Tag Archives: Productivity

Venn diagram showing the elements of ikigai as they merge into a wheel

Use Ikigai to improve your outlook on life and job satisfaction.

 

Many people work at jobs just so they can afford to live, eat and survive. The majority of us also experience some sort of feeling of dread in the hours of Sunday evening all the way through to the start of your work day on the Monday. The Japanese theory of Ikigai suggests that you are only dreading going to work because you haven’t got enough balance in your life. If you were to align all of the elements of Ikigai, then it wouldn’t be such a problem to go into work on Monday morning.

Craftsmen, teachers and farmers seem to have found their Ikigai. They are pursuing a career in the thing they enjoy and are passionate about creatively. Also, a lot of people have become successful in other jobs without ever finding their ikigai.

 

Let’s get started on finding your ikigai. You must first ask yourself these four questions:

  1. What do I love? (Passion)
  2. What am I good at? (Profession)
  3. What can I be paid for? (Vocation)
  4. What does the world need? (Mission)

Here is a visual representation of the concept of Ikigai and how you can fit your own answers into a balanced and happy life for yourself:Venn diagram showing the elements of ikigai as they merge into a wheel

In the book “Ikigai the Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” by Hector Garcia and Fransesc Miralles, they state the 10 rules to follow when in search for your own Ikigai.

  1. Stay active and don’t retire
  2. Leave urgency behind and adopt a slower pace of life
  3. Only eat until you are 80% fill
  4. Surround yourself with good friends
  5. Get in shape through daily, gentle exercise
  6. Smile and acknowledge people around you
  7. Reconnect with nature
  8. Give thanks to anything that brightens our day and makes us feel alive
  9. Live in the moment
  10. Follow your ikigai

 

Many people feel that Ikigai is the secret to living for longer. This is because whilst japan has their fair share of natural disasters, their life expectancy is among some of the best in the world. Due to this it has become clear that whilst eating healthily and exercising regularly are important factors of living a long life, so it having a clear sense of purpose.

Take Jiro Ono as an example of this. At the age of 92, he is currently the oldest Michelin chef in the world. He has had the passion to create the best sushi for most of his life and each day he seeks to improve on the day before. He believes that he still hasn’t mastered it.

 

Boss business team meeting

How Valuable Is Your Job?

 

David Graeber, the anthropologist, recently published a book which stated and unraveled why up to 40% of us secretly think our jobs aren’t necessary or could easily be done by a software or mechanism.

To back this theory, a survey carried out by YouGov in 2015 found that 37% of people believe that their job makes no “meaningful contribution”.

Alongside many wonderful facts and theory’s, we are reminded of John Maynard Keynes’ 1930 prediction that by the year 2000 due to technical advances the working week would have reduced from 40 hours to 15.  The unfortunate truth is that this hasn’t happened.

If we were to reduce the working week many people wouldn’t be able to afford to feed their families. Besides, people are seriously connected to their jobs and most will spend more than the required 40 hours a week working or thinking and mulling over their work at home.

 

The technological advances that we have created have prolonged the hours we work rather than shortening them because we can now access emails out of hours and are connected to work with our mobile and desktop devices.

Some companies have invested in policies such as Zmail, where email servers are closed off out of hours and at weekends so that the staff can have separate lives from work and then be able to come back in refreshed and re-motivated.

 

london corporate job

 

But even if we do have time to shut off, many come to work and feel sluggish and slightly angered due to the fact that they don’t think their job is worth anything or having any contribution at all to the world around them. In fact, they just stay because they’ve become committed and the money is good.

People tend to go along with the majority and conform along with everyone else who feels the same way. They then pretend and mask the fact that their jobs don’t really do anything or are needed for anything.

 

Employment is at an all-time high at the moment and more and more people are seeing the likeliness that they’ll find a new job If they quit and get a new one. Smaller start-ups and roles in public service are now seen as more professional and respectable, meaning there’s a larger threat to larger multi-national companies with all of these ‘pointless jobs’.

These larger companies are working hard to make themselves seem like worthy companies with the use of an annual volunteering day or some wonderful imagery in the company report.  Unfortunately, people aren’t that gullible and it’s time to revisit and reinvent purpose at all levels within organisations for all teams and individuals.

 

For a purposeful conversation, contact us here.

calming balanced stones

3 Ways to Calm Yourself

 

When faced with a situation that causes us to become distressed, our first response is often to act irrationally. Tension hinders our mood and our ability to make good choices and take responsible actions, so for the best outcomes we should try and calm ourselves as fast as possible so that we can resurface a steady mind.

calming balanced stones

To follow are 3 ways to which you can relax and calm yourself when something or someone has caused you  an affective level of frustration.

 

  1. Cool Down

A great way to relieve tension is to use the power of cold water.  You can splash cool water on your pressure points including your wrists and behind your ears. By adding the cold water to your pressure points, you ultimately are cooling down your arteries beneath the skin and calming your whole body by reducing the heat going around it.

Another sure way is to plunge your face in a basin of cold water for 30 seconds. By doing this you hold your breath for 30 seconds and trigger a lifesaving reaction in your brain. Your blood vessels narrow, heart rate decreases and oxygen is directed to all your vital organs, the perfect distraction from external stressors.

 

  1. Breathe

Some of the most proven relaxation methods come from the use of breathing exercises. There are many methods you can try to see what works for you, here are some to try next time you become agitated.

The first exercise is to close your eyes and focus on each breath. Exhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 and then exhale for 8. Repeating this exercise 6 times a day is supposedly able to improve your health whilst calming you and helping your stay positive.

You may also choose to lower your heart rate during stressful situations by slowing down your breaths. Focus on your breathing so that you exhale and inhale for 6 seconds each way for up to two minutes.

  1. Take Some Time

It is completely natural for you to become agitated and disclaimed. If you fear bad outcomes of feeling distressed there is a possibility you may suppress these emotions, which would have significantly worse outcomes than if you let the anger roll.

Our emotions are like waves, or mountains and they rise and fall with a peak in the centre. If we allow ourselves to reach the peak of the emotion we can then allow the emotion to dissipate and reduce to a steady state.

By keeping in and suppressing the emotion and not allowing ourselves to feel it, we are prolonging the peak and therefore increasing the size of it.

 

We can use these ways of thinking to increase the performance of our organisations by allowing ourselves to stay calm and steady-headed, especially when complications arrive that need immediate attention.

 

 

Leadership

Be A Multiplier, Don’t Diminish Your Team.

Leadership

In most businesses, smart leaders are put in jobs to support other smart individuals. Sometimes it is clear that your own intelligence is being put down and potentially drained by a leader, Liz Wiseman in her book ‘Multipliers’ calls these people ‘Diminishers’. In other instances leaders bring out the intelligence and capabilities of their team, Wiseman calls these ‘Multipliers’.

Diminishers will often generate less effective teams, whereas the effect of a Multiplier can be significantly great.

Liz Wiseman explains that the differentiating traits between diminishers and multipliers aren’t all that many, but they are incredibly important. She explains that there are specific actions you may not even realise you do that are effecting the effectiveness of your team.

1. Environment

Multipliers create an environment that allows for flexibility. Your employees have different flexibility and creative needs and they need to be offered the opportunity to express this in order to fulfil their full intelligence.
Diminishers will create a work environment which is highly controlled and limits resources and creativity, therefore suppressing the intelligence of their employees. They limit the flexibility and encourage order because they believe success will come from them, not from creating an environment in which each individual employee can flourish.

2. Challenges

Diminishers will believe they are the driving success for their team and will push their teams in the direction they want to go in.
Multipliers will get to know their employees and their specific skills and tailor challenges to their teams that will challenge them to improve as an individual and as a team. They also provide as many opportunities for their staff as possible, believing in constant improvement and development.

3. Decisions

The way you make decisions around the office can determine whether you are a multiplier or a dimimisher.
A multiplier would include the whole group in discussions around decisions that need to be made, whereas a diminisher will make decisions solely, with little debate or input from others, dimishing team insight.

 

There are many other insights that Liz Wiseman explains in her books, and you can get much more details from reading those, but take a moment to reflect on your practices and asses where you think you fall. Most people lie somewhere in between the two, the hard part is assessing where you stand objectively and then making the changes to become more of a ‘multiplier’.

 

 

coffee-923431_960_720

Could lack of sleep be affecting your performance at work?

coffee-923431_960_720
Just like eating healthily and exercising, we all know that getting enough sleep is good for us. But you might not realise just how much of an impact that a lack of sleep can have on your work. The amount of sleep that you need will vary from person to person, but if you regularly get less than 7 hours of sleep per night, you may start to notice the following effects at work:

Inability to concentrate- If you frequently struggle to focus on your work, and find yourself missing things as they have slipped your mind, it could be down to tiredness.

Decision-making- Bill Clinton once said “Every important mistake I’ve made in my life, I made because I was too tired”. A serious lack of sleep can cause cognitive impairment, so if you have an important meeting coming up then make sure you are well rested for it.

Inefficiency- By skipping the snooze button and heading into the office early you might think you’ll have time to get more done, but in fact if you have not had sufficient sleep you will be less efficient and less productive, so those extra hours could be wasted.

How to stay awake in the office

If you’ve hit an afternoon slump, try one of these ideas:

Get outside- When you’re busy it seems like you have no choice but to eat lunch at your desk, but even a 10 minute break from the office can help you recharge enough to make your afternoon more productive. Exposure to natural light is a great midday wake up, as is exercise, so a quick walk around the block can make all the difference.

Moderate your caffeine- Although it can be tempting to mainline coffee when you’re tired at work, drinking too much caffeine can keep you from falling asleep at night. Try not to drink caffeine after 2pm- if you can’t live without hot drinks try swapping to herbal teas.

Hydrate yourself- Dehydration affects brain function, so keep a bottle of water at your desk and make sure to drink from it throughout the day, especially if you are craving sugary snacks as it is easy to mistake hunger for thirst.

 

10 tips to become a better leader

10 Tips to Help You Be a Better Leader

10 tips to become a better leader

Getting enough sleep is important not just for our health, but in order to function as a good leader. This, combined with a positive team, honesty and much more is the perfect recipe for great leadership.  Follow these 10 tips closely and you yourself could be on the way to becoming a great team leader which can improve the efficiency of both your colleagues and your business.

Continue reading

Conference Meeting Room

8 Rules To Make Meetings Great

Meetings can easily fall into the trap of being unproductive and a waste of time, but there are ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to your meetings.

Conference Meeting Room

Make Meetings Great

We first saw these meeting ground rules in a conference room of a Japanese car company, and have been using and recommending them ever since.

The next time you decide to hold a meeting, try and enforce these meeting rules and see what difference it makes:

1.   Make sure you start and finish on time Continue reading

Pearlfisher's ball pit

We Say ‘Balls’ To Team Meetings

Here at Team Building London we are always trying to promote creativity within the workplace, so thought it would be worth highlighting a company on the right track!

Pearlfisher's ball pit

Pearlfisher’s ball pit

Pearlfisher, in Hammersmith, West London created a meeting environment reminiscent of a children’s ball play area – only this is for around 30 adults.

The reason for this was to create a place to help companies stimulate new ideas and creativity, which is something that can easily get lost in a normal daily meeting within the workplace. This type of environment is great to bounce ideas around and to have fun at work. Continue reading

Here are reasons why your meeting fail

4 Reasons Why Most Meetings Fail

Meetings can be extremely productive, but on the other hand there are a number of reasons why a meeting might achieve little or nothing at all. Meetings like this aren’t uncommon, but what makes a meeting “fail”?

Here are reasons why your meeting fail

Here are reasons why your meeting fail

Here are 4 reasons why your meetings might be failing to reach their potential:

Loss of Focus

It is commonplace that sub meetings will happen within meetings and this can disrupt the whole purpose of why you are there in the first place. Try to stay on course and avoid losing direction as members may lose interest and will become despondent. Continue reading