Spada Law - March 2019

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MARCH 2019

The Myth of Multitasking

Learn to Prioritize the ONE Thing

Many of us claim to be great at multitasking. Who hasn’t boasted about being able to cook breakfast, take a phone call, and get the kids out the door in time to catch the school bus without missing a beat? Here’s the thing: Even if you managed to get all those things done in the morning, would you call the results great? Odds are the toast burned, the phone call was interrupted every 30 seconds, and you were so distracted by everything else, you forgot to make sure the kids grabbed their lunches. The truth is that humans are terrible at multitasking, and recent research proves it! Our brains aren’t designed to focus on more than one task at a time. Sure, we can walk and chew gum at the same time, but we can’t focus on the flavor of the gum and the contours of the sidewalk at the same time. It’s one or the other at any given moment. When you are working on a project but take a phone call while doing so, you aren’t really focusing on either the project or the call. You’re “switching” your attention from one part of your brain to another in rapid succession. I have to turn my email notifications off when I’m working on a case because I am compelled to answer every email that appears in my inbox. When I do this, it takes longer to reply to the email, and the quality of my legal work I should be focusing on suffers. It takes just one-tenth of a second to switch focus, but it takes a lot more energy and time for our brains to really focus or re-focus once diverted. A recent study published in the journal Brain Research found the amount of focus a person devotes to the task of driving decreases by 37 percent when they start

having a conversation with either a passenger or someone on the phone. Every time you try to multitask, you decrease your attention, effort, and productivity on both tasks by almost 40 percent! Recently, I read a great book that discussed just how bad we really are at multitasking and why it behooves us to focus on one thing at a time. “The ONE Thing” by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan discusses the importance of giving our all to a single critical task, and how by doing so, we can accomplish so much more in life. You can’t do it all, so it’s much better to find one thing to focus on that will make everything else easier or unnecessary — hence the title of the book, “The ONE Thing.” The book implores us to seriously examine what that ONE thing is for each of us, because my ONE thing may be very different than yours. Keller and Papasan explain the difference between the big-picture question, “What’s my ONE thing?” and the small-focus question, “What’s my ONE thing right now?” to show that you can, and should, have multiple ONE things. When we identify our ONE thing in any given “The truth is that humans are terrible at multitasking and recent research proves it!”

situation and put all our effort into attaining it, we’re more likely to be successful than if we tried to accomplish a bunch of smaller, less critical tasks in a haphazard manner. It’s an incredibly interesting book and one I highly recommend, especially if you’re guilty of multitasking your way through life. After reading this book, I identified my ONE thing in the important areas of my life: family, spiritual, physical, and professional. In each area I identified my goals for 2019 then asked myself, “What is the ONE thing I should focus on in this area that will make everything else I want to achieve in this area either easier or unnecessary?” It was a very useful exercise and although it’s only been a few months, I’ve already noticed a difference in my ability to get important things done more quickly and with better quality.

When you find something you care about, doesn’t it deserve all your attention?

-Len Spada

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3 Ways to Honor International Women’s Day

On March 8, people around the world will honor International Women’s Day. Adopted by the United Nations in 1975, the holiday is meant to highlight the immeasurable accomplishments of women throughout history and draw attention to the ongoing struggle for global gender equality.

think your company has room for improvement in its treatment of women, now is a great time to do something about it. Even if you believe your company treats women and men equally, there’s no harm in empowering your colleagues to talk to give their opinions. If you’re an employer, this could mean giving women

(Too Much) Fun in the Sun A Parent’s Guide to Surviving Spring Break Spring break is often the first opportunity for college students to travel without their parents. This is an exciting prospect for students and a potential nightmare scenario for parents. The wild debauchery of spring break depicted in movies — or maybe even memories from their own college years — can make some parents panic when their son or daughter informs them they’ll be flying down to Cancun. Here are some tips to help parents deal with the stress of spring break. Get to Know Their Friends If possible, invite your student to bring their friends to your home for dinner. Treat them to a nice meal and get to know the people your kid will be traveling with. Don’t make the evening an interrogation about their trip. Instead, focus on building trust with your student and their friends. Talk About Travel Safety Young tourists are a prime target for criminals. Talk about common travel scams. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Make sure your student books their trip through reliable travel sites. While they are on their trip, remind your student to stay with their friends, refrain from flashing cash, and check the peephole before opening their hotel door. If a stranger claims to be hotel staff, your student should call the front desk to verify the claim. International Women’s Day is celebrated differently around the world. Some nations, like Nepal, give all their citizens the day off. Most countries, however, including the United States, treat it as a normal day, at least officially. Even though we don’t have the day off, there are many ways for everyone to honor International Women’s Day this year. Here are a few of them. Talk About the Women Who Inspire You From major innovators, like Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer, to megalithic literary icons, like Maya Angelou, women throughout history have shaped how we live our lives. Whether you’re inspired by famous historical figures or the women in your own life, take the time to talk about that influence. Which women helped get you where you are today? What female leaders do you look up to? What are some lessons you’ve learned from them? Make Room for Conversation in the Workplace Many of the challenges women face globally happen in the workplace. If you

in your workplace an avenue to discuss issues, air grievances, and make suggestions. If you’re an employee, consider asking for such a forum. In either case, providing both public and anonymous avenues for women to express themselves is a great way for your company to take a step forward in fostering gender equality. Join the Conversation Regardless of your gender, March 8 is the perfect time to tune in to the larger conversation surrounding gender inequality, if you haven’t already. This could mean attending meetings or demonstrations in your town, reading works that capture the female struggle for equality, such as Roxane Gay’s “Difficult Women,” or seeking out blogs and social media accounts from gender equality activists online. International Women’s Day is about appreciating the contributions of women to society and envisioning a more equal world for the future. However, you decide to celebrate women this March, keep in mind that no matter who you are or where you come from, we all have the power to change our world for the better.

Don’t Call Just to Check In Resist the urge to call and check in with your student several times throughout the day. Instead, establish an agreed-upon time for your student to touch base by calling home. Give your student some freedom but express your desire to know they are safe. Remember That College Kids Will Be College Kids Continually lecturing our kids (something I’m guilty of) to refrain from reckless behavior while on spring break could have the opposite effect and cause them to rebel and ignore you during their entire trip. Instead, teach them how to act smart. A few very important tips my wife and I drill into our kids are: Do not go out alone and don’t leave anyone behind. Do not accept any drink or food handed to you from a stranger. Do not leave a bar or beach and go anywhere with a stranger — ever. Never accept anything from anyone at any airport, train station, or inside a taxi or bus. Spring break is a milestone for college students entering adulthood. With these tips, hopefully parents can find this milestone to be a little less stressful.

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More Than a Knock on the Head

Would You Recognize the Signs of a Concussion?

In ancient Egypt, it was said a person’s heart held their mind and soul. In order to enter the afterlife, ancient Egyptians believed your heart must be lighter than a feather. While we can’t speak for the soul, today we know our minds — all our memories, thoughts, and personality — reside in the brain. For something so valuable, our brains can be easily damaged, which is why you must act quickly if you experience a concussion in a car accident. While often waved away as just a knock on the head, concussions are traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that can leave lasting damage. A brain injury can drastically change a person’s personality and demeanor or lead to physical disabilities. After a TBI, it’s possible for a person to need a lifetime of medical care if the injury is serious enough. When dealing with a concussion, the faster the victim is able to receive treatment, the better their chances of recovery. Unfortunately, all too often, people who have suffered a concussion don’t realize the severity of their condition until it’s too late to receive proper treatment or full compensation. Brain injuries can be difficult to diagnose because there are often no outward signs of injury and few people know how to recognize the symptoms of a TBI. What’s more alarming is that MRIs and CT scans are not sensitive enough to identity some of the milder forms of concussions. As a result, many car accident victims aren’t aware they have suffered a concussion. This is troubling, because if you experienced a concussion in an accident, you must be able to prove it in order to receive the compensation you’re entitled to. After an accident, be alert and aware of the following common signs of a concussion:

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Asparagus and Avocado Soup Local Chef’s Corner Inspired by CookEatPaleo.com

This hearty soup is the perfect meal for those late winter days when you think spring will never come. It can be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken stock.

INGREDIENTS • 12 ounces asparagus • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped • 2 cups chicken stock • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed

• Juice of 1/2 lemon • 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil • Salt and pepper, to taste

● Confusion or memory problems ● Mood changes ● Headaches ● Seizures

● Losing consciousness ● Seeing stars or experiencing ringing in your ears ● Nausea ● Change in sleep pattern

INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss asparagus and garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes. 3. Transfer asparagus to blender. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. 4. Season to taste and serve.

After an accident, you need a lawyer who can properly identify and handle a brain injury case. If you think a car accident left you with a concussion, call Spada Law Group at 617.889.5000. Don’t ignore your brain injury just because you can’t see it.

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Inside This Issue

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Are You Good at Multitasking? Think Again.

3 Ways to Honor International Women’s Day Is Your College Student Ready for Spring Break? Asparagus and Avocado Soup 8 Signs Your Car Accident Caused a Concussion

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Llamas, Pigs, and Horses … Oh, My!

Llamas, Pigs, and Horses … Oh, My! Everyone has heard of therapy dogs and cats, but did you know virtually any critter can be a therapy or support animal? Therapy animals help humans cope with PTSD, anxiety, depression, injury, high blood pressure, and chronic pain, as well as a wide range of other conditions and difficulties. Therapy animals range from guinea pigs that can fit in a purse to dolphins that swim with amputees. Here are three unique companions who make a difference in the lives of people who need them. 3 UNIQUE THERAPY ANIMALS

Rojo the Llama Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas in Portland, Oregon, has conducted over 1,500 visits during the last decade and helps over 10,000 people each year. Their star llama, Rojo, is one of just 14 llamas registered as a therapy animal in the United States. Rojo’s exceptionally gentle temperament is calming to everyone who meets him. He’s so well-loved and has become such a big deal that he has his own Facebook page and two children’s books! Buttercup the Pot-Bellied Pig Lois Brady, a speech pathologist who works with special needs students in San Francisco, has a secret weapon in her arsenal: Buttercup, her black, 70-pound Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. His docile nature makes him the perfect companion for autistic children, who are often easily startled. Because Buttercup is an unusual sight in classrooms, children find him fascinating. In 2017, an autistic student who had never spoken to his

classmates before felt compelled to crawl out from beneath his desk to pet Buttercup. Afterward, the child spoke to the class for the first time. “It was a remarkable breakthrough,” says Brady. Rocky theMiniature Horse At just 32 inches high and 325 pounds, Rocky packs a lot of cuteness into one small package. He’s not a pony but rather a breed of miniature horse historically used in coal mines in the 17th century. His specialty is working with retired veterans at the VA Community Living Center in Phoenix, Arizona, where the residents know him and look forward to his visits. For some, Rocky’s visits are bittersweet. “I wish I could have had more time to spend with horses,” says one veteran as he scratches Rocky’s ears. “There’s something calming about them.”

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