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Thinking Creatively About Online Education

One of the most-watched Ted Talks of all time features educationalist Ken Robinson. If you haven’t viewed this remarkable video on the importance of creativity when thinking about education – please do. It will change the way you view learning forever! 

Robinson is clear that most people associate creativity with being totally free and unstructured. But as he says:

“What we really have to get hold of is the idea that you can’t be creative if you don’t do something.”

Ken Robinson

Creativity has to be applied in a deliberate and structured manner.

Gilly Salmon, one of my favourite authors on online learning, knows just how important it is to have applied, deliberate creativity at the heart of the learning experience, and her five-step model speaks to how best to include this from a learning design perspective. 

The key, for her, is to awaken a ‘curious mind’ and support the student throughout the learner journey, with structured and engaging interactions and support.

What this means to me is that the online learning experience begins by placing you, the student, at the centre of the learning experience, with support structures that provide a clear pathway as to how the learning will take place.

It should also be clear to you how the course will unfold (learning pathway), how best to navigate the learning platform (LMS – learner management system), where to view resources (and why), how to engage with e-activities, complete online assignments and ask for support (very important), as well as where to discuss topics and when to expect feedback/grades.

When evaluating a learning platform, check to see if this really is the case: 

  • -Ask for a view of the course outline 
  • -Find out:
    • -Who will be supporting you 
    • -Whether you can engage with other participants
    • -Who will be providing feedback 
    • -By when and how progress will be tracked 

When this information is clear to you, true ‘creativity’ can emerge. It is only when we have this structured support in place and we feel ’safe’ that we can begin to self-actualise.  The very definition of creativity. (Maslow, Abraham H 1969).

The world in which we find ourselves requires us to think innovatively and creatively. Employers and entrepreneurs are constantly looking for individuals who can take problems and find novel solutions from a variety of angles. It has been said that the greatest innovators are not necessarily the people who have the most original ideas or concepts. Often, they are those who have come together to communicate a great solution to a problem. As Linda Naiman says:

“For innovation to flourish, organisations must create an environment that fosters creativity; bringing together multi-talented groups of people who work in close collaboration together — exchanging knowledge, ideas and shaping the direction of the future. Organisations led by creative leaders have a higher success rate in innovation, employee engagement, change, and renewal.”

Linda Naiman

Choosing online courses that incorporate a learning design help free you up to engage with the content,  share your ideas/questions with your fellow online peers, tutor or facilitator, and receive meaningful feedback. The online learning environment provides a space where you are at the centre of the experience, allowing you to tap into your own imagination, ultimately determining how best to apply – creatively – the knowledge you have gained.

#Thinktober: Small Changes For a Big Difference to Your Life

Improving your life doesn’t need to involve a massive overhaul. Taking simple steps each day to implement new habits can lead to enormously positive changes.

Join the #Thinktober journey to break out the box!

Don’t miss out! Catch up on last week’s challenges.

31 October

Overcome Indecision with Small Steps

We can waste a lot of time fretting about whether we could or should pursue a new path. If we’re not careful, years can turn into a lifetime as indecisiveness turns into paralysis. We’re not suggesting you don’t think or plan before you decide to pursue a new goal, but rather that you’re not going to get anywhere by sitting on the fence. There’s only one way to test whether your idea will be successful, and that is to take action. 

Rather than needing clarity before we act, we often gain clarity by acting. You don’t need to take drastic action and quit your day job right away – one small step could simply be signing up to an online course and learning a new skill that could just end up transforming your career. 

To do today: Take one small action to see you moving closer to the big change you’d like to manifest in your life. 

28 October

Do One Thing at a Time

We tend to think that we can increase our productivity by doing several things at once. Yet research shows that multitasking damages our output and efficiency. 

Trying to do more than one thing at once not only slows us down but causes us to make more mistakes. We feel busier, but we are actually doing less, and doing it less well. 

Studies at the Human Information Processing Laboratory at Vanderbilt University have shown that people performing two tasks simultaneously took up to 30% longer and made twice as many errors as those who completed the same tasks in sequence. These findings have been replicated time and again by other scientists. 

To do today: Practise grouping similar tasks together so you spend less time and energy switching between different types of activities. Once you’ve batched your tasks, identify uninterrupted blocks of time for each. 

29 October

Reward Yourself

As humans, we are motivated by the anticipation of reward, and making positive habits attractive will help you stick to them. 

The neurology of desire shows that the human brain releases dopamine when we do pleasurable things, but that we also get a hit of it when simply anticipating these activities. It’s the brain’s way of encouraging us to keep moving forward and actually do things. 

Use this knowledge to your advantage when trying to form new habits. Think of a behaviour that you know will be beneficial but that you find unappealing, and link it to something you’re drawn to. For example, if you struggle to exercise but love binging on your favourite Netflix show, set up an exercise bike in front of the TV. 

To do today: Choose one positive but unappealing habit, and link it to a reward you know will motivate you to practise it. 

30 October

Create an Accountability Framework

Habit tracking is a simple yet effective technique. In your calendar or diary, cross off every day that you stick to your chosen positive behaviours. The anticipation and satisfaction of crossing off each day will no doubt feel good and keep you motivated. 

Another option is to commit to your new habits in the company of family and friends. Share your goals and intentions with them, and ask them to hold you accountable to following through on them. 

To do today: Create a habit calendar or journal, or reach out to an accountability partner.  

#Thinktober: Tips for Achieving Energy, Efficiency, Effortlessness & Excellence

Improving your life doesn’t need to involve a massive overhaul. Taking simple steps each day to implement new habits can lead to enormously positive changes.

Join the #Thinktober journey to break out the box!

Don’t miss out! Catch up on last week’s challenges.

21 October

Implement Monk Mode Mornings

Distractions are detrimental to work efficiency, and a ‘monk mode morning’ can help counter this. 

Studies show that those working in open-plan offices can be distracted as often as once every three minutes. These breaks in concentration can take the form of colleagues popping over to ask a question or distracting conversations from neighbouring desks and cubicles. 

Once your concentration is broken, it can take some time to return to the same level of focus.

In his book The Joy of Work, bestselling author Bruce Daisley suggests practising the ‘monk mode morning’, which involves putting your phone in aeroplane mode, turning off email and other desktop notifications, and shutting your door to visitors before 11:00. 

At first, your co-workers may not understand or appreciate this distraction barricade. But if you explain that it isn’t about being anti-social, but rather an attempt to put in a few hours of uninterrupted work before engaging with phone calls and meetings, they’ll likely be more amenable to the change. 

If you don’t have an office door to enforce your monk mode morning, you can try wearing headphones in order to create your privacy.  

To do today: Shut your door, plug in your earphones, put your phone on aeroplane mode and dive into a few hours of uninterrupted work until 11:00 this morning. 

22 October

Avoid Hurry Anxiety

Too much connection and information can lead to ‘hurry anxiety’. It’s common to feel like you’re continually in a rush, or under pressure to get things done. 

Essentially, hurry anxiety is characterised by constant low-grade stress due to the feeling that you’ll never be able to finish all that you want to accomplish. It’s especially common these days, thanks to the level of connectivity and abundance of information that the internet age provides. 

Studies reveal that the average person responds to an average of 130 emails and processes about 100 000 words of information during a typical working day. Given all the tasks we need to tick off and the information we need to process, it’s little wonder we feel constantly overwhelmed.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lessen your experience of hurry anxiety. One of the important things to realise is that being constantly busy isn’t the same as being productive. In fact, you can be more productive by setting aside time in your daily schedule for doing nothing. Research has shown that it is when we are at rest that we can really tap into our deep resources of creativity. So make sure you include time off during your day when you can take a break from all the incoming information. 

To do today: Set aside at least 20 minutes of time to remove yourself from all funnels of incoming information and simply do nothing. 

23 October

Take Regular Social Breaks

Social breaks can offer an unexpected boost to productivity, as social interaction balances out work challenges.

A workplace study conducted at Bank of America revealed that encouraging employees to take regular social breaks reduced stress by 19%, and increased productivity by 23%. 

Being able to talk about and share your workplace stressors and troubles can provide instant relief, allowing you to return to your desk remotivated and refreshed. What’s more, colleagues who have experienced similar challenges can share proven tips for navigating the situation, as well as an empathetic ear. 

To do today: Make a point of taking your lunch break with a colleague or two, rather than eating at your desk or alone. 

24 October

Enjoy a Good Dose of Laughter Medicine

Laughing is an effective and valuable way of coping with life’s challenges, and we could all do with more of it in our lives. 

According to researchers, laughing is a great way to balance out the intense stress and situations we often face – both at work and at home. What’s more, it has also been shown to stimulate creativity. 

Adding more laughter into your day requires the development of a workplace culture where laughter is encouraged. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to crack jokes all the time. Rather, it’s about approaching work with an openness to sharing laughter with those around you if the opportunity arises. 

To do today: Share a joke or comedy clip you may encounter with a colleague or two, and enjoy the bonding and stress relief that will no doubt ensue from the shared giggles. 

25 October

Get Plenty of Sleep

Sleep is probably the easiest way to improve your work performance, and it takes little effort. 

Science has shown that enough sleep (typically eight hours a night) not only improves concentration and performance the next day but also makes you less likely to give in to cravings for things like coffee or sweet treats. 

Plus, it can make you happier! According to scientists, sleeping well reduces the number of negative thoughts floating through your mind. 

To-do today: Turn off your computer and refrain from doing anything too stimulating after 21:00. Instead, relax and engage in soothing activities until you’re tired enough to lie down and drift off to sleep. 

26 October

Build Capacity

This is about continually learning and honing skills to grow and elevate yourself. In his book Elevate, Robert Glazer details four areas of capacity that can be built: 

Spiritual
Focus on getting to know yourself and your drives and desires.

Intellectual
Learn to think, plan and execute with maximum discipline and efficiency.

Physical
Dedicate time each day to cultivating your physical health and wellbeing.

Emotional
Consciously work on growing your ability to deal with challenging situations and get the most out of your relationships. 

To do today: Dedicate some time to establishing and committing to a plan of action for building capacity in all four life areas in the coming week. 

27 October

Set Your Personal Compass

Do you have a clear sense of where you’re going? Are you using your resources in the best possible way to get there? 

Take some time to reflect on what’s most important to you. What makes you feel happy and energises you? What gets you down and drains your energy? When do you succeed, and when do you struggle? 

Make sure you’re consciously aligning your daily actions with what you value most. True success is the fruit of this alignment. 

To do today: Take a moment to define four core values (e.g. freedom, independence, abundance and generosity). Look at your to-do list for the week, and make sure that each task will help you achieve at least one of these values. 

Watch this space for next week’s career-changing daily prompts!

#Thinktober: Ways to Create Your Dream Life Today

Improving your life doesn’t need to be a massive overhaul. Taking simple steps each day to implement new habits can lead to enormously positive changes.

Join the #Thinktober journey to break out the box!

Don’t miss out! Catch up on last week’s challenges.

14 October

Remember Your Why

Why is it that you get out of bed and do what you do each day? 

In his popular book Start with Why, Simon Sinek uses the analogy of a golden circle to describe his approach to leadership. At the centre of the circle is his ‘why’ – his bigger picture purpose. The next concentric circle is ‘how’ he intends to achieve his goals and the last details ‘what’ these goals are. 

To do today: Draw/create your own ‘golden circle’, and place it somewhere you look as you wake up each morning. 

15 October

Cultivate Gratitude

Practising the art of gratitude can encourage you when things get tough. Exploring what you’re grateful for will create positive emotions, as well as helping to focus your creative energy. 

Many find that hand-writing in a journal each day helps them anchor feelings of positivity and appreciation.

Divide your gratitude lists into the most important areas of your life. These could include career and lifestyle, body and wellbeing, and love and family. 

Remember that specificity increases the feeling of gratitude. Instead of listing the same general themes time and again, include detailed descriptions of gratitude-worthy moments specific to a particular day. 

To do today: Start a daily gratitude journal or practice.

16 October

Focus on Feeling

We live in a results-obsessed society that applauds us for operating on achievement autopilot, often treating feelings as obstacles in the way of reaching our goals. And yet – if we really stop to think about it – it eventually becomes clear that everything we do is driven by a desire to feel a certain way.

How do you want to feel when you get the job, make the money, buy the home? Have you found yourself achieving any of these externally oriented goals and still long for some elusive sense of joy, peace or fulfilment? 

Do you want to earn a specific amount of money a year, or do you want to feel abundant and secure? Try to adjust your focus to the way you want to feel, and set and pursue your goals from there.

To do today: Choose two or three feelings you’d like to experience more in your daily life. Write them on a post-it note or save them on your phone, and think about whether your goals and behaviours are moving you closer towards or further away from them. 

17 October

Choose Your Filters

We’re each living through the lens of our own private reality – one that is shaped by our automatic system’s attempts at allocating our attention to the right thing. We experience an incomplete, subjective version of reality – one that may not serve us. We can’t switch off our automatic system’s filtering function (it is, after all, automatic), but we can adjust the settings by being more proactive in defining our perceptual filters. 

In How to Have a Good Day, Caroline Webb suggests taking some time to consciously set our filters each day by defining our AIM, ATTITUDE and ATTENTION

AIM

Think about what’s most important to you on any given day. What do you want to achieve more than anything else? What matters most to you right now?

ATTITUDE

Notice and acknowledge the concerns that are dominating your thoughts and mood. Are they standing between you and your aim? 

ATTENTION

Where do you want to consciously focus your attention to override your default attitude and achieve your aim? 

To do today: Set your aim, attitude and attention for the day, and proceed accordingly. 

18 October

Practise Mindful Moments

While mindfulness may seem like an intangible concept, it’s really just the act of being aware of your body, breath, thoughts and surroundings in the present moment.

Developing greater awareness can open us to seeing how the mind becomes entangled in its own attachments and aversions. Mindfulness can help us see, with greater clarity, how we can approach our moment-to-moment experience more skillfully, taking more pleasure in the good things that often go unnoticed, and dealing more effectively with the difficulties we encounter (both real and imagined). The more you practise, the easier it becomes. 

A SIMPLE MINDFULNESS EXERCISE              

PAUSE for a moment.

FOCUS on something with all your attention.

RETURN your attention to your point of focus without judging yourself when it drifts away.

To-do today: Pause, focus and return your attention to at least one mindful moment. 

19 October

Just Breathe

As highlighted by popular breathwork teacher Dan Brulé, breathing is the only system in the body that is both automatic and also under our control. It is “an invitation, an opportunity to take part in our own nature and evolution.”

There are details in the way you breathe that you have probably never observed and explored, and these can act as doorways that lead you to new and profound abilities. “Mastering the breath is a major skill if you want to become a high performing individual and enhance every aspect of your life,” shares Brulé. 

Take some time out today to practise this conscious breathing exercise: 

  • -Sit comfortably, close your eyes and gently place your hands on your belly.
  • -Breathe in for a count of five seconds, and out for a count of five seconds. Spend some time settling into this rhythm, making it as smooth and steady as possible. 

Inhale, 2, 3, 4, 5

Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 5

Inhale, 2, 3, 4, 5

Exhale, 2, 3, 4, 5

  • -Repeat for five minutes, and observe how your body and mind feel when you gently open your eyes.

To do today: Take a few moments to consciously focus on your breath. 

20 October

Eat for Success

The nutritional field is varied and vast, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. There are, however, a few foundational principles that can serve us all well…

EAT

  • -Foods grown or raised without pesticides, hormones or antibiotics wherever possible.
  • -Non-organic dairy and meat.
  • -Organic produce whenever possible, avoiding the non-organic produce with the highest pesticide content.
  • -Five to ten servings of fruit and veg daily, with an emphasis on green, red and orange vegetables. Go crazy with the leafy greens!
  • -Protein with every meal.

AVOID

  • Fast food restaurants, deep-fried foods, sweets and soft drinks.
  • -Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (often found in margarine, crackers, crisps, packaged baked goods and bagged and boxed snacks).
  • -High-fructose corn syrup (present in most soft drinks and packaged desserts).
  • -Sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and sucralose.
  • -Cane sugar.
  • -White flour.
  • -Processed foods, including commercially prepared and packaged foods with artificial flavours, colouring, preservatives, and salt and sugar.

To do today: Practise foundational nutritional principles to improve your mental and physical functioning and wellbeing.

Watch this space for next week’s life-changing daily prompts!

#Thinktober: Ways to Make Positive Changes to Your Workplace

Think creatively

Big shifts require small changes.

Improving your career doesn’t need to be a massive overhaul. Taking simple steps each day to implement new habits can lead to enormously positive changes in your professional life.

Join the #Thinktober journey to break out the box!

Don’t miss out! Catch up on last week’s challenges.

13 October

Dig a Little Deeper

With all the information we have at our fingertips in the internet age, it’s never been easier to learn something new.

There are probably one or two ideas that immediately spring to mind when you think of something you’d like to read more about. Spending as little as 10 minutes a day could allow you to learn more about that thing. All it takes is the initial starting point.

Digging deeper could also mean signing up for a new course and allowing yourself to engage fully with material relevant to your career. It can be as easy as clicking a button to take the next step to learn.

To-do today: Dive into researching a new concept, or dig deeper into something you find fascinating!

7 October

Find a Solution

Innovation isn’t about the replication of products and ideas. It involves contextualised solves. What are the biggest challenges your customers, community and colleagues or employees face? What data can you collect about the problem? How can you use this to adapt? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • – What problem am I seeking to solve in my business or role?
  • – What is preventing me from solving this problem?
  • – How have competitors dealt with similar problems?
  • – What are the opportunities I’ll enjoy in the next few years once this is solved?

As Einstein said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Become a problem solver and allow your thinking and potential to expand. 

To-do today: Keep an eye out for a problem area and think about novel solutions you can innovate.

8 October

Implement Movement in the Office

If you’ve ever had a good gym session before work, you are probably familiar with the feeling of increased motivation and mental clarity that follows. 

Adding movement to your day at the office can have a profound effect on both your energy and mood. Studies show that physical activity can positively promote all areas of your emotional and mental wellbeing.

“Exercise improves mental health by reducing anxiety, depression and negative mood and by improving self-esteem and cognitive function.”

Callaghan P., National Center for Biotechnology Information 

It can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking a quick stroll around the office every half hour. Implement a new activity each day to make movement a habit. Your body and mind will thank you. 

To-do today: Think about different ways you can include exercise in your daily regime, and pick the best option.

9 October

Tackle a Different Duty

It’s easy to get stuck in a pit of mediocrity when you have to do the same thing day after day. Adding something new to your day may be just the thing you need to heighten your motivation, offering the get-up-and-go you might be lacking.

During the day, think of how you can perform a new task in your job to improve company operations.

Asking to take on a different role also shows that you’re ready to take initiative, which won’t fail to add a positive feather in your cap. 

If you’re interested in taking on a new task in a different department, see if you can job shadow at your office. If you have the capacity and permission, sit in on a brainstorming meeting with a different department to see how else you can grow and learn about your company.

To-do today: Find an opportunity to undertake a new challenge. 

10 October

Avoid the Frown & Write it Down

At some point in your life, you’ve had an amazing idea, only to forget it shortly after convincing yourself that you’ll remember it. It happens to everybody, and is possibly one of the more frustrating things life has to offer.

To avoid this, carry a notebook around and jot down any worthwhile ideas you may have while on the go. If an incredible idea pops up, you’ll have a surefire way of keeping it from slipping away! 

Having that little reminder in your back pocket can also help you maintain focus during the day, keeping you alert to anything relevant and important you might miss.  

To-do today: Carry a notebook around, ready to write down ideas and inspirations.

11 October

Get to Know Someone New

Whether your office is massive, with thousands of busy individuals milling around, or tiny, with a handful of people in your task-force, there are usually only one or two people with whom you actively put in the effort to chat.

Take time out today to branch out and connect with someone with whom you haven’t had a conversation before. It doesn’t need to be a lengthy debate or a deep and meaningful conversation – chatting to someone with whom you are not familiar can help push you out of your comfort zone and lead to new ideas, as it challenges your way of thinking and allows for new perspectives.

To-do today: Have a conversation with a new person at the water cooler.

12 October

Say Goodbye to Waste & Hello to Inspiration

It’s Saturday! Congratulations, you’ve made it through the week! 

Celebrate by treating yourself to a cup of hot coffee from your favourite local coffee shop! Double up the reasons to celebrate by taking (or buying) your own reusable eco cup and making your java an environmentally-friendly one.

The more you think about the ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, the more inspired you’ll find yourself at work.

To-do today: Take an eco cup to buy coffee from your local cafe. 

Watch this space for next week’s career-changing daily prompts!

10 Ways to Make Online Learning Work for You

Online learning offers a world of opportunity, allowing you to catapult your career to new heights and change your life for the better. 

Like everything in life, you get out what you put in. MasterStart Former Chief Development Officer Paul Lensen shares his tips on how to get the most out of your online learning experience

“I love Netflix. I can choose what to watch, when to watch it,  and how many episodes to binge on at a time (usually all of them!). 

Online learning feels a bit like this. You can learn about what’s important to you, and do so in your own time and space. But you do need to make sure you have a few fundamentals covered in order to make the most of the opportunity. 

Online learning

1. Choose the Right Course

First, pause Netflix. Once you’ve managed this (it can often be the hardest part!), invest some time and effort into making sure you choose a course that’s both relevant to and recognised by your field. Look for an accredited online qualification, checking that the institution is registered with the DHET (Department of Higher Education and Training) as well as the CHE (Council for Higher Education) or any of the various SETAs mandated by the QCTO (Quality Council for Trade and Occupations). Also make sure that the qualification is registered with SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority). While most online short courses do not require accreditation, enrolling with a registered institution speaks to the credibility of the content and learning experience. 

2. Find a Reliable Internet Connection

Most courses are ‘data light’, but video content can use a lot of data. The trick is to choose online courses that give you the option to download video or course material to view offline later.

3. Familiarise Yourself with the Course Outline 

Get acquainted with what is sometimes referred to as the ‘student journey’ or ‘learning pathway’. Most courses will include a comprehensive orientation module. Don’t skip over this section – it’s like missing the first episode of your favourite TV show! 

4 Learn how to Navigate your Platform

Before accessing your material and content, explore the platform. This can mean finding out where to submit your assignments/tasks, and how to post questions on the chat boards or forum discussion. 

5 Follow a Routine

Set aside regular time in your diary to login and view your course content.  Syncing your study schedule with your online learning will ensure you view it like any other commitment. 

6 Practise and Test Yourself

Make the most of online quizzes or self-marking tests. These help you test your knowledge and understanding of the course material, so resist the temptation to skip past them! 

7 Download Your Course Material

Having a stored copy of your course notes can be very helpful. If you’re anything like me, printing them out and making notes on the hard copies can support the learning process.

8 Use the Support of Your Course Facilitator

Some online courses include time with an expert or course facilitator. This can take the form of live ‘chats’ or webinars. The key here is to come to these sessions well prepared. Know what it is you want to get out of the interactions, possibly mailing your questions ahead of the scheduled appointment. Make notes during the session, and remember the value of learning with others – their questions or forum posts could provide valuable insights and answers to questions you might have. 

9 Take a Break

Don’t forget to take regular breaks. Watch an episode of your favourite show, go for a run or walk or grab a cup of coffee. You’ll return to the material refreshed and re-inspired.

10 Connect with Other Students

Remember that you are not alone! Reach out to your fellow course participants – a sense of community can make all the difference in an online learning environment. 

Now that you know how to make the most of the online learning experience, it’s time to get cracking and choose your course!”

VIEW OUR CATALOGUE OF ONLINE SHORT COURSES TO KICK-START YOUR CAREER TODAY

#Thinktober: Daily Creative Prompts to Rethink Your Work & Life

Think creatively

We’re delivering you batches of daily prompts to help you combat the trenches of monotony. Commit to the easy day-by-day shifts, and you’ll soon find yourself with the motivation, drive, and excitement to overhaul your career.

And…GO! 

1 October

Revisit Your Vision

Most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs are able to sketch and effortlessly communicate a message of growth and opportunity for their employees. You can motivate yourself in the same way by taking the time to fill in the details of what you want in your ideal career.

Where are you based? What is your role? Who else is involved? What does it look like on a day-to-day basis? Why does it matter – what enduring impact will you have? Write the answers down, and revisit and revise them regularly. You may be surprised by the power of this exercise to keep you on track. 

To-do today: Make a list of all the aspects of your ideal career, and brainstorm how you can start working towards achieving them right now. 

2 October

Rearrange Your Context

Think of your context – or environment – as a force field with the ability to shape your behaviour. Is your desk an inviting workspace? Do you pack your food for the day so you’re not affected by the close proximity of the vending machine? Are the colleagues you sit with at lunch uplifting company, or a bit of a drag? Recognise the restraining and driving forces in your environment, and rearrange your context accordingly

To-do today: Make one ‘healthy change’ to your daily environment, and remember to stick to it tomorrow.

3 October

Make New Connections

A strong business (and friendship) network can go a long way in helping you succeed. It can be a lonely world when you start venturing out of the unknown and into new possibilities. An easy way to start is to join relevant meet-ups and groups online and make the effort to show up for their in-person events. Research who will be presenting and attending, dress smartly and introduce yourself with confidence. Have your business cards ready and follow up with new contacts afterwards. Business really can be all about who you know.

To-do today: Join a new industry-focused group and build one new connection.

4 October

Refine your Processes

Most businesses are organised chaos; people bring the chaos and the processes bring the organisation. A way to embed your vision and the way you, and your team, want things to work is to create processes, templates, and documentation that ensure the work is executed in a way that upholds standards and increases efficiency. What process can you revisit and refine today? It will no doubt be well worth the initial effort. 

To-do today: Find one system that isn’t structured optimally, and develop a creative way to make it more efficient. 

5 October

Work on a Personal Project

It’s Saturday! The break from office work is always welcome. Team up taking it easy with working on that project you’ve been thinking about for the past few months. Anything from building a bookshelf to picking up your paintbrush requires a little motivation but can yield a great sense of satisfaction. Remember – you don’t need to finish what you start today, but if you never begin, you’ll never complete it.

To-do today: Start or continue a hobby that’s been on your mind for a while.

6 October

Hone Your Skills

Feeling that your industry knowledge or skills are lacking or outdated is a surefire way to dampen your professional courage. One of the best things you can do to catalyse your career is to take proactive steps to upskill yourself. Whether you want to connect with industry experts, learn new skills, refine your knowledge or gain more experience in your field, signing up for an online short course is a convenient, flexible and effective solution to your stagnation. 

To-do today: Browse our online short courses to see if there’s something that could help you catalyse your career! 

Stay tuned in for the next batch of career-changing prompts!

online short courses