Affect, Productivity, Recent Article, Self-awareness

Focus series: focus is a Process

The ability to focus is about to become more important than ever. The world is changing. Within ten years, thanks to new technologies, jobs, livelihoods, and the way we engage with the world will be unlike anything we know now. As will the skills needed to negotiate it. In a 2015 report on Australia’s future workforce prepared by CEDA (Committee for Economic Development in Australia) found that 5 million jobs that exist now will be gone in 10 years—most losses due to automation.  And to think, we’re already two years down the track.   To remain valuable in our economy … you must master the art of quickly learning complicated things.    ~ Cal Newport, Author of Deep Work   You’ve heard the words before … ‘Get on with it! Concentrate.’ The core problem is many of us don’t know how. We weren’t taught the how. It was just assumed…

Recent Article, Self-awareness

Focus series: Still making apologies for mindfulness at work

We’re still making apologies for mindfulness. Have you attended a team meeting and watched as a leader apologises for attempting a mindfulness exercise? Mindfulness is fast gaining acceptance by individuals, but practice within Australian workplaces is lagging. A mindful practice is still considered something you can do ‘in your own time’—unless you count token flag-waving during mental health week.   We still hesitate to talk about emotions at work, despite the fact that we are emotional beings who can learn much through reflective and mindful practice. Mindfulness surely sits neatly with discussions on compassion, ethical decision-making, and self-management. However, too few organisations promote mindfulness as a real tool to support employee well-being. Or if they do, it’s flavoured with an apology rather than modelled and thoughtfully implemented.   We shouldn’t feel like we need forbearance for promoting a mindful practice. Our workplaces benefit from having team members who are present, aware…

Affect, Recent Article, Self-awareness

Focus series: Once upon an Affect

Once upon a time… April thinks back to the first time she consciously linked emotions to performance—to her ability to focus on the task in front of her. It was senior year; she was sitting down to block exams. First up? The Ancient History final; which is worth a considerable percentage of the final grade. Hold up! Have you ever sat down to slog through a tough problem at work or sit an exam and wondered what the hell you were doing?  Have you ever sat down and thought, god, I’m just not smart enough to do this? A clever person would have figured this out already because smart people know how to concentrate. Smart people focus. Me too. I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember being taught how to focus at school, at University, or at work. The expectation was simply that you could.  And would. Hats off…