We have an epidemic of deeply flawed meta-analyses, says John Ioannidis

John Ioannidis, a professor at Stanford University and one of the most highly cited researchers in the world, has come up with some startling figures about meta-analyses. His new paper, published today in Milbank Quarterly (accompanied by this commentary), suggests that the number of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in literature have each increased by more […]

The post We have an epidemic of deeply flawed meta-analyses, says John Ioannidis appeared first on Retraction Watch.

John Ioannidis, a professor at Stanford University and one of the most highly cited researchers in the world, has come up with some startling figures about meta-analyses. His new paper, published today in Milbank Quarterly (accompanied by this commentary), suggests that the number of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in literature have each increased by more […]

The post We have an epidemic of deeply flawed meta-analyses, says John Ioannidis appeared first on Retraction Watch.

Ioannidis: We have “massive production of unnecessary, misleading, and conflicted systematic reviews and meta-analyses”

Reposting this as our email alerts seem to be down again. Read full post here.

The post Ioannidis: We have “massive production of unnecessary, misleading, and conflicted systematic reviews and meta-analyses” appeared first on Retraction Watch.

Reposting this as our email alerts seem to be down again. Read full post here.

The post Ioannidis: We have “massive production of unnecessary, misleading, and conflicted systematic reviews and meta-analyses” appeared first on Retraction Watch.

Posts you may have missed: Student loses PhD, controversial data to be released

We’ve got some late-breaking news to report — plus, it’s been a busy news week overall, and some of our email alerts didn’t go out, due to a programming glitch. Below, here are some recent stories you may have missed. A tribunal at Queen Mary University of London has decided to disclose the data from the […]

The post Posts you may have missed: Student loses PhD, controversial data to be released appeared first on Retraction Watch.

We’ve got some late-breaking news to report — plus, it’s been a busy news week overall, and some of our email alerts didn’t go out, due to a programming glitch. Below, here are some recent stories you may have missed. A tribunal at Queen Mary University of London has decided to disclose the data from the […]

The post Posts you may have missed: Student loses PhD, controversial data to be released appeared first on Retraction Watch.

Five Clever Tips for Stress-Free Family Camping

Let’s face it: Camping, especially with young children, can be a lot of work. And because it’s tedious, not all parents…

The post Five Clever Tips for Stress-Free Family Camping appeared first on Dumb Little Man.




Let’s face it:

Camping, especially with young children, can be a lot of work. And because it’s tedious, not all parents willingly take their kids whenever they go camping.

If you are one of these parents, here are five tips for family camping you can use to make camping less stressful and more enjoyable for you and your little ones.

Tip #1: Make a List and Use It

Sit down and make a list of all the necessary things you need to bring to your camping trip. It can be helpful to break the list down into categories to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. Start with the essentials first, like the tent, food and camping tools. Once you’ve covered the essentials, you can go to the extras, such as batteries and rain gears.




If you camp often, you can save your list on the computer so you can just print it out each time you are packing for a trip. Following a list can help eliminate the worrying and stress that come with forgotten tools and meals.


See Also: 8 camping hacks that’ll turn you into a super-camper (and impress the girls)

Tip #2: Plan your Menu

camping food

If food is important at home, it is even more important when camping. Since you and your family will be burning more calories than usual, you need to make sure no one gets hungry along the way. You also need to pack plenty of water avoid dehydration.

When planning your menu, keep in mind to double check everything. You won’t have easy access to stores when you go camping, so make sure you have everything you need. It’s also a good idea to include snacks in your menu since kids can really get cranky when they’re hungry.

Tip #3: Bring “Tools” That Can Make Tasks Easier

Perhaps, one of the most stressful things about camping is keeping an eye on your little ones. Since there are a lot of things you need to do while you’re still setting up, it can be difficult to keep a tab on them.

One of your best solutions is to keep your children busy as you set up. Bring along a few toys that your small children can play with while you set up your tent or cook dinner. You can also keep them preoccupied by giving them their own mini-camping tools.

For example, you can bring along your child’s toy hammer so that they can “help” you set up your tent. You can also give them cooking toys so that they can “cook” right next to you. This way, you can finish your tasks without having to worry about your children leaving our sight.

Tip #4: Have a Plan for the Day but be Flexible

Before heading straight to camping, it’s a good idea if you can create a plan. Planning can give you a clearer idea of what you need to do for a specific day.

To ensure that your kids will enjoy the activities, it’s a good idea if you can ask them what they want, like the activities they prefer, snacks they want to eat and places they want to go. Making sure that they have a say in the plans and get to do what they are interested in is essential if you want to them to maintain a positive attitude throughout the trip.

While having a plan is important, so is being flexible. If some of the activities you include in your plan aren’t feasible, be open to suggestions instead of pursuing them further. It will only make your camping a lot stressful for everyone.

See Also: Make Memories, Not Conflicts: How to Survive a Road Trip With Small Children

Tip #5: Have Activities for “Down Time”

camping rest time

Travelling can be exhausting, especially for kids. Because of this, it’s important that you also have a good plan on how you’ll spend your periods of downtime with them.

You can bring some books that you know your children can enjoy. You can also take a few of their toys with you for the trip. Ensuring that your kids have something to do while resting can help keep the stress level of everyone down.

Introducing your kids to camping while they’re still young can seem like an overwhelming task. However, over time, you’ll be glad you made the effort. Camping comes with a lot of benefits, including encouraging a better appreciation of nature and even life.

The post Five Clever Tips for Stress-Free Family Camping appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Techniques for Increasing your Focus in 5 Minutes

Did you know that for every distraction, you will have to wait for at least 25 minutes before things return…

The post 5 Techniques for Increasing your Focus in 5 Minutes appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Did you know that for every distraction, you will have to wait for at least 25 minutes before things return to normal? Yeah, I didn’t know that either. That’s why increasing your focus is vital.

The truth is, distractions are now a part of everyday life. Notifications, email, the Internet, social media, colleagues… these are but a few of the many obstacles we face today. And if you have ever struggled with any of these, you aren’t alone.

For example, Facebook and email bombarded me during my last summer break. I knew I had to work, but the temptation to check each of them was constantly on my mind. Also, I found that during conversations, no matter how engaged I am, whenever my phone would vibrate my focus immediately dropped to zero.

Over the course of a month, I have adopted 5 techniques to help me get rid of – or at least minimize – distractions. And I’ve found that these methods give significant results in a short amount of time.

1. Get Simple

One of the main reasons I got distracted from working was the fact that I used Word for writing. Though I have nothing against Microsoft, Word simply sucks when you want to focus on writing. There are just so many options at the top of my screen that it’s hard to focus on doing the task at hand. That’s why I switched to plain text writing – it’s simple and helps me focus.

I urge you to do the same. Simplicity breeds focus. Once you have nothing to do other than work, you will work.

See Also: 4 Habits That Will Improve Your Focus And Destroy Procrastination

2. Fight tech with tech

If you’ve found that technology is your biggest time waster, then fight it – with the right software. A popular one is StayFocusd for Chrome. This app helps in increasing your focus by blocking distracting webpages from the Internet. And if you ever visit these pages? You get this:

stayfocsd_msg

Now, what if something came to your mind while working? Something like: “What was the name of the character who *place name of actor here* acted in *place name of film here*?” Good question! Read the next point.

3. Create a Distraction List

internet distraction

Sometimes you will get distracted by a thought that disrupts your focus. When this happens, the last thing you want to do is tell it to go away, as this usually doesn’t work.

So what does? A distraction list. To make this, just create a new text file. Not in Evernote. Not a Word document. A text file.

Now, rename it to “Distraction list”. After doing so, place it in your desktop. Whenever you have a thought, you can just open the file and type the thought down. These are usually things you won’t come back to again, but writing them down usually helps to clear your mind.

4. Go offline

Most distractions you get come from the Internet. While using the right software can help a lot, it still helps to go offline for at least an hour each day.

If you ever decide to do this, do it in the morning. Unless you’ve just napped, your energy levels in the afternoon are not as high as when you’ve just woken up. Therefore, in the morning just after you wake up, go offline for an hour and get on with doing whatever you are supposed to be doing.

See Also: How to Stay Focused When You’re Tempted to Slack Off – in 3 Simple Steps

5. Turn off notifications

turn off notifications

Even if you go offline, there is still another thing you should worry about: notifications. How do you stop them? Well, you simply turn them off!

Both Android and iOS let you do this. Check out this tutorial on how to go about it. And while notifications can still exist on the Mac and PC, they aren’t as bad as what you get from a mobile phone.

So there you go! Five techniques in increasing your focus that you could adopt in the next 5 minutes. Make sure to adopt one tonight to get rid of distractions and do what is actually important.

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5 Easy Ways To Feel More Energized At Work

If you need help on how to get more energized for work, read on. This is the story of my…

The post 5 Easy Ways To Feel More Energized At Work appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

If you need help on how to get more energized for work, read on.

This is the story of my most embarrassing moment at work.

I’m sitting in a toilet cubical and I can barely keep my eyes open. Before I know it, I have the cleaner knocking on the door, asking me if everything was okay.

I’d been in there for 30 minutes but had no idea because I’d fallen asleep.

I was so ashamed. It was only 10am and I’d been at work for just an hour!

This might sound like an extreme example of tiredness but I’m sure you can relate to it. That feeling of having no energy, always feeling tired and all you want to do is go home to bed. Then, when you get home, you end up staying up late anyway.

I decided I needed to do something about it. I didn’t want to be that guy sleeping in the toilets at work anymore so I started exploring how to boost my energy levels.

That’s when I discovered these tips. If you apply these to your lifestyle, you will be ready to take on whatever work throws at you.

Tips on how to get more energized:

1. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier

wake up earlier

It is so easy to watch that extra episode of your favourite box set when you know you should be going to sleep. You know that going to bed early would be the best idea but you just can’t bring yourself to turn it off.

This is because we have entered a gratification cycle. By going on social media sites, we are getting what’s known as dopamine hits. This is from consuming short bursts of content. This makes it harder for us to put down that technology.

The blue light found in these devices also suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps control our sleep and wake cycles. Our cortisol hormone levels then increase, which make it harder for us to get to sleep.

As a result, in the morning, you find yourself pressing snooze because you’ve only had 6 hours sleep or less. Well, don’t give in to temptation.

By going to sleep and getting up at the same time each day, you are setting your body’s internal clock. This can increase your sleep quality and therefore make you feel less tired the next day.

It is important to stick to this routine on the weekend too if you can. Otherwise, you get that dreaded Monday morning feeling when your alarm goes off.

If you want a little more help getting up at the right time each day, download a free sleep cycle alarm clock on your mobile phone via iTunes or Google Play. These apps track your sleep patterns and wake you up during your lightest sleep. This is a natural way of waking up and feeling rested without the use of an alarm clock.

The best way to find out how much sleep you need each night is by experimenting. Try going to bed a little earlier each night until you feel well rested. If you happen to wake up early with less than an hour and a half before you need to get up, make sure you get up. This is so that you’re not entering a new sleep cycle. If yo don’t do this, the sleep cycle will only be half completed, causing you to feel more tired when your alarm goes off.

See Also: Get A Good Night of Quality Sleep With These 10 Shortcuts for Falling Asleep in Record Time

2. Eat breakfast

Out of all our meals, breakfast is the most important. We can’t count the number of times we’ve heard this or been told this. But it’s true. Breakfast increases your energy levels. For example, oats are great for slow release energy. They will stop you getting hungry sooner as hunger can cause us to feel tired.

Slow release energy is important because if we opt for food that are high in sugar, such as cakes or pastries, we will release sugar quickly into our bloodstream. This can cause insulin spikes that can create energy highs but also energy crashes.

By having breakfast, you are breaking the fast. So if you choose to skip this meal, you are running on empty.

Breakfast also provides us with a lot of nutrients like calcium, iron, protein and fibre. These are nutrients we might not get in other meals during the day.

Breakfast also restores our blood glucose level back to normal after our overnight fast. We usually skip breakfast because we don’t have time in the morning. But if you follow tip 1 then you should have plenty of time in the morning to sit down with a bowl of porridge. (I like mine with honey).

According to Mayo Clinic, when we eat a good and hearty breakfast, it refuels the body and restocks it with glycogen stores that supply us with immediate energy. When we skip breakfast, it results in decreased physical activity and performance.

3. Drink more water and drink less caffeine

Now this is a difficult one if you are surrounded by coffee at work and absolutely love it.
It might seem like coffee is keeping your energy levels up in the day but when it comes to going to sleep at night, you may find your mind is still buzzing.

This will result in another late night causing you to wake up feeling so tired you have to drink two more cups of coffee before 10am. And then the cycle repeats itself… Don’t let this be you.

Caffeine can stay in our system for up to 6 hours. To make sure this doesn’t affect your sleep, make sure you don’t have any after 2pm.

It might make us feel like we have energy, but once the adrenaline of drinking the coffee wears off, you can end up feeling tired and irritable. Sometimes it can result in a headache due to dehydration.

The best way to get rid of relying on it is to not have it. If this is just unavoidable try a decaf option instead.

By drinking more water, we are keeping our body hydrated which will also give us more energy. Dehydration can affect your attention span. If we are dehydrated our brain has to work extra hard.
It can also increase tiredness so it is important to drink about 8 glasses of water a day.

4. Start your day outside

start your day outside

It can be hard to get any natural sunlight when you are stuck at a desk all day. But the lack of sun exposure can make us feel tired and lethargic. That’s why it is important to try and start your day with some sun exposure.

Try going for a quick walk or even walk to work if it is possible. Sun exposure reminds our brain that it is daytime and encourages the release of cortisol. This hormone is controlled by our internal clock called the circadian rhythm.

Shawn Stevenson (creator of the Shawn Stevenson Model blog ‘) says “sunlight in the morning can lower cortisol levels in the evening, which will help us have a better night’s sleep.

If you can start your day with a walk instead of a cup of coffee, you will soon be flying.

5. Add exercise into your routine

Now if you are able to run or walk to work, then you are already on a great path to increasing your energy levels.

Exercise is not only brilliant in helping you sleep better at night but it is also great at calming the mind and making you feel motivated and focused. These are two key tools for a productive day at work.

In the online magazine, Psychology Today, Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. writes how exercise has multiple benefits for the body including lifting mood, reducing stress and anxiety, improving circadian rhythms, promoting alertness during the day and improving sleep at night.

If you can try and schedule just 30 minutes of exercise a day then that is a good amount. This could be a mixture of walking, running or taking the stairs instead of the lifts at work.

See Also: 19 Ways to Get Motivated to Exercise

And there it is. Five easy tips to get you more energized and ready for whatever your day has in store for you.

And what is better is they won’t cost you a penny. You can start implementing them right away.
I have so much more energy now that I am far more productive at work and as a result rarely get stressed. Sleeping in work toilets is absolutely a thing of the past.

I’d love to hear from you if you have any secrets or tips for getting more energy. Thanks for reading!

 

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