Bogged down by workload

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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dear Cindy,

When I was promoted to the coveted position of branch manager in one of the branches of the company where I worked, I was thrilled and at first, I handled the increased responsibilities with ease.

But as days passed by, I seemed to be bogged down by my workload. There were days that I felt like the world just wouldn’t stop coming at me.


Are there ways that I can do things better and systematically so that I’ll have enough time for more meaningful activities?


Dear Judith,

The quickest way you can end up wasting a whole day is by living it without a plan. You’ll end up attending to whatever happens to be in front of you at the moment instead of what’s really important. Set aside some time to work out what’s really important for the day or even the week.

Based on the priorities you’ve identified, it’ll be easy for you to do a make-to-do list, starting with the most difficult job first, and the easy ones for later when you might have tired yourself out. Once you’ve made your to-do list, you should be able to see which activities can be done together. Also see if there are tasks you can combine with fun activities to make them less tedious.

Take advantage of the time management and organization and organization tools that are available. A PDA is helpful in organizing phone numbers, appointments, important reminders, finances. If your cell phone has some of these features, use it. You’ll save space in your bag by having all your data in one gadget. Make important items accessible at a moment’s notice. File documents in an expandable folder or post notices on a bulletin board.

These days, we place more value on being able to put out fires, forgetting it’s better to prevent the crisis in the first place. Those boring little things we like setting aside because they take up time? Do them, and you’ll keep important things from becoming emergencies. Have your car tuned up regularly to avoid breakdowns that will surely harass you more than a maintenance trip to the car shop. Don’t put off important things for the last minute and you’ll feel more in control of your life.

It just takes a little discipline and self-awareness to better manage our time. Cliché though it may sound, it’s a precious commodity we can never get back once we’ve squandered it. Just remind yourself; it’s a lot easier to figure out what to do with extra time than to figure out where to find extra time.

God bless,

Concerned about summer diseases

Dear Dr. Dana,

My family is fond of going out and enjoying the summer heat but my concern is about those summer diseases and illnesses mentioned by some health experts.

Doctor, I would like to know some of the summer spoilers to watch out for during this season. Health experts advise us to watch out for those summer illnesses that could spoil our fun while we wade and swim in the beach, or engage in some outdoor activities under the sun.

What are the preventions and treatments for such diseases and illnesses?


Dear Raquel,

One of the most common summer diseases is heat rash or locally known as bungang araw or bungag singot. This is inflammation of the skin caused by heat and humidity, sweat retained on the skin surface because of the obstruction of the sweat glands. This prevents normal perspiration and eventually causes rupture of the sweat duct.

Heat rash manifests itself as the reddening of the skin seen commonly on chest, abdomen, neck folds, face, and body extremities. It gives a prickly sensation.

The most effective treatment for heat rash is to stay in a cool place. Some experts claim that one night in an air-conditioned room helps alleviate the discomfort that heat rash brings. Mild cases of heat rash among children can be treated by applying cornstarch or baby talcum powder on affected portions of the skin. During summer we can also experience heat exhaustion. This is caused by the loss of the body fluids because of sweating and failing to drink enough fluids. Its risk factors include sweating and inadequate fluid intake, loss of fluid in the body by vomiting or diarrhea, and exercising or working in a sweltering environment.

Prolonged exposure to high temperature may also cause heat stroke. It’s symptoms include sudden dizziness, weakness, faintness, headache, high body temperature of 38.9 degree C without sweating, rapid heartbeat, muscle cramps, and dark yellow (or orange) urine.

There is also sore eyes, which is characterized by redness, swelling, eye discharge, and different degrees of eye discomfort. It is usually a result of bacterial infection.

Experts say that common form of sore eyes can be treated with frequent topical application of antibiotic eye drops. Scratching or rubbing of the eyes must be avoided. One way to alleviate discomfort would be a warm compress applied over the eyes. Proper hygiene through frequent hand washing, regular change of clothing and beddings, maintaining clean fingernails are necessary in preventing the spread of the disease.

Sometimes one can be infected with chicken pox during summer. This is a highly contagious disease caused by Herpesvirus varicellae, and characterized by eruptions on the skin and mucous membranes. The treatment of chicken pox is directed towards avoiding known complications such as secondary bacterial infections, meningoencephalitis, and intestinal perforation. Proper hygiene is important to prevent secondary infection of skin lesion. Relevant drugs may be used to decrease itchiness to avoid the risk of secondary skin infection.

Very truly yours,
Dr. Dana R. Sesante

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 11, 2014.


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