Eat regularly

This morning I went straight to the keys and wrote a Writers’ Guild email newsletter that had to go out. Then I had breakfast. So it was around 11am when I ate and now, a couple of hours later, I’m putting off getting lunch.

This could be why I feel a little ill.

You know that you should eat regularly and if you didn’t know it, you hear it often enough. But there is a reason you hear it often, there is a reason why it’s important and in case it takes just one more push to get you to do it, hello. I’m pushing.

I’m pushing you because eating regularly, even though it takes time away from your work, means you can work better.

And I’m pushing you because that will push me. Let us work together. Hey, let’s do lunch, okay?

Before you raid the fridge…

The other weekend I was working so much that Angela would occasionally drop food parcels off at my desk for me. More often I’m working so much and so is she that one or either of us will raid the fridge. Now, this won’t strictly be a piece of productivity advice except that if you get it wrong, you get food poisoning and your productivity is going to be focused very firmly on toilet bowls for a time.

Lifehacker has a good guide to what it actually means when food says it’s best before a certain date, or must be used by another, or sold by a third. It comes down to how most of the time you’re fine for a while after those dates but give it a nose and if the thing whiffs, don’t eat it.

Read the full piece.

The very bad, very good pizza idea

Ignore what I’m about to show you. Focus on how you should eat regularly and eat well. But since you work all the time and it’s common to find you looking in the fridge late in the evening, it’s possibly a public service to tell you about this. This is new. This requires you to close that refrigerator door and then tap your finger against a kind of fridge magnet.

This is why:

Say hello to the Click’N’Pizza. Invented by an Italian startup called La Comanda, the Click’N’Pizza is a big magnetic button that sits on your refrigerator. When you push it, your favorite pizza order is sent in to the local pizza place and a pizza is sent to your house.

That’s it.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in a glorious pizza future.

Carlo Brianza, the CEO and founder of La Comanda, is a pleasant Italian man with salt-and-pepper hair and a passion for both pizza and simplicity.

“I can order my favorite pizza with one click,” he said, holding down a big red button until an exuberant “Pizza is coming!” message appeared on the screen.

“This is the real one click,” he added. “Not the Web one click.”

Click’N’Pizza Is a Magic Button That Delivers Pizza to Your House in One Click – Jason O. Gilbert, Yahoo! Tech (2 March 2015)

You have been warned. For more details, read the full story.

What You Eat Affects Your Productivity

So grab a bottle of whisky, put your feet up with a burger and read this:

Think back to your most productive workday in the past week. Now ask yourself: On that afternoon, what did you have for lunch?

When we think about the factors that contribute to workplace performance, we rarely give much consideration to food. For those of us battling to stay on top of emails, meetings, and deadlines, food is simply fuel.

But as it turns out, this analogy is misleading. The foods we eat affect us more than we realize. With fuel, you can reliably expect the same performance from your car no matter what brand of unleaded you put in your tank. Food is different. Imagine a world where filling up at Mobil meant avoiding all traffic and using BP meant driving no faster than 20 miles an hour. Would you then be so cavalier about where you purchased your gas?

Food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.

What You Eat Affects Your Productivity – Ron Friedman, Harvard Business Review (17 October 2014

Read the full piece.

Eat that

Okay, so, there is no question but that the best food in the world is dark chocolate and that the best drink in the world is builders’-strength Yorkshire Tea. Easy. Some poor eejits don’t realise this, though, and have gone off on some damn fool idealistic crusade to find out what foods make you sleep well and which ones keep you up.

Tossing and turning. Long, sleepless nights. They’re draining, frustrating, and, well, exhausting—physically and mentally. And they’re usually unnecessary, experts say, but can be counteracted by minor dietary tweaks. Indeed, what you put in your mouth can directly affect how many ZZZs come out. “The majority of people with day-to-day insomnia could be sleeping like puppies if they made just a few changes,” says Jacob Teitelbaum, medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, which are located nationwide, and author of From Fatigued to Fantastic. “And if you know how to eat right? You’re going to be way ahead of the game.”

From cherries to almonds, consider these soothing, snooze-inducing foods:

Bananas. Make them a daily staple. They’re packed with potassium and magnesium, nutrients that double as natural muscle relaxants. Plus, they contain the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan, which ultimately turns into serotonin and melatonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that promotes relaxation; melatonin is a chemical that promotes sleepiness. It takes about an hour for tryptophan to reach the brain, so plan your snack accordingly.

[See: Top-Rated Diets Overall]

Sleep-Promoting (and Sleep-Stealing) Foods – Angela Haupt, US News (19 July 2012)

Bananas are just the first of the good ones and there some bad boys in there too. Read the full piece.

Who cooks your breakfast at 5am?

Nobody. What are you, mad?

I do this thing of getting up at 5am to work and I’ve mentioned it enough that last night I got into a conversation about how it works, specifically what my morning pattern is. And the key thing a friend wanted to know was whether my wife Angela also got up at 5am, whether she cooked me breakfast.

This is a friend and she wondered this: I cannot believe you have given my morning routine a single thought but if she’s wondered this, maybe you have too and I really can’t leave you thinking Angela has to do this stupid thing just because I have to do this stupid thing.

I’m up at five and I shower and I do make some tea, naturally, but then I’m straight to the keyboard and I am working. Around 7am, maybe 8am on some days, Angela will get up and I will cook breakfast for us both.

I feel I’m wasting your time telling you this but the slightest possibility that you’d think I’m off here in fairyland pretending to be an early morning writer while Angela suffers, I can’t bear that. Shudder.

Now, since you’ve got me on the subject, I am ravenous. Wait while I phone Angela up and ask what she’s made me for lunch.

Shudder 2.