Monthly Archives: June 2016

We Leak Our Truth

By LeAnn Elkins, Friend of Simple Intentions

“MomLeak Our Truth_0630, you’ve been giving the baby about 30% too much formula vs. water.  Please use the measuring spoon I’ve put in the diaper bag and then add the corresponding amount of water.”

Yes, this is my son giving me feedback on how to properly fix a bottle for my grandson. I could take it as a personal attack on my abilities as a grandmother, but instead I know my son. He has, for as long as I can remember, been a factual and data-based communicator. This request was no different than his request as a young boy on how to prepare his sandwich with the appropriate proportion of peanut butter to jelly.  He is simply “leaking his truth!” His particular truth being a strong sense of correctness and order in everything he does and wanting those around him to do the same.

We leak our truth, whether we know it or not, and it’s a steady, unstoppable drip. Our truth is not necessarily what we say is important or even what we think is important. Our truth is:

  • the reaction we have to situations
  • our values in action
  • those inner most thoughts and feelings about self and others
  • how and where we spend our time and money

Though it can be challenging, there are indeed times where we can recognize our leaks. Often it takes others pointing these leaks out for us to truly understand their presence. Try out an exercise to identify your own leaks. Start by writing down some descriptors of self and what you most value. Share this list with a trusted colleague and/or friend, asking them to add to the list using their experiences of you. Have this person share with you how you “leak truths” about yourself as they occur. Look at your list often and compare it to what’s happening in your day to day actions. You may be amazed at how often you leak your truth without realizing it – and you also might find that these truths are not in alignment with your perception of self or stated values.

What this is really about is having the courage to own your truth. Instead of trying to be whom you think others want you to be or who you’ve been told to be (which can lead to so much wasted energy and even stress), just be you – the truth will leak out anyway! LOVE and HONOR these truths and how they are serving you and those around you. Get to really know them and let them shine — this is the authentic you and you are enough!

“This above all:  to thine own self be true.”  William Shakespeare

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Is “Office” a State of Mind?

By Jae Ellard, Simple Intentions Founder and CEO

[Note: This post originally appeared in Mindful Magazine]

It used to beDefining office_0615 when someone talked about being at the office they meant they were at an actual physical space. With the rise of workplace flexibility, global work teams, and technology to support a slew of telework options, “office” has become an elusive concept.

The number of “mobile workers” in the US will reach 105 million by 2020, estimates market intelligence firm IDC. That means almost three-quarters of our work force will find themselves with flexible office situations. It’s no wonder, then, that many Fortune 500 companies are committed to attracting and retaining employees by offering flexible work environments and promoting diverse work styles.

Depending on what you do for a living and how you like to work, you will have your own unique definition of “office”. For some, office still means a physical space – like a desk or a cubical (or, for the free-spirited, their favorite café). For others, office means a device, like a tablet or phone. For these people, they’re “at the office” whenever their device is on and in their vicinity.

For others still, office is a state of mind – it’s whenever you have work thoughts, which for many people is a lot of the time. It’s easy to see how nontraditional work situations can take on a life of their own, and lead to more stress rather than more flexibility. That’s why it’s important to define what “flexible work” means to you.

A recent study in the American Sociological Review found that workers with well-designed flexible work situations are less stressed, experience less burnout, and have increased job satisfaction compared to their peers in a typical workday situation.

Simply giving employees more control over their schedules and shifting emphasis to results rather than hours logged allows employees to be effective and happy. Go figure.

What’s imperative is that managers and employees work together to establish what is acceptable within the company or team culture. This is a huge opportunity to build trust and prevent confusion by discussing upfront what “office” means from the employer’s perspective. Then everyone can work together to construct what a workday at the office ideally looks like.

In order to have a balanced, mindful approach to flexible work situations, consider the following.

  1. Your Physical Space

If your office is an actual space, notice what you need in that space. If you work from home, is there a well-defined space in your house where “office” takes place, or do you “office” a little bit everywhere? If “office” means a device, ask yourself when do you engage and disengage with the “office” (your device): Is it a set time, like 7 p.m., or is it when you reach a specific physical destination?

  1. Your Mindset

If your office is a mindset, think about how you can intentionally tap into and let go of work thoughts. Perhaps you can establish a “stop work thoughts” mantra that helps you bookmark the thought, for example, “Thank you, I will come back to this later.” Or you could intentionally take a few deep breaths to redirect your energy, or try to set a concrete time when work thoughts are just not welcome.

  1. Your Time

When does “office” begin and end for you? Flexibility is about choice, and if the choice is to be always on, the power of flexibility is diminished. Embrace and enjoy the flexibility to work wherever and whenever by being intentional about how, where, and when you “office”.

Tips for how to work anywhere

  • Make sure some of your “office” hours overlap with a standard workday
  • Find time for face-to-face meetings and schedule them regularly
  • Avoid working on sensitive documents over public Wi-Fi
  • Block out brainstorming time in your calendar – “think” time is part of your job
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