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How To End The Never-Ending To-Do Lists

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One of the most satisfying feelings in the world is the knowledge you’ve completed your tasks for the day. If you can look at your To-Do list and do a “check check check” on all the boxes, someone’s going to have a good night’s sleep filled with dreams of puppies and ice cream. Or whatever. Point being, it is simply glorious to sit back, pop your feet up, and say to yourself with utter contentment, “ahhh…. finished.” 

What if you need help completing the tasks on your to do list? What if, no matter how much you try, you just can’t seem to tick those boxes?

All The Apps

There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that there are so, so many options available to you. Some of them being: 

1.Trello

2. Todoist 

3. Gmail Tasks 

4. Microsoft To Do  

5. Remember The Milk 

6. OmniFocus 

7. Any.do 

8. Evernote’s Tasks 

There is an ocean of apps and services to aid you in your noble quest to complete what needs to be done. 

The bad news is that they may not be helping all that much. The question is, why? Why can’t we seem to finish those to-do lists? Are we broken and lazy? Are we prioritizing tasks in a disorganized manner? And why, despite all these helpful options available to us, do we fail to complete our tasks?

The Doctor Is In

Worry not, because the doctor is here to ease your concerns. Dr. Bluma Zeigarnik, to be specific. Dr. Zeigarnik, a Soviet scientist, conducted a study nearly one hundred years ago in 1927 on this very topic. What she discovered was that when we do not finish a task, we have a tendency to obsess over it. This is known today as “the Zeignarik effect,” and while it doesn’t perfectly answer this phenomenon, it does begin to offer an explanation. Two psychologists later confirmed this in 2011. 

What’s The Solution?

Why don’t these virtual to-do lists seem to help? The simple answer is that they don’t go far enough. It takes more to complete a task than simply writing it down. To truly and effectively complete the tasks you just need to do one simple thing: Plan. 

Plan, plan, plan. Be a dork about it. Come up with a strategy for completing your tasks in an efficient manner. Which doesn’t mean starting with the difficult and ending with the easy, nor the other way around. You could switch between simple and hard. It could even take hours to properly plan a method of execution. What you’ll find is that, with a solid plan, you’re going to become the master of to-do lists. 

It truly doesn’t matter how you plan. Everyone has their own organizing style and strategies.

Here are a few tips to give you an idea of what super organized people do. 

It’s just not enough to make a to-do list and then go for it. You have to plan and strategize every step of the way. You manage to do this, and you’ll be crushing those lists like some kind of Crushinator.

Chris Blondell is a Philadelphia-based writer and social media strategist with a current focus on tech industry news. He has written about startups and entrepreneurs based in Denver, Seattle, Chicago, New Haven, and more. He has also written content for a true-crime blog, Sword and Scale, and developed social media content for a local spice shop. An occasional comedian, Chris Blondell also spends his time writing humorous content and performing stand-up for local audiences.

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Symbrosia Is Using Seaweed To Fight Climate Change

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Seaweed is going to save the world? What is Symbrosia going on about? 

Cows and methane are major problems in terms of their effect on climate. Methane is highly effective in keeping greenhouse gases within our atmosphere. Cows fart methane. The more cows, the more methane. The more methane, the direr our situation. 

Many have suggested cutting beef out of our diets in order to combat this problem. I don’t know if you’ve gotten to know America, but we will cling to our cheeseburgers until the world burns to the ground. 

Mmm, taste the char on that burger, patriot. 

Thankfully, Symbrosia is here to say, “Don’t worry, Mr. Stubborn America, you can keep eating your beef. Instead, how about we change what the cows eat?” 

Change what the cows eat, change the world, no burgers missed. What Symbrosia has found is a win-win scenario for action on climate. 

Meet Alexia Akbay, Founder and CEO

Alexia Akbay founded Symbrosia in 2018 and is the current CEO. Always passionate about the environment, Akbay saw an opportunity and ran with it. 

[We were] founded … on the back of some really cutting edge research out of Australia that showed that supplementing the diet of cattle and dairy cows with a specific red seaweed asparagopsis taxiformis that reduces their methane emissions by over 90 percent.

“The issue at the time was that this seaweed was not commercially grown prior and there were no methods to do so.

“So, Symbrosia was founded on this problem that we were going to develop production technologies and conventional supporting technology to scale this industry and create carbon-neutral beef and dairy.”

The species of seaweed Symbrosia is farming for cattle feed is called Asparagopsis taxiformis

All About Aspargopsis Taxiformis

Asparagopsis taxiformis, also known as “red algae,” is a seaweed species found in tropical to warm temperate waters. It’s an edible seaweed and one of the more popular types of limu (general Polynesian term for edible underwater plants). 

In the Hawaiian language it’s known as Limu kohu, or “pleasing seaweed.” It has a bitter taste, and is a common ingredient in poke. Who doesn’t like poke? 

In short, you can eat it. So, why not let cows eat it too? 

How Does Seaweed Reduce Methane Emissions?

Symbrosia has done their homework. They’re the kid in class always raising their hand and getting “As” but they’re also really likeable and are also somehow really good at sports and the lead in the play and make it all look so easy. 

Screw them, right? jk lol. 

There have been no shortage of studies proving A. taxiformis’ effectiveness in reducing methane emissions. One study, Kinley 2020, found that red algae induced enteric (relating to or occurring in the intestines… read a biology book, why don’t you?) methane mitigation. In lamens terms, it made cows fart less. It also found that the productivity in cattle had improved significantly. 

We’re seeing higher milk yield in dairy cattle [by as much as] 15 percent. And then beef cattle we’re seeing faster growth because that energy isn’t being released from the animal.

I, too, notice that I am more productive and energetic when I’m less gassy. Who wants to work when they’re embarrassingly gassy, right? Diet plays a critical role there. Turns out that seaweed, like A. taxiformis, is far healthier than typical cattle feed. 

How Do You Farm Seaweed?

There is a specific way to farm seaweed, and it ain’t difficult. 

We only need saltwater, nutrients from the sun, and the nutrients that we can utilize from waste resources. So, in terms of its impact on the environment in general, it’s one of the most sustainable crops you could grow.”

On top of that, productivity per acre is extremely high. It’s over 10x that of any traditional [crop] – like soy, corn, or other feeds – that we commonly use.

When it comes to farming seaweed, it’s mostly been for humans. If you’ve ever eaten miso soup at a Japanese restaurant – that leafy green thing floating around ain’t lettuce. 

As we search for creative, sustainable means to combat climate change, seaweed has increasingly become a part of the solution. 

We believe that we’re kind of at this really interesting inflection point for algae producers because historically algae is mostly produced for human nutraceuticals, so health benefits or other markets where algae or seaweed is more culturally relevant in food. 

“We’re really seeing this inflex in lots of startups in our space that recognize the sustainable properties of seaweed as a crop and using those for industrial applications, which is cool.

How Symbrosia Is Using All of This To Save Our World

We need action on climate change. One major challenge is combatting all of the methane released from cattle. Since America looooooves its beef, it’s hard to imagine the country taking on a vegan diet. Symbrosia is the first of its kind to offer a solution so perfectly suited to this situation. 

We are the first commercial entity that is out there to start this seaweed [production]. And we’ve proven that in a number of the initial proof points so far – first commercial trials, first scaled production. 

“It’s been a really great journey and we’re continuing to grow.”

Symbrosia is in exactly the right climate for this kind of success. As our situation becomes increasingly dire, as does the popularity for taking part in efforts to effectively combat it. 

“I think that the climate catastrophe is becoming super in everyone’s face – whether it’s on television, social media, or talking to your friends – I think more and more Americans and the global population is recognizing that climate change is real

“We have to make significant efforts, mass significant efforts to save our species on the planet.

Outside of providing sustainable, healthy, environment-friendly feed, Symbrosia also has a carbon offset program where you can offset your personal emissions. Or gift it to your favorite environmental activist (hint hint holidays are coming up hint hint).

What’s Next For Symbrosia

Next year, Symbrosia will be scaling up bigger and better. 

We’re scaling up production, scaling up the duration, size, and number of commercial trials, and bringing Asparagopsis taxiformis to market. The next year is going to be a huge one for Symbrosia and the nascent asparagopsis industry.”

Expect to hear more from Symbrosia. They are taking on the battle for our climate and doing it with a chill, confident, and infectious smile. These are the folks you want working to make our world a better place.

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Business

2021 Holiday Gift Guide for Mental Wellness

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We’ve got another Holiday Gift Guide for y’all! We know that 2021 isn’t much less stressful than 2020. And now that the holidays are coming up we need help more than ever. This season, give yourself (or a loved one in need of coping mechanisms) these mental wellness gifts. Here is our 2021 Holiday Gift Guide for mental wellness. 

1. CalmiGo

If you’re an asthmatic with anxiety, this product will seem familiar. CalmiGo is essentially an inhaler for panic attacks. With calming lights and a lavender scent, you can calm yourself in three minutes. That’s one whole song. Who can’t endure one song in order to calm yourself? Say goodbye to panicked breathing into a paper bag like a comedy movie from the 1980s. Say hello to CalmiGo. 

Buy it now for $199

2. Komuso Design

What looks like a styled piece of jewelry is actually a breathing exerciser… I think. After some scrolling through and hunting for how this necklace is supposed to work, the site tells you that “most people don’t breathe properly.” (What is “proper” breathing? Sounds like it involves a corset, no?) Komuso’s Shift helps you breathe by placing what looks like a whistle into your mouth and … breathe. Shifts are available “for her” and “for him” (because, as we all know, breathing is gendered). 

At best, you can use it as a thing to play with if you’re the kind of person who needs to fidget. 

Buy it now for $85

3. Somnox

Is it a pillow? Is it a stuffed animal (or amoeba?) Am I going to be cuddling with it? You bet. The Somnox is a Sleeping Robot that helps regulate your breathing as you sleep. Anyone who battles insomnia (anyone with anxiety) will love this adorable little cuddle bug. Just look at it! I’m immediately relaxed for that perfectly snuggleable buddy. 

Get on the waiting list now

4. Gravity Weighted Chunky Knit Blanket

There’s nothing like a great blanket in the dead of winter. Gravity Weighted Chunky Knit Blanket sounds warm already. I don’t even care to read more. Sold. It comes in the comfortable named colors olive, winter white, and grey (if you can’t find the comfort in “grey,” you’re not going to make it through winter, sorry). 

Buy it now for $229

5. Gradient Signe Floor and Table Lamp

The right lighting can make a big difference in terms of mental wellness. Don’t believe me? Then why do they have a dimmer setting? Hm? Riddle me that, smart guy. The Gradient Signe Floor and Table Lamp is a stylish lamp so minimal that you barely notice it’s there. This light seamlessly blends colors from one to the next. One look at it and I already feel soothed. 

Buy it now for $299

6. Acupuncture Mat

No, it’s not the bed of needles you’ll see in an Arabian marketplace. This Acupuncture Mat gently stimulates across the body so effectively that you can’t help but relax. Anyone with aches and pains will find immediate comfort in this bubble-wrap-looking mat. 

Buy it now for $65

7. Cefaly

Anyone who has ever had a migraine knows just how bad it can be. Some people have a routine for how to deal with them. This cute little device, Cefaly, has electrodes you stick to your head. This is a “consult your doctor” kind of device, but, hey, when you have a migraine, you’ll grab anything to prevent and/or treat it. 

Buy it now for $379

8. Muse 2

People who struggle with anxiety usually benefit from meditation. But anyone who has tried meditation is well aware of how difficult it can be to obtain that encompassing sense of silence. The Muse 2 is here to lend a helping hand that provides real time feedback on brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movement. 

Buy it now for $249

Hope you liked what we picked for our holiday gift guide for mental wellness. Check out our other Holiday Gift Guides for 2021!

Happy Holidays and Be Safe!

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Business

8 Office Supply Gifts To Help Your Productivity

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Productivity can be a fickle thing. As we gradually return to the office from our homes, we may have to readjust our productivity behaviors. What better way to get into a productive mood than some fresh new office supply gifts! Here are some of our favorite supplies to get excited about heading back to the office. 

Harber London NOMAD Leather iPad Pro Organizer

Who doesn’t love the smell of new leather? The Harber London NOMAD Leather iPad Pro Organizer is a classy, upscale way to keep all of your favorite electronics organized and cozy in their fine leather pouches. You’ll be the envy of all of your office mates with this beautiful leather organizer. 

Buy it here for £299.00

Acera Harmony Stainless Steel Travel Mug with Ceramic Core

How are you going to be productive if you don’t have your coffee? The Acera Harmony Stainless Steel Travel Mug is a beautiful way to keep your coffee nice and hot for up to six hours. With stainless steel on the outside and a ceramic core, you can guarantee that you won’t be missing your caffeine fix as you get to work. 

Buy it here for $99.00

Jelbows Comfortable Gel Elbow Desk Pad Collection

Your elbows don’t have to experience discomfort while you’re at the office. With Jelbows, you can comfortably rest your elbows on this sleek, modest design. When you’re comfortable at work, you’ll be far more in the mood to get things accomplished. 

Buy it here for $21.49

Royole RoWrite 2 Smart Writing Digital Notebook

This is some next-level notetaking. The Royole RoWrite 2 Smart Writing Digital Notebook simultaneously captures your handwritten ideas, notes, and drawings on the paper digitally. If you’re into traditional handwritten notes, this notebook seamlessly bridges the gap. 

Buy it here for $129.99

Zero Gravity Cushions Posture Correction Seat

Don’t let your spine take all the heat. Sit up properly! Sometimes we can forget to do our backs that favor. The Zero Gravity Cushions ensure that you sit up and keep your spine healthy and happy. This cushion is so comfortable, you’ll hardly notice it. 

Buy it here for $109

Batelier Handicraft Wood Cable Organizer

All of these wires can be a real mess, right? Not anymore. The Batelier Handicraft Wood Cable Organizer keeps all of your various cables organized in this classy wooden holder. Never leave your cables tangled up again. 

Buy it here for $49.00

Luma³ Relaxation Cube 

If you don’t give yourself a chance to relax, you’ll never truly be productive. The Luma³ Relaxation Cube sits with you while you’re at work, gently illuminating when it’s time to give yourself a break. With simple breathing exercises, you can ensure that you keep your sanity as you work through the day. 

Buy it here for £54.00

In order to be our most productive selves, we have to make sure we’re totally there for the work. What helps us get in the mood is fresh new office supply gifts so we can hit the ground running in the new year!

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