Maximise Your Effectiveness in 2017

January 4, 2017

Having some simple strategies can maximise your chances of achieving your goals this year


The New Year is a time for making resolutions and reflecting on priorities for the year ahead. Maybe you have a list of new projects you want to complete by the end of the year, or perhaps you’re gunning for that promotion you’ve been targeting for so long. Maybe you want to spend more time with your family and loved ones. Regardless of the goals, the achievement of each one requires some form of balance in your life make it happen.

Now is the perfect time to take stock of your habits and the things that could sabotage your efforts - we all have them. Unless you have iron resolve, typically by March we revert to old patterns and rhythms. All of a sudden, we find there is no time to turn those goals and dreams into reality. 


Here are some useful pointers taken from our DoJo corporate mindfulness workshops to help you maximise your effectiveness and your time in 2017. For more information on how Urban Guru can help you and your employees realise potential this year, visit our website


1)  Work Smarter, Not Harder


It sounds obvious but it’s easy to forget - it’s not the length of time you put into your work that sets you apart, it’s the quality. Think about the way you work – do you get to the end of the day feeling like you’ve been super busy yet have achieved nothing? Have a think about the ways you could carve up your day into more meaningful chunks, how you manage your schedule and how you deal with interruptions. Is it hard to find the time to even stop and take stock? Sometimes the best thing you can do when faced with a tight deadline is not to power through, but to take a break. Refresh your mind, take the time to reset so that you can look at problems from a fresh perspective. 


2)  Do a Digital Detox


Don’t let your devices sap all your time and energy! When you think about it, it’s shocking how much of our day we spend engaged in mindless activity on our phones – from Angry Bird and solitaire to scrolling through our feeds on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram without really paying attention to the content…. it all adds up. Take regular breaks from your smartphone to create some space in your mind and recharge your own batteries.


3)  Invest Time in Self-Care


No matter how mindful we are, not all our stress can be eliminated completely. The good news is that it is possible to “stress-proof” the mind and body, so that we’re as prepared as possible to deal with it when it arises. Some simple strategies such as paying attention to what we eat, drink and what we surround ourselves with at work and at home can be hugely influential when it comes to our ability to deal with stress. Our workshops go into detail on what we call the 6 Fundamentals of Good Living - contact us to find out more

4)  Pay Attention to Your Work/Life Balance

Each of us bears our own responsibility to create space in life for things other than work, and step one is to create space in the mind. Achieving a good work life balance is not just a question of the physical place we’re in – most of us know that it’s very easy to be present somewhere without being really “present”. The feeling of needing to be elsewhere, or that there is something else which we “should be” doing causes anxiety and drains energy. Safeguard both yourself and your relationships by making the effort to be fully present in the moment you’re in. When you’re out for dinner with your other half, put your phone away and focus on them. When you’re chaperoning your son to Saturday football practice, watch them play. Resist the temptation for your mind to stray into the past, the future, or elsewhere.

5)  8 hours & 40 winks

Often, one of the first things to suffer when we get busy is the quality of our sleep. By the time we’ve finished work, been to the gym / for a drink, got home and had dinner it’s already 10pm. Once you’ve squeezed in that episode of Graham Norton it’s close to midnight, but we all want to have just a little relaxing time to ourselves, no? What kind of life would it be just waking up, going to work, coming home and going to bed? There is scientific proof that shows our brains clean themselves whilst we sleep – this has been found to be an important factor in determining our memory and level of alertness. Power naps of 20 minutes are also shown to improve productivity, so schedule them in every so often if you can. Sacrificing on sleep dulls our mind and leads to sub-optimal performance - make sure you make the time for it.


6)  Communicate Mindfully

Success depends not just on skills but on the quality of your relationships and how well you convey your point of view. Being aware of how well you communicate with others is therefore key. Also pay attention to how well you listen. Think about your recent interactions – did you communicate from the best of yourself? Whether it is the stranger on the tube, the barista who makes your coffee every morning, your work colleagues or your spouse, being mindful of social interactions makes the world a better place not just for the person on the receiving end, but also for you. 

7)  Remember, Thoughts Aren’t Facts 

We live in our minds all day, every day but often we are not aware of our thoughts. They’re just below the level of the conscious mind and manifest themselves as “rational”. How often do we find ourselves in situations where the same set of facts are interpreted in two completely different ways? How often do seemingly harmless occurrences set off a snowball of negative thoughts in our mind? Our reactions are often disproportionate, judgemental and emotionally driven. There is the reality of a situation, and our mind’s interpretation reaction to it - learn to put space between them.

Each point above is an extract from Urban Guru’s 90 minute DoJo mindfulness workshops. Through these sessions, delivered onsite at your office, we can help arm your employees with strategies to maximise their effectiveness in 2017. Contact us to find out more.

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