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A Creative Journey to the Innermost Intuition – Follow Your Heart

Gil Alon a renowned Israeli Zen master, actor, singer, and theatre director and teacher is coming as an exclusive visit to run a 7 day workshop “A Creative Journey to the Innermost Intuition – Follow Your Heart”, 16 – 22 September 2019, Cambridge. Read more…

Apply now for Hutzero the leading early-stage entrepreneur bootcamp!

Have you ever considered starting your own business? Do you have an idea for a brilliant new cyber security product? Then HutZero 5 is for you! Apply now to join the FREE action-packed week to transform your cyber idea into a viable start-up. More info…

BLOG – Time: You Can’t Own it or Keep it, But You Can Sure Spend It and Use It

By Helena Kim, Coaching Psychologist & Work Relationship Specialist

Most bright and ambitious people set high goals, and the recent workshop by Dr Marloes Tijssen titled “Time Management with a Touch of Coaching” helped the delegates to get more time efficient to reach their high goals. It was a great turn out with accomplished delegates from the university, local labs, corporate industry, and general members of our community. Imagine the lively discussion in this brain powered room generated by Marloes’ useful tools and tips.  Let me summarise this informative evening.

We began with the end in mind using an illustration tool that helped us envision where we want to be and where we are now. The next question was, “How do you see yourself getting there?” The workshop provided not just how, but what to use, that will help us be more organised and to get there more thoughtfully.

Two easy acronyms to remember as we set our goals; GROW and SMART.

GROW lays things out to answer the where, what, how, and when to reach your goal.

  • Goal: Where do you want to be?
  • Reality: Where are you now?
  • Options: What are the many possible ways? What are your obstacles?
  • Will do: How do you want to get started? When are your markers to achieve this goal?

If your goal is SMART, there’s a higher probability you will achieve it.

  • Specific: Make it snappy & simple
  • Measurable: Quantify it to qualify it
  • Achievable: Make it attainable and into bite sizes
  • Relevant: Make it worthwhile and align it with your long-term plans
  • Time based: Give it a deadline and use a time line
Marloes’ illustration of how ‘GROW’ and ‘SMART’ helped her take control of her tasks instead of the tasks controlling her

Eisenhower Urgent-Important Matrix

We all have one to-do list or another. Take the items and not just prioritise but assign them a quadrant in this matrix. Your task is to do, delegate, decide or ditch the task.

The conventional wisdom is if you spend more quality time planning, organising, and deciding on those important and not urgent items first, you will have fewer items that end up in the urgent/important box. It was useful to clearly separate “what’s my agenda and what’s someone else’s agenda” when we broached this matrix.

Great tips:

  • Turn off alerts and phones while working
  • Believe in “my time is valuable” – Learn how to say no to tasks and projects that are not relevant to your big goal
  • Take regular breaks to prevent brain & body fatigue
  • Reward good work
  • Meditate to recharge your brain, mind, and body to focus
  • Mindfulness to help reset yourself
  • Avoid 24/7 work mindset. Have a life.
  • Set clear boundaries between work and play
  • Pomodoro. Work more effectively in small chunks of time with breaks
  • There were tech tools that were suggested by Marloes and delegates, such as OMNI for MAC, Trello, Slack, Braintoss, ASANA, etc.

We recognised management is less about time or management, it’s more about self-care and self-awareness. How well are you taking care of yourself? What tools and tips work for you? Are you a morning person or a night owl? Are you organically or structurally organised? What distracts you? Is it time or is it your motivation that needs tending? If you procrastinate, what’s underneath that fear or dread? How are you spending your chronological time? What’s taking up your emotional time? Time management is also subjective depending on your personality, preference, and habit.

At the end of the day, life is about love and work, so how are you valuing yourself, your relationships, and work? 

Chocolate Lock-In at Hotel Chocolat – 8th and 18th of July

Cambridge AWiSE invites you to a private Chocolate Lock-In at Hotel Chocolat

8 July 2019, 6:15 pm or 18 July 2019, 6:15 pm

Location: Hotel Chocolat, Lion Yard (43 Lion Yard, Cambridge CB2 3NA)

You will be greeted with a glass of Prosecco or non-alcoholic drink before mingling with other guests over a chocolate tasting (5 chocolates each). More info…

BLOG – Men as allies – Approaching equality together

By Cedric Ghevaert

Attending an event addressing “gender equality” or lack thereof seems to be a given these days, but attending one where men are described as “allies” refreshingly bridges the gap between two sides who are too often being described “in conflict”. A discussion by a very balanced panel (men/women, experienced grey hair/young and on a learning curve, established/still breaking through) made time fly past quicker than one would expect. But that would be down to the passion, which was equally shared between all panellists and the fact that the engaged audience counted men and women and included people with even more grey hair than I have!

One of the issue that was brought up is that the challenges of this issue is created by how careers have changed, where in academia and STEMM careers we now reach stability well after our life responsibilities have become serious: mortgages, relationships, children. Trying to manage the career breakthrough when these responsibilities become all-important has added pressure, which unfortunately, still weighs on women more than men.

It would be easy to say that “things are changing”, but that is a cop out statement: bullying of women (and men) who may approach their life choices, priorities or career and staff management in a novel or simply different way is still pervasive and effected by the new generation as much as the old. What has changed is the number of people who don’t accept the status quo. But institutions can also play a role: promote people who are good leaders as well as decent scientists! The promotion application does not contain any item about how we manage a meeting…yet as a senior staff member, isn’t that what we spend 75% of our time doing? I heard the following remark: “We should fix the system, not women”. And can we replace ‘the system’ in that sentence by ‘the university code of conduct’?

The thing that struck me last night was a statement by one of the panellists: “It is easier for men to do something than finding out what to do”. Even for the most motivated of men, changing the culture, even in the microcosm of one’s own little work group, triggers often a “saviour” behaviour where we think we know best what to do. I raised that question last night and one of the panellist’s answered: “ask the question rather than come up with the answer, get people to spell out their own strengths, appetites and drivers”. It may seem obvious…but it is not always the natural reflex.

Dr Cedric Ghevaert at the event with his two daughters

Institutions set out big policies, but often just basic decent human behaviour is a much more straightforward way to deal with issues on a daily basis. It is about simply being interested and involved in how other people tick. There was a lot of talk about shared parental leave. It is clear that, from a personal point of view, being more involved with the running of the house and looking after my girls, has made me understand the challenges of running both a career and personal time. It has also given the opportunity to my wife to have time for her own career. As well as head space and energy! But shared parental leave is still less than accepted these days (apparently only 5% take up). Financial incentives as well as practical incentives are absent whilst they are in place in other countries. It may sound counter intuitive these days, but let’s look beyond the borders and see what works somewhere else!

And a last point for whoever thought the above is just “sissy stuff” or that last night’s discussion was not worth attending: diversity is strength, the most resilient systems are those that have enough inner diversity to adapt and grow through any challenge and have long-term sustainability. If you don’t promote and champion differences at some point, you and your work will be a dying breed.

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