Simply Mindful

photo-1441716844725-09cedc13a4e7The recognised benefits of Mindfulness are vast; improved focus and attention, an improved immune system, improved relationships and a reduction in symptoms relating to stress, anxiety and depression all form part of a long list (Gotink, 2015).

Mindfulness simply means awareness and being present in the moment without judgment and draws on techniques used in meditation and yoga. Trying to incorporate Mindfulness into your working day can be a challenge but just a few minutes of mindfulness each day is enough to obtain many of the benefits so it is definitely worth giving it a go.

The good news is Mindfulness at work will not require you to take up the lotus position on top of your desk. In fact, no one need know that you are taking a few minutes out of whatever you are doing to be present in the here and now. Here are a few ideas that might help you fit in Mindfulness to your working day.

  1. A great way to start your working day is by taking a few minutes on the bus or train to close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Count the breaths if this helps. You will be amazed at how relaxed you feel afterwards.
  2. Set a reminder to take a two-minute break to repeat this breathing exercise at some point in your day. Don’t worry if you get easily distracted by your thoughts whilst doing this exercise – just gently bring yourself back to focus on the breath again.
  3. When you are eating your lunch, spend a few minutes to think about what you are eating; the taste and texture. If you are drinking a tea or coffee, spend a few moments thinking about how it feels to hold the cup.
  4. When you leave your desk to take a walk, focus your attention only on the contact of your feet with the ground and if your mind wanders, bring it back to this sensation.

Focusing your attention in the present and will allow you to recenter and recharge your energy for the rest of your day. Don’t forget to get in contact with us at Motivii to share your favourite Mindfulness at work tips! (hello@motivii.com).

3 is the magic number

3 Magic NumberHere are the thoughts from Eamon, the founder of Motivii on 3 being the magic number…

It all started by feeling overwhelmed with too many things to do at work. I always found when I listed all the things I needed to do instantly my motivation would dip.

Separately when I was pitching people they seemed to get confused if I tried to sell in too many benefits. Without realising I started to limit myself to never trying to explain more than three things in one go. Actions following a meeting started being limited to to three things. And it worked! People remembered more, followed up on the actions and I started winning more deals.

I thought that I was onto something special… then I realised I was not the first person to understand the magic of 3!

If you look at politicians explaining ideas typically the better ones limit themselves to just three points. Even counting it on their fingers while presenting.

You can see the rule to three appearing everywhere:

  • Beginning, Middle, End – story telling
  • Veni, Vidi, Vici – Julius Caesar
  • Stop, Look , Listen – highway code
  • Thinner, lighter, and faster – Steve Job’s iPad 2 launch
  • Work, Rest, Play – Mars advertising campaign.

If you talk to psychologists they will tell you the human brain is fine tuned to remember three things. Ask it to remember more and you start running into trouble. Even things like telephone numbers, most people break it into around three groups of numbers to make it easier to remember.

On realising, that I liked keeping things to three I started writing down my three highlights of the week, the three challenges and the three things I wanted to focus on the next week. This simple list started helping me reflect and plan better. It felt like I had less to do and I got more done. I started to call it my Top3 report. (Highlights, Challenges and Focus are three things by themselves).

I know it’s not rocket science, but when I started getting everyone I worked with doing their own Top3, the benefits started being huge. Communication improved, stress was reduced and we started really nailing the important things.

However, it was still a very manual process. I wanted to get automated reminders to complete my weekly Top3; I wanted to do it quickly on my mobile; I wanted to add the option to answer anonymous questions; get automatic summary emails for my team; and I wanted the system to generate insight like, word clouds, run sentiment analysis and more… (I can’t help but want more than three things 😉

Though I looked, I couldn’t find anything in the market that could help. So… if you can’t find it build it. 

One year later the magic of 3 has helped launch Motivii which is making work better at GSK, Lloyds Banks, Find My Past and many more companies. And yes, Top3 is built into the service helping create fast feedback for employees, managers and organisations.

Happiness vs Motivation

Whats better motivation or happiness?
Motivation vs Happiness

It is one of our big debates in the office… what’s more important: motivation or happiness?

Can you be unhappy but motivated? 74% of you, employees using Motivii, think that you can. So let’s examine each side of the coin.

Many organisations want to improve the happiness of their employees. And, as individuals, we all strive for happiness in our own lives too. Wanting to be happy is an essential human experience, however, as we all know, it’s never simple to achieve. What makes you happy may make another person sad.

Happiness is also a ‘peak emotion’. What that means is that something has to happen for happiness to be achieved. The harder something is to achieve, the more happy we are once we have achieved it. This is the happiness paradox which means that sometimes you need to struggle before experiencing happiness. So what keeps you going when things are hard?

This is where motivation comes in. Motivation acts as the fuel that keeps you going. The thought of being happy or achieving something motivates. Being in an engaging environment motivates. Having the support of your boss and colleagues motivates. Having the right package at work motivates. Dan Pink who wrote ‘Motivate’ the book, talks about motivation at work as being a combination of employee benefits (pay, package etc..) but also, importantly, having a purpose, becoming master of what you do and being given autonomy in your role.

Happiness and motivation are linked, they are both important. But happiness and what impacts it is a much more complex issue. The system of levers that affect motivation is a bit more clear cut, so it’s simpler for all of us as individuals or organisations to concentrate on the things that motivate, rather than figuring out what will truly make someone happy in that particular moment.

This is why Motivii focuses on motivation. Because if we can improve it, then we improve happiness, engagement, fulfillment and everything else that you feel once you have achieved something.