick one or two topics to discuss with your child this week.

And if your child is age 18–29? Share this article with him or her now. Don’t wait.

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Best Gift Ever For Students Age 17-29

This Meg Jay Book is Changing Lives

If you’re looking for a birthday, holiday, or graduation gift for a 17-29 year old, here’s the one I most want people in this age range to receive.

It’s the book The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter–And How to Make the Most of Them Now by Meg Jay.

definingdecade

Sure, a lot of 20 somethings read this book after graduating from college. But I say: Why wait? If your kid’s a high school senior, order this book right now and give your son or daughter a huge head start on building a happy, fulfilled life.

Believe me — this book can be a game changer for any student in their late teens or 20s.

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7 Criteria To Decide: Should Your Healthy 20-Something Kids Live With You?

So, your 20-something daughter wants to live at home in her childhood bedroom. Should you happily say yes and make a plate of warm cookies to welcome her back?

Or could this put you (and your child) in a bad spot?

I’ve written in a previous post about the horror of loving mothers and fathers who sacrifice for years only to find themselves in their 50’s, stressed and anxious over unkempt twenty-something children still living in their childhood bedrooms. Many of these parents despair over dependent 20-somethings sleeping in past noon, lounging afternoons away on parents’ couches, helping themselves to food from their parents’ refrigerators, and then staying up long hours into each night gazing into the flickering blue screens of online video games. 

You know that there are hundreds of thousands of parents living this nightmare every day, right?

What can you do to avoid becoming that parent?

1. Is your child enrolled in (and making successful progress through) a full-time academic program?

When your child is in elementary and middle school — or as soon as possible after that — start telling your children this important sentence: “Honey, we will be happy to provide free room and board to you after your high school graduation, as long as you’re enrolled in (and making successful progress through) a full-time academic or job-training program.”

2. If your child is still in high school, clearly lay out the plan for the summer after high school graduation.

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Drowning in Student Loan Debt? Here are 6 Legitimate Ways Out

Part 3 of a 3-Part Series

This article is part 3 of a 3-part series on what students can do if they’ve left college with student loan debt. You can find the first two (very important) articles in this series here and here.

Every year, frightening numbers of students finish college with massive amounts of student loan debt—and then find themselves completely unable to find employment that pays enough to cover their student loan payments.

Many of these 20somethings work as nannies, restaurant servers, and cashiers, jobs that barely pay enough to cover rent and groceries.

What can be done about this? Simply not paying on student loan debt is not an option. (You can read about the scary consequences of student loan debt default here.)

If you’re a former college student and you find yourself in this position, here are 6 strategies that will help.

student loan debt

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Grandparents, Here’s How to Give COLLEGE SAVINGS as Holiday Gifts

This article on how grandparents can give college savings as holiday gifts was updated on November 20th, 2018. 

Most grandparents love to dote on their beloved grandchildren, but let’s face it. Older kids and teens are notoriously hard to shop for.

How can grandparents give a relatively inexpensive holiday gift that will be remembered with tears and great appreciation for years down the line?

No matter your income level or budget, Grandma and Grandpa, here’s an ingenious idea for deeply impacting the kids you love this holiday season.

grandma

Write a letter, put the letter in a box, and wrap the box.

Now imagine this scenario.

The child or teen opens a wrapped box from you, and inside he finds an envelope that says, “Brad, read this later. Love, Grandma and Grandpa.”

In this special letter you tell him how much you love him, what admirable good character and potential you see in him, how proud you are of what he’s accomplished the previous year, how excited you are to see him have a successful future, and that you have made a contribution to a fund where you’re saving for his future education.

You don’t have to tell anyone the actual amount you’ve put into this college fund.

Any amount, even $10.00, is generous.

If you like to write, you can add more detail to this letter.

The letter could also include stories from your own life, along with wise advice for this boy’s future. Letters like these become increasingly precious to kids as the years go by—even if you’ve invested only a small amount in the college savings account each year.

Parents who’ve read pages 23–25 of my book will carefully save these letters.

On those pages, I strongly urge parents to carefully save these letters (along with photos of you and the child together), and then eventually use an online service to create a scrapbook out of them.

When this child is an adult, this scrapbook will mean more to him or her than a hundred sweaters and plastic toys.

What if your savings for this kid’s college ends up being over $100.00, and you want to invest it?

As this special college savings fund gets larger, you may want to invest it so that it can grow and increase in value while you’re sleeping. You shouldn’t do this until you’ve had a financial advising professional help you with your own retirement planning of course—but if you’ve got that taken care of, here’s what to consider as you invest this college savings money.

Invest in such a way that you protect the child’s future financial aid eligibility.

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“Let’s Talk Now About What Life Will Look Like When You Come Home on College Breaks.”

What Every Parent Needs To Cheerfully Tell College-Bound Kids In the Month Before Classes Start

As a parent, you’d like to make your kid’s future college breaks as warm and memorable as possible. But will you be able to do that if your newly-flown offspring comes home snarly and inconsiderate?

assistedlift

What if your newly minted college student decides to stay out until all hours on the night before Thanksgiving, and you toss and turn and lose sleep until 3:00 a.m. because you’re worried there’s been a car accident?

What if your child brings home overnight guests without asking — as though your house is his own?

What if your new “adult” college student decides to spend the entire break watching TV and playing video games — while you take care of all the grocery shopping, meal prep, cleaning, and yard work that keeps your household running smoothly?

Will this make for a warm, memorable college break for you, Mom?

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12th Grader’s Got No Career Direction? Do This—Right Now.

This article on career direction for 12th graders was originally published here on March 11th, 2015. It was updated and republished here on December 7th, 2018.

Your 12th grader hasn’t yet figured out “what he wants to do with his life,” and it’s making you nervous. You absolutely don’t want him living in your basement next year—partially for fear he’ll turn into one of those 20something kids floundering through their 20’s without jobs that actually allow them to support themselves.

Don’t lose another night’s sleep over this. You can help your child take aim and shoot at an exciting future that’s beautifully suited to him.

7 Ways to Help a 12th Grader Who Needs Career Direction

1. Get your child three specific career assessments as soon as possible. I’ll help you.

I clearly explain why and how in chapter 13 of my book, LAUNCH: How to Get Your Kids Through College Debt-Free and Into Jobs They Love Afterward

To see which assessments I recommend and where to find a certified practitioner to administer them, visit the Approved Consultants tab on this website.

I’m convinced that having this career direction work done before starting college can save your family $50,000 in tuition payments for unneeded college classes.

If your child doesn’t want to take career assessments, read this article on paying teens to do things.

2. What was your son’s personality type on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator? INTP? ESFJ? Read the chapter on that personality type in the book Do What You Are.

I love the book Do What You Are by Paul D. Tieger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Tieger. This book will provide a huge number of possible career goals for your son based on how his personality type thinks, works, and processes information.

3. Your child’s still resistant to the idea of taking career assessments, even when you offer to pay him to take them? Do this.

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One Sentence That’ll Keep Your Kids From Living At Home in Their 20s

Parents, I know you’ve heard the horror stories.

Messy Computer Room

photo credit: 232 via photopin (license)

You’ve heard of loving mothers and fathers who sacrifice for years only to find themselves in their 50s, stressed and anxious over unkempt twenty-something children still living in their childhood bedrooms, sleeping in past noon, lounging afternoons away on parents’ couches, helping themselves to food from their parents’ refrigerators, and then staying up long hours into each night gazing into the flickering blue screens of online video games? 

You know that there are hundreds of thousands of parents living this nightmare every day, right?

What are you going to do to avoid becoming that parent?

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