It’s not all in your head. Zoom fatigue exists.

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TIME ISN’T REAL: Many people find themselves hopelessly unproductive during the little nuggets of time right before an upcoming appointment — and psychologists explain that this is completely normal.

SPONSORED: Virtual meetings may feel extra taxing because they lack the social cues that we’re used to in real-life interactions.

PICTURE OF THE DAY: Scientists think that hating cheese is quite normal. Loving it is, well… not (you weirdos).

TIME ISN’T REAL

The Big Idea:
Many people find themselves hopelessly unproductive during the little nuggets of time right before an upcoming appointment — and psychologists explain that this is completely normal.

When one hour feels like forty minutes

Picture this: you have a friend coming over in an hour. Your house is tidied and nice, and there is nothing left to prepare.

You decide to read while waiting for your friend. How much time do you actually have to read?

Objectively, you have an hour. But you may — as most participants in this study did — feel that you only have forty or fifty minutes. Yeah, the math isn’t mathing. Where did the rest of the time go?

All the time went into preparing for… nothing

It’s actually pretty normal that people just can’t get shit done before an appointment.

Psychologists explain that people tend to factor in some ‘just-in-case’ time into their schedules — despite no real need to. As a result, what could be an hour’s worth of work done becomes only forty minutes of work, plus, twenty minutes of wasting and waiting around.

Stack your meetings for max productivity

Perhaps, there is something about a looming appointment that makes us weirdly — and pointlessly — anxious. If you find that your constant ‘another meeting in an hour’s are making you unproductive, psychologists recommend stacking your tasks and meetings, leaving minimal gaps in between (just enough for when the previous meeting drags over).

This way, you won’t have a bunch of loose time that feels too short to get any real work done, and you’ll leave a bigger uninterrupted time slot that allows you to really get hustlin’.

SNIPPETS

5 Singaporean stories to catch up on

1️⃣  Just keep swimming: Education minister Mr Lawrence Wong warns that it may take four to five years before the Covid-19 pandemic ends.

2️⃣ A one-year-old boy was among the 44 new imported Covid-19 cases reported on Monday, 25 June 2021.

3️⃣ Keep safe and drive on! The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is rolling out a vaccination program to get about 80,000 of its workers vaccinated against Covid-19.

4️⃣ Not the population growth we want… The National Environmental Agency said that the Aedes mosquito population rose around 8% in December.

5️⃣ Mufasa would be proud: The Singapore Zoo welcomed a new lion cub, Simba, last October, the first of which conceived through assisted reproduction.

And 5 facts to spice up your life:

1️⃣ New variants? No problem. Preliminary laboratory tests suggest that Moderna’s vaccine can recognise and fight the new Covid-19 variants.

2️⃣ Camel carriers: Scientists are rushing to test camels and their handlers in Kenya for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) before another pandemic — one that can be 10 times more deadly than Covid-19 — breaks out.

3️⃣ A broken streak: New Zealand has reported its first Covid-19 community case in over two months.

4️⃣ Middle age blues: A new study has found that up to 20% of people report experiencing their worst psychological distress in their middle age.

5️⃣ Still don’t ~get~ your cat? A company called Basepaws is offering at-home DNA test kits for cats — including analysis of its genomes and mutation carrier status.

The Big Idea:
Virtual meetings may feel extra taxing because they lack the social cues that we’re used to in real-life interactions.

From Zoom boom to Zoom gloom

Zoom helped people realise how some meetings don’t have to be physical. And there was a time when Zoom was pretty exciting — going for meetings in pyjamas and the sacred extra hour of sleeping in.

But a year into the pandemic, the Zoom magic seemed to have lost its sparkle and faded into a mundane activity we’d rather avoid.

The limitations of Zoom

According to behaviour analysts, more than we realise, we rely on many nonverbal cues in our daily conversations, such as subtle shifts in eye-contact and body language that help us better understand.

And Zoom – for all its wonders and convenience – gives us none of this. Your brain is basically working overtime trying to figure out (and read) all the tiny faces on your screen.

As such, many people feel drained by these Zoom meetings — a phenomenon known as ‘Zoom fatigue’. No, you’re not just being whiny and you’re definitely not alone!

The power of mindfulness

But there are ways to manage this. Experts suggest that mindfulness techniques like mindful checking-in and meditation could help combat Zoom fatigue.

Many online resources are readily available today. Maybe try The Mindfulness App, designed to teach mindfulness to newbies. Think of it as your virtual handheld friend that accompanies you on your mindfulness journey. The app offers a five-day guided introduction to mindfulness, meditation reminders, and more.

SHOWER THOUGHTS

Weird & Wonderful

  1. Eyebrows are probably the island vacation destinations for head lice.
  2. Being raised around a cat is the first lesson a kid will unknowingly learn about consent.
  3. A paid sleep study is a dream job.
  4. Google could probably develop an algorithm to spot trauma based on users’ search history and cookies.
  5. If you’re not exercising, you’re extra-sizing.
PICTURE OF THE DAY

Image of a Blue-veined cheese from France. By Jason Alden/Bloomberg.

The Big Idea:
Scientists think that hating cheese is quite normal. Loving it is, well… not (you weirdos).

For the cheese-averse

Pineapples on pizzas, milk before cereal… Humans have very strong and polarised opinions about food — maybe because it means so much to us.

Cheese is one of these foods that people either love or… never (ever ever ever) want to get near to. Neuroscience imaging revealed that people who are averse to cheese don’t experience any activation of the ventral pallidum — a brain structure typically activated by hunger — in response to the sight and smell of cheese. That area activated for all other foods they saw, though.

Cheese stinks. Literally.

When it comes to cheese, there really are just two kinds of people. More than any regular “it’s just not my thing” situation, the cheese-averse feel disgusted by cheese.

Scientists propose that this is so because cheese simply doesn’t smell great. For one, to make cheese, you curdle milk, and that already smells like something’s decaying. Not very inviting for some.

Uno reverse: liking cheese is NOT normal

To make matters worse, the odour never really goes away.

But if you’re a cheese lover and wondering how you could’ve gotten Stockholm syndrome with cheese — it could be because the people around you love it. You know, like durian.

According to this theory, children at the age of three to four develop disgust, and that’s when they’ll start turning their noses up at cheese. But they can be socially conditioned to like it, like when their cool big brother and sister eat cheese pizza all the time.

Feel like it’s more than lack of “acquired taste” and more of a gut thing? Check out this article on acid reflux treatments in Singapore here!

Tiffany

Tiffany is a writer who reads Lorde’s lyrics and calls it practice. She likes her pills served with croffles (that’s a croissant waffle, for the unsophisticated.)