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Can time-management software really make – SK me more productive in the office? Why do my eyes twitch when I get stressed out? – IB

That depends on why your output is barely moving the needle at the moment. “Most of us wait and say things like, ‘I don’t feel like doing this; I’ll feel more like it tomorrow’,” says Dr Timothy Pychyl, author of Solving the Procrastination Puzzle. “Later on, we think we’re terrible time managers because we do everything at the last minute. Really, it was a problem with managing our emotions.” Beyond that, perhaps you’re distracted or not feeling challenged. Whatever’s causing your motor to stall, address that first. Then, if you still aren’t keeping up, work on creating to-do lists and plugging tasks into a calendar, the cornerstone of most time-management programs. Try DropTask (free for basic, US$6.50/month for PRO edition; droptask.com), a new app that allows you to drag and drop tasks into Venn diagrams, giving you a visual indication of what you need to accomplish. You can even coordinate your tasks with others, making you more accountable, says Pychyl.

Ask the MH girls the questions you can’t ask anyone else. They’re three women with strong opinions, so don’t expect sugarcoated responses Got a question for Ask Men’s Health or The Girls in the Office? Email menshealth@pacificmags.com.au or head to yahoo7.com.au/menshealth.

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I’ve been seeing a girl for a few weeks and I’ve paid for every date. The last time it came to paying the bill, I asked if she could cover the costs. She got mad and said I should cough up the cash. When should she start chipping in? – AS Alice I’d be raising an eyebrow if a fella didn’t pay on the first occasion (mama didn’t raise no fool), but I’d expect to contribute from date numero dos. You might want to warn your lady that el cheapo dinners will be featuring heavily if she doesn’t occasionally fork out.

This phenomenon is called blepharospasm (from the Greek word for "eyelid") and belongs to a large class of conditions called dystonias (Greek for "bad tension"), in which muscles contract involuntarily. Generally, anything that increases nerve activity (like stress or caffeine) or lowers a muscle’s sensitivity to a stimulus (like fatigue) can bring it on. The eyes may not be a window to the soul, but they are, it seems, a dead giveaway to an unhealthy lifestyle. Applying a warm compress can boost bloodflow, thus raising the stimulus threshold, but most cases of blepharospasm clear up on their own. Call your doctor if you’re suffering pain or double vision, or if you notice discharge from your eye. These symptoms could indicate anything from an infection to a stroke. Both need attention fast.

Crystelle Hang on a second – you actually asked her to pay? How awkward. I’m all for couples sharing the cost of dinner, movies and cabs, but unless she offers, asking outright for money seems a bit cheap. Sorry, AS, but you can’t start sharing the burden until she speaks up. Cassie Sounds like this material girl is sitting pretty in her material world. Honestly, treat this as a glimpse into a future of high-maintenance hell. Get out while you can.

Q

I love my girl but can’t stand her family. She’s really close to them, especially her mum who clearly thinks I’m a tosser. How can I get out of going to their weekly dinners? – FH Crystelle You can’t, FH. It’s that simple. As my mum always says: “You don’t marry one person. You marry a whole family.” If you really love her, then suck it up and make an effort. It’s not that hard to be polite and play happy families for a couple of hours a week. Cassie Yeah, because ditching the family dinners will make you look like less of a tosser, right? You’re both grown-ups, FH. If you love this girl, then put on your big-boy pants and talk to her mum. She’d probably appreciate you speaking up about the bad vibes. Alice Take up a hobby that falls on family dinner night. Round up your mates and revive the skill of, say, rollerblading. “Sunday Sunset Skating 4 Lyf” could be your perfect out, while offering the added bonus of weight loss and wheel-based co-ordination.

Q

My girl just came off the pill and we’re back on the rubbers. But it just doesn’t feel the same. Could I try to convince her to go back on it? – CW Alice A little rubber never hurt nobody, CW. Until the male contraceptive pill hits the market, it’s best to let your lady dictate such a delicate decision. Crystelle No, CW, you can’t. It’s her body and her choice. You can try offering to pay the $40-$80 she has to cough up every few months, but if she made the choice for non-financial reasons then it’s condoms all the way. Cassie Yep, I’m with the girls here, CW. Her ovaries, her rules. Soz.

Q

I’m marrying the girl of my dreams and we’re organising where to get hitched. She’s an atheist, but I’m Catholic and want a religious wedding. How do we compromise? – BN Crystelle On a scale of 1-10, how important is it for you to have a Catholic wedding? If your yearning for a church and priest ranks a nine and her desire for a garden and celebrant ranks only a seven, you’ve got your answer. Alice Have you considered having two ceremonies, to satisfy both parties? That way you can toast holy water and enjoy faith-free finger food. Cassie Two ceremonies is the only way to avoid resentment and eventual divorce – which will surely condemn you both to an eternity in Satan’s fiery pit. If I were you, I’d be the one to compromise and settle for the smaller ceremony and let her have the big one. Happy wife, happy life.

JUNE 2014

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Ask the Girls in the Office, June 2014  

Men's Health column