Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation

Dose of Happiness…

We create our own happiness by choosing the state that we go into, however how much are we aided by the chemicals in our brain.  Science colliding with our emotional intelligence.

At a talk at our son’s school they explained how teenagers can steer their behaviour with bearing in mind the dosage they need to be happy.   It is healthy for teenagers to hug and want companionship and yet social media does not give them that intimacy or immediate closeness.  The wrong elements of the happiness can be exaggerated, the teenagers can become addicted to posting and the reaction of their friends.

Simon Sinek of TED talk fame and for the book “Start with Why”, explained when writing his book “Leaders Eat Last” the chemicals that makes us happy.

He used the mnemonic EDSO however at my son’s school last week they made it far more catchy – DOSE of happiness.

DOPAMINE – motivates us to achieve incremental goals. It is the greed element of the brain it makes us feel good when we tick things off the to-do list and it can become highly addictive.

OXYTOCIN – creates intimacy, trust and the feeling that some-one will protect you.  Mothers and babies and lovers feel this when they are protected and loved, the feeling of safety.

SEROTONIN – provides the feeling of significance, pride, status.  It drives us to seek the recognition of others.  I want to do it so that my family are proud of me.  It reinforces relationships within a group, it can give cohesion to a team.

ENDORPHINS – keeps us going during work outs or runs, it helps us endure difficulties.  We have the same rush when we laugh.

If we were put them into a table:-

Chemicals for Happiness Key phrase Example
DOPAMINE One more Setting and achieving milestones
OXYTOCIN Intimacy and safety One-on-ones with Manager
SEROTONIN Loyalty Making the team proud
ENDORPHINS No pain Late night working

The right DOSE can steer you through an organisation and life.   Check-in to see whether you are being exposed to the right amount in each area.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Happiness bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

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Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, mindfulness, Stress management, Time management

Short time horizon…

The snow globe is a very visual representation as to how we live our lives.  We focus on the small things and yet some-one is forever shaking it up.  The building or structure in the centre of the globe we forget about.

We enjoy achieving the small stuff as we get that buzz of achievement, we have ticked a list or highlighted an accomplishment. We release dopamine in the brain the feel good chemical, instant gratification.

We have attended 3 meetings this week however they may have no complexity.  Thinking is not linear and involves engaging the brain fully.  The temptation to achieve immediate is everywhere.  The email pop up could easily take you away from the hard report that needs to be written and involves thinking.  We get addicted at accumulating small tasks, it is called structured procrastination.

This short term horizon is due to the fact that we are now a society based on impulse.  We crave automatic self stimulation, we send a message and we crave the reply.  We create an addictive cycle.

We are encouraged to do more and now with technology we have no limits.  There are now work addiction groups.  People enjoy the control that task accomplishment gives them, where as living life does not have the same completion and control.

An example would be a Senior Executive has to forecast next year’s figures, it will be a black and white document with figures based on the evidence of the previous year.  The same Executive has to manage the behaviour of their 18 month old who has not yet mastered sleeping through the night.  You can guess which one has the linear thinking and the control and the latter requires a more creative approach.

The culture we have created is “Try harder” and it is a “Short time Horizon” we need to look to a broader, slower and altogether bigger horizon.  Try this week to do more thinking.

Please do get in touch to explore thinking more bev@nuggetoflearning.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management, Time management

Busy is a brand…

We wear busy like a badge of honour.  The first thing we say to each other is “how are you?” and the most common response is “busy”.

We deal in a currency of numbers, people will tell you how many emails they have in their in-box and how many meetings they have attended.

The “busy” becomes a showcase, we boast about not having time.  Our reputation and existence is based on demonstrating “busy”.  We need to rush and walk quickly to emulate “busy”.

Even our weekends are about justifying ourselves to ourself.  We enter marathons and discuss what is right for our children in terms of after school activities.  Studies now show that children need to learn how to be bored.

We cloud effort and results, as often if things take longer we have looked busy for longer.

A locksmith explained that when he first started his trade it used to take him a long time to change a lock.  He charged $120 and $25 for the key and was often given a tip.  He is now experienced and changes a lock in 2 minutes and still charges a $120, and yet he never receives tips. Ironically people were paying for incompetence, and yet they believed they were paying for effort.

To understand more about “busy” listen to the Radio 4 series by Oliver Burkeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07w1dpx/episodes/player

Please do look at our website and get in touch www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, Stress management

The brain machine…

The brain operates everything and in the evenings like any piece of machinery its tired.  We turn the telly up a little louder as we can’t hear so well and we lose the ability to make decisions about what to eat, we are slowing down.

To relax you might look at your Facebook account, however the same process required to read an email is the same process as to look at your social media.  The brain machine has the functionality to read whether it be work or not work.  The mechanics cannot differentiate the same psychological activity whatever you are reading.  If you are tired the topic won’t make a difference the machine is operating slower.

We need to maintain the brain as we would any other piece of machinery.  Your car is serviced and requires an MOT, how much love and care do you give your brain:-

  • Stare into space – give it a break
  • Drink lots of water
  • Eat the right food
  • Keep up the agility – do a sudoko
  • Limit screen time
  • Physical activity
  • Rest it – lots of sleep

Look after your brain this week and for a nugget workshop please do look at our website www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk or contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, mindfulness, Stress management, Time management

Busy what is it…?

Too many things to do, and too many tasks and a shortage of time.  We fall into the scarcity trap, which is where are cognitive bandwidth cannot process any more data.  Long term memories are stored, but the short term space is limited.  We make poor decisions if we have overload.

We need time to uncover and unwind, if we ruminate on the day it comes home with us. A psychologist, Zeigarnik explained how interrupted and uncompleted tasks stayed in the mind far longer than completed.  The studies showed waiters remembered orders whilst the service was in progress when asked afterwards which orders belonged to which customers they were unable to recall. Tasks not finished fill the mind.

Multi tasking is not the answer as it takes 40% longer to complete a task if you have switched at some point.  Doing two things at once is really bad for the concentration and quality will suffer.  Studies in America suggest that speaking on your mobile phone whilst driving is as bad as being under the influence of alcohol.

Some suggestions for protecting your bandwidth are:-

  • cluster tasks – just do email and only email
  • one task at a time
  • book two meetings with yourself everyday 15mins at the start and 15mins at the end of the day
  • complete your hardest task first thing when you have the most bandwidth
  • never read emails before a meeting it will affect your bandwidth

People who fill their bandwidth are creating the illusion of efficiency, if you have checked your emails before going into the meeting your mind is in the email not the meeting.  Management of your bandwidth will lead to greater accomplishments.

Replace the word busy and approach busy differently…

Please do contact nuggets for a workshop on managing bandwidth bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, mindfulness

Changing your outlook…

This morning I heard tweet of the day.

Radio 4 at 6.00am plays a recording of a different type of bird introduced by different broadcasters.  This morning I awoke to the sound of a Little Egret.

The tweet was introduced by Clare Jones who explained she was in her early 20s and had fallen into a job at the RSPB (Royal Society Protection Birds). She was looking out of the window and saw a little white bird.  When she asked what the bird was a colleague informed her it was a Little Egret.

When she got home she looked up the bird to understand more.  The Little Egret was nearly extinct 100 years ago, if it were not for four Victorian women who took on the plumage trade.  The Victorian fashion was getting out of control with more elaborate and exotic feathers being used and the Little Egret’s white feathers proved particularly popular.

These four women went on to establish RSPB.

Clare Jones finished her tweet of the day with

“Something so small can change your whole outlook on life”  

I drove to a coaching session today with the story still in my mind.  I was not going to take on the plumage trade (now a thing of the past), however what can I do today, tomorrow and the next day which will make a difference…

Please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for a learning workshop or 1:1 coaching.

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Management, mindfulness, Stress management

Making email work for you…

When information needs to be given quickly, there is no better way than by email.  Unfortunately, with the benefit of speed come some problems that are not always predictable.  Employees need to all be consistent in the way they engage with email and ensure that it is true to the values of the organisation.

Overall you should lead your in-box rather than be led by it.

How to take control?

  • Book an appointment with it
  • Ring fence the time you spend on the email
  • Create 3 subfolders and put a #before the title so that they stay at the top
    • #Action
    • #Waiting for
    • #Read review
  • Take the alert off, so you choose to go in, not “it” inviting you
  • Remember email is not a to-do list
  • email is “real” work integrate it appropriately
  • The signature should be clear and accurate and all communication devices
  • Take action immediately where you can
  • Unsubscribe there and then
  • Be realistic – zero in-box does not work for everyone

“Anyone with an inbox knows what I’m talking about.  A dozen emails to set up a meeting time.  Documents attached and edited and reedited until no-one knows which version is current.  Urgent messages drowning in forwards and cc’s and spam” – Ryan Holmes

For a 90 minute workshop on making email work for you, please contact bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk for more courses tour our website www.nuggetsoflearning.co.uk