International Coffee Day will take place on the 1st October and celebrates everything coffee. Not many beverages are celebrated on a national level but it would seem coffee really is that popular. If like millions of others in the UK you are involved in a love affair with a cup of dark frothy goodness, the 1st October may already be scribbled in your diary – and lucky enough it falls on a weekend this year!
In March 2014, 74 INTERNATIONAL COFFEE ORGANISATION (77 in 2016) member states and 26 sanctioned coffee associations from all over the world teamed up to make the 1st of October 2015 the first ever coffee global event. Forming International Coffee Day to establish a date of celebration for coffee lovers across the planet.
The day is centred on the awareness of fair trade coffee production, the promotion of green processes and the hard work of the coffee growers. The 1st is focused on the celebration of diversity, quality and passion and world-wide individuals and business are taking part. It is an opportunity for millions of people to support the farmers who livelihood wholly depends on that delicious brown bean that so many of us enjoy every day.
How can you get involved?
That popular aromatic crop is causing a stir this October and many individuals and companies are enthusiastic to get involved. From celebrating on your own with your favourite coffee blend to reaching out to others, there are numerous creative ways in which you can get involved this coming International Coffee Day.
Follow the Naples tradition of ‘caffè sospeso’ (pending coffee), an Italian tradition of paying for an additional coffee, but only consuming one.
According to the ICO the event will ‘give coffee lovers around the world an opportunity to show solidarity with smallholder coffee farmers by donating the value of an additional cup of coffee to charity.
Treat a stranger to a coffee
The smallest gestures can really make big difference to someone’s day. In some countries, individuals celebrate the day by simply treating the thirsty stranger luckily standing behind them. Any easy way to brighten up someone’s day, and celebrate the delicious hot beverage. Why not inspire kindness in your nearest coffee house this autumn?
Throw a coffee morning
Of course there are ways in which you can celebrate coffee throughout the year. We enjoy a hot frothy coffee all year round, and there are many ways to be charitable all through the seasons. Coffee mornings are proving a popular way to raise money for different charities, most notably MACMILLAN . THE EDEN KAFEVEND COFFEE MORNING PACK can even provide you with all the coffee and tea you need free of charge. That leaves you in charge of simply providing cakes, and collecting the money.
In the past national coffee days have been celebrated by companies as well. This year, watch out for offers from your favourite brands. Traditionally brands such as Ikea and Starbucks have put on promotions in celebration of the event such as discounted coffees. Keep an eye out on social media for offers as well to keep up with everything coffee.
Here is a list of the 10 Superstars we would Love to Recruit for Our Productivity Team!
Jack Dorsey – Founder of Twitter
It was reported that Jack works an 8 hour day. Well, that’s nothing special, I am sure you agree. However, it is the way he plans his working week that is meticulous and makes Jack a high productive businessman.
Jack themes his working week. This allows him to ensure that his time is equally spent across all aspects of running his business. A typical themed week for Jack looks like this:
This highly productive routine is something that I think we can all learn from and could help us all to focus on what is important whilst ensuring nothing is overlooked.
A productivity list surely could not be complete without one of the world’s most iconic businessmen. Steve Jobs was a true inspiration and was passionate and focused on his company.
Three things we could learn from Steve are:
He would keep all his meetings extremely small , only having the necessary people at the table. This kept the energy and professionalism high and the unnecessary/ unproductive ‘noise’ low
Steve believed in holding people accountable for each agenda item during each meeting. This was mirrored throughout the company and he had processes in place to make sure that everyone knew who was responsible for managing what in each and every department.
He encouraged round-table free thinking rather than allowing people to hide behind power-point slides. Brain storming and passionate conversations meant more to Steve than simply hiding behind technology to present ideas.
Carly was the VP running mate for Ted Cruz in the 2016 republican nominations for the US presidential elections. However she came to fame earlier than this when she was the CEO of Hewlett Packard (1999 – 2005), who managed in 2002 the largest (at its time) merger in technology history between HP and Compaq.
Here is a little about what Carly says about productivity:
“You have to start thinking about processes as horizontal across the company – a requirement for processes to work together better, for applications to work together better, for systems to work together better, and so it is now all about not just simply automating processes, it’s about digitizing processes, making them simpler and easier to manage”
Richard Branson is possibly one of the UK’s and the world’s most charismatic business men. He is a serial entrepreneur and certainly has a few things to teach us about productivity. Two tips he has to offer are simple and lay the ground rules for a productive session.
Exercise – work out and feel empowered, exercise energises you and sets you up for the day
Karren Brady is an exceptional businesswoman. She is the former managing director of Birmingham City F.C. and Karren is currently the vice-chairman of the London Based West Ham United Football Club. Known for her business prowess she was appointed Business Ambassador to the UK government and even has a spot on the BBC1 Apprentice show, as an aide to Lord Sugar.
“Karren is not advising being cold and harsh in your dealings with people, but to rein in the emotions and be as straight-talking and direct as possible: “It’s about being clear, precise and operationally succinct. Everyone should know in which direction they are going, who is doing what and why.”
Serial Olympic Gold Medal winner Michael Phelps knows all about how to be productive, his whole daily routine as a sportsman is designed around making the most out of his training, ensuring he eats the right food at the right time and so on.
Unsurprisingly, he sets goals. Every morning he will set himself the days objectives, intentions of the day, feelings about the goals and how it would feel to achieve them. It is this type of sel-help and planning that focuses the mind on what is important, what needs to be achieved, how it will be achieved and what it will feel like to achieve it. No wonder he has 18 Gold medals.
Sometimes we all need a little inspiration to be productive and to achieve our goals. If you have not read Wilma’s story then I suggest you take a minute and read it on Wikipedia. Here is an extract.
“Wilma contracted infantile paralysis (caused by the polio virus) at age four. She recovered, but wore a brace on her left leg and foot (which had become twisted as a result) until she was nine. She was required to wear an orthopedic shoe for support of her foot for another two years….
“In the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games. A track and field champion, she elevated women’s track to a major presence in the United States. As a member of the black community, she is also regarded as a civil rights and women’s rights pioneer. “
Henry Ford decided that he was going to produce an affordable car for the masses, his achievement and use of mass production strategies to manufacture his famous Model T revolutionised industrial manufacturing and provided many lessons in productivity that are still used today. His manufacturing process was all about focus, time management, direction and confidence.
An odd one I know, but Benjamin Franklin was one of the key founding fathers of the United States and around 9pm every day he would consider his day and ask himself ”what good have I done today?”
By recapping the day’s events and activities he was able to prioritise and set a road-map for the next 24hours, focusing on what is important and what to deliver on a daily basis. He analysed his progress and knew what important tasks to complete where and by when.
I hope that this has inspired you a little and now that you have read this and seen how you can become more productive at work and in your life, make sure that you learn from these exceptionally productive superstars and really put these tools into action. Make a difference in your life and work now and become the next Productivity Superstar we write about!
We trawled the internet and have found 10 Things You Should Know About Water, some interesting facts and some just plain odd.
As you woke up this morning I bet you never considered how important water is to your daily routine. As you flush the toilet, clean your hands, brush your teeth, grab a cup of coffee and head off to work (with your bottle of water in the car), you may never have realised how much water has played a part in that small part of your daily routine.
Starting with the basics:
1) WATER IS ELEMENTARY
Your science teacher would be proud of you if you remember that everything in this colourful world of ours is made of atoms, and even more proud of you if you can remember the chemical name for water is H2O.
Here’s the science: The smallest particle of an element is an atom (Oxygen or Hydrogen for example). Molecules are formed by atoms joining together. A water molecule has three atoms: two hydrogen (H2) atoms and one oxygen (O) atom.
2) WHERE CAN YOU FIND WATER?
Unless you are living in a dessert you will probably agree that the Earth is a very watery place. However, have you ever wondered exactly how much water there is on and above this wonderful planet of ours? Well – here are a couple of statistics to soak in….
a) 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water
b) 96.5% of all the Earth’s water is in our Oceans
c) Scientists estimate that one inch of rain falling over an area of one square mile is equal to 17.4 million gallons of water
So we have plenty of it, and boy do we need it!
3) DID YOU KNOW?
Water is the only mineral that is found naturally on Earth in three forms; liquid, gas and solid and that over 90% of the world’s supply of fresh water is located in Antarctica!
4) THE WATER CYCLE
Water is constantly moving from one place to the next, in one form or another and this is known as the water cycle. Water exists in rivers, icecaps, lakes, glaciers, in the air, the ground (as moisture in the soil) and in aquifiers.
5) HOW MUCH WATER IS THERE IN YOUR BODY?
Water is so essential to our lives and it’s not surprising really when you realise that the average human body is really a skin wrapped sponge! The average adult body consists of around 60% water and is higher at around 75-78% for an infant.
Of course the composition of your body will vary due to gender and fitness levels as fatty tissue contains less water than lean tissue.
If you are bored and want to know roughly how much water is in your body (just in case you spring a leak) do this simple calculation:
Your Body Weight (lbs) x 60% (or 76% for an infant) = lbs of water in your body
To convert lbs to gallons just divide by 8.4!
So for example: 175 x 0.6 = 105lbs of water or 12.5 gallons
6) 2 LITRES A DAY WILL KEEP YOU HYDRATED
With all that water in our body you can understand why we start to feel grumpy and less productive when we get dehydrated. As a rule we should consume around 8 glasses or around 2 litres of good quality drinking water to avoid dehydration during the day. The amount you will need each day of course depends on many factors including the temperature and how much activity you are involved in.
7) HOW MUCH WATER DO WE USE?
In an average household we use quite a bit of water, for example:
5 min Shower: 25 to 50 gallons
Flush a toilet: 2 – 7 gallons
Brushing your teeth: 2 gallons
Hand washing dishes: 20 gallons
In fact if you were to break down your day into your own water cycle this is where your water is being used….of course this is based on an average household day!
30%: Toilet flushing
21%: Personal washing – baths and taps
12%: Personal washing – showers
13%: Clothes washing
8%: Washing up
8) ALMOST 95% OF YOUR WATER FOOTPRINT IS HIDDEN!
But that’s not where it ends; the household usage above demonstrates where our mains water goes. However, you may be surprised that nearly 95% of your water footprint is hidden. Where, you may ask? Well it’s hidden in the food you eat, the products you buy, the services you rely on and the energy you use.
9) SO ENJOY IT – DON’T WASTE IT!
So, if we are only drinking 4% of the water we use each day at home, let’s make sure that the water we do drink is of high quality, tastes great, is free from additives and so on…..hmm, now I wonder where you can find such a source?
Well, if you are stuck and want to learn more about the water that is available – we’ve found Martin Reise and yes – he is a water expert. Not just an expert though, in fact he is a Water Sommelier and currently sells one of the most expensive bottles of water in the world. His diamond edition costs $100,000 and has 650 white diamonds and 250 black diamonds on the bottle and is sold in LA.
10) WATER BARS
Fancy a tipple? If you are out at night and your local Eden Springs office is shut, where do you head to? A water bar of course!
The Sunday Times and Evening Standard have recently reported on Britain’s first water bar.
“Opening in Selfridges in London the bar, which will be located in the accessory hall, will serve a variety of water brands for those who want to enjoy the basic refreshment.” and “It is thought the flagship store will consult “water sommeliers” to put together the bar’s menu”
This refreshingly new concept is due to launch later in 2016.
Undertake ‘random acts of wildness’ throughout the month. This June the Wildlife Trust are challenging people to find their inner wildness and to undertake ‘random acts of wildness’ throughout the month. These acts could include something as simple as making and wearing a daisy chain necklace, putting out a bird feeder in your garden or something more dramatic such as testing your survival skills and spending the night under the stars out in the wild.
There are many reasons why we should try and reconnect with nature and channel our inner wildness, not least because a study conducted by the University of Derby concluded that an increased connection with nature can result in greater feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Also spending more time outdoors is undoubtedly good for our health and fitness, and helps us to appreciate and therefore be more likely to help with the growing need for nature conservation. Lucy McRobert, the campaign manager for the 30 days wild initiative said “The results of our study show that taking part in 30 Days Wild makes people happier, healthier, and more connected to nature in the long term.”
Dr Miles Richardson, head of psychology at the University of Derby, who carried out the study said that the study results backed up the idea that a connection with nature could reduce demand on the NHS; “Even in urban areas, nature can provide a simple solution to complex problems.”
It’s easy to feel a complete disconnect with nature when sitting in an office, breathing in artificial air and surrounded by technology, but armed with the knowledge that experiencing nature is so beneficial, here are some ways in which to participate with 30 Days Wild from your office.
1.Hold Meetings outside
Escape from the stuffiness of the boardroom and arrange to engage in meetings in the fresh air instead. If there is nowhere suitable at your place of work then find a nearby park. Being outside in the fresh air and surrounded by greenery will give you an instant mood boost and encourage creativity. It is now widely accepted that children benefit from having lessons and learning outdoors, so it follows that adults will reap those same benefits too.
2.Use Biophilic Design
Biophilic design is the practice of using natural elements to enhance buildings. A global study into the impact of office design, which collected data from 7600 workers in 16 countries found that those who worked in spaces that incorporated green or other natural elements reported a 15% increase in wellbeing compared to other participants, and were 6% more productive, and 15% more creative overall. Ways in which you can easily incorporate biophilic design into your own office might be introducing plants (the more the better), relying less on artificial light, and painting walls natural colours.
3.Get back to nature with an office day out
Instead of the clichéd social events at work which normally include alcohol and dancing (and then, let’s face it, often embarrassment and regret the morning after), organise a day out somewhere green. The potential activities are endless, hiking, geocaching, den building and learning a woodland craft are to name but a few. This would undoubtedly promote good team building, would be a fun and healthy way to socialise all whilst connecting to nature.
It’s not too late to sign up for 30 Days Wild, sign up at wildlifetrust.org – 30 Days Wild for more ideas and try to incorporate some wildness into your personal life too-grrrrrr!!
Every March 22nd since 1993 the United Nations has celebrated World Water Day, with the sole purpose of raising awareness of the importance of this vital natural resource. The occasion is a time to bring water to the forefront of our minds and shine a light on those across the globe who need it most.
The theme of this year’s World Water Day is better water, better jobs. It’s aiming to highlight the power water has to transform people’s lives. The United Nations (UN) states that 1.5 billion people, that’s around half of the world’s workforce, work in water-related sectors. Nearly all jobs depend on water in some way though this is not often recognized. Here’s some examples:
• 40% of the global economically-active population work in crop and animal production, fisheries or hunting. Yet, only 20% are employed as waged workers, according to the World Bank.
• In terms of agriculture, which represents 70% of freshwater withdrawals worldwide, a farmer’s job is heavily dependent on water, from managing the available resource, addressing groundwater depletion, climate change and water scarcity.
• In some communities, including many in Africa, women and children have to walk for hours to collect safe water. This is a demanding job that is not recognised as such or paid. It’s important this changes to help empower and improve the lives of women.
So, whether it’s the presence of water, its quality or its quantity, it’s easy to see how it has such a significant impact on workers across the globe. It’s certainly time to shine a light on the topic this World Water Day –better water, better jobs. Show your support by visiting the website and learning more.
Water sits at the very heart of the Eden business, so this year’s theme really resonates with us. We are proud supporters of projects to provide clean water to communities in need in Africa and we’ll be telling you more about these in an upcoming blog.
Lacking Creativity – If you’re looking to improve your creative output then this list is for you. Some of these hints and tips may seem surprising, but give them a go and unleash your creative side.
Switching the brain on
1. A tired brain is more creative.
At first glance this seems very odd but allow me to explain! Creativity springs from allowing our minds to be free to wander and explore what may seem like unrelated thoughts. In contrast when we need to solve problems or be analytical our brain needs complete focus which can only be achieved when we are wide awake and at our optimum. A tired brain finds it difficult to filter distractions but creativity benefits from distractions and random thinking.
2. Exercise for creativity.
Exercise is good for us for a myriad of reasons and a recent study shows that it is beneficial for creativity.
“Sweat is like WD-40 for your mind-it lubricates the rusty hinges of your brain and makes your thinking more fluid. Exercise allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in your subconscious.”
Silence is useful for sharpening our focus but creative thinking thrives in ambient noise (think buzz of your favourite café), which promotes expansive thoughts and fresh ideas.
4. Creativity is not necessarily original.
Coming up with new ideas can be scary and put us under enormous pressure. Actually often generating new ideas comes from making connections between ideas that already exist.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” Steve Jobs
5. Travel to promote creative thinking.
A study has shown that amongst a group of university students, those who travelled abroad rather than just staying on campus scored better on creative thinking tests. This could be explained because when we travel to different countries we experience different cultures and traditions which is bound to broaden our thinking.
Check out this research…which proves beyond reasonable doubt that having a messy desk can lead to more creative thinking! Wonderful news for a messy person like myself but perhaps not so with your hyper organised tidy boss, still at least you can legitimately argue the case for messiness now!
Be more time efficient – Stop trying to multi-task!
In order to prove just how time efficient and competent they are many people practice the art of multi-tasking. This often leads to outcomes that are the very opposite of what they were at the time. The majority will end up being less efficient and the quality of what the person has produced suffers. The truly time efficient know that concentrated focus on one project at a time yields faster and more satisfactory work.
Delegate delegate delegate!
If people bite off more than they can chew, productivity and efficiency take a huge hit. The uber efficient know when to delegate and who to delegate to in order to achieve the aims of the task in hand.
Good communication is key.
It is important before communicating to consider what the objectives are for the interaction and also to communicate effectively so that there is no confusion about the subject. For example before you send an e-mail consider how it can be worded to convey your intentions succinctly and politely. A little thought before you pick up the phone or hit send can save hours being lost if all you’ve achieved is to cause confusion or offence.
Structure your time.
In order to achieve a disciplined approach to your schedule create standard routines to stick to within each day. This will help you be ready for important events and gain control over projects. The more control you have over your schedule the easier it will be to cope with the unexpected when it arises. Control your time, don’t let it control you!
Organise your physical space.
Ensure that your workspace is organised and that everything has its place. Organisation is key if you want to avoid situations where you lose precious minutes every day trying to hunt down essential equipment for you to complete tasks. Spending time decluttering your desk and finding everything a home will save you significant time in the future.
Keep a productivity diary.
Try keeping a diary for a week which logs how long it takes you to do specific activities and also note down time that for whatever reason hasn’t been productive. Then the following week try to reduce time spent on similar activities, just being aware of what can potentially hold you back or distract you can yield large efficiency gains.
Do engage in downtime.
It is a fallacy to sacrifice your own leisure time in order to accomplish more at work. We know now that overly tired stressed out people are not as competent or efficient as their rested relaxed counterparts. A well-rested person will perform at their peak which is a win win for everyone.
Plan plan and plan some more.
When given a project many people in a bid to be efficient practise the art of impatience and completely fail to plan their objectives and how to tackle the task. Super-efficient people research the project and break it down into small steps in order to achieve success . This planning may require time at the beginning of a new assignment but it will be worth it to have clear objectives and a pathway to success clearly mapped out.
It has never been more important or indeed urgent, especially in the wake of ongoing scientific research and the Paris Climate Summit, that every single person needs to become more environmentally aware. This doesn’t simply mean that we need to take stock of our carbon footprint and attitudes to the world around us only in relation to our personal lives. It is critical that businesses no matter how large or small also seek to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint and do their bit for combatting climate change. Here are ten ideas to get you started.
Don’t just recycle waste paper, recycle everything you possibly can. Old electrical items, printer cartridges…………………….
1 – RECYCLE YOUR RUBBISH
Ensure that there is a food waste bin in the kitchen or staff room and that people are actively encouraged to recycle their rubbish, (generated by lunch for example) by providing different bins for recyclable materials that is separate to that of a general waste bin.
2 – GO PAPERLESS
As a business go paperless. Not only is this excellent in terms of reducing waste, it also has the added bonus of banishing the cluttered untidy desk to a thing of the past. It is simple to invoice electronically now for example and to send documents by e-mail.
Research and then use carbon neutral companies where possible for services that as a company you have outsourced. In addition to this, research how as a business it is possible to become a carbon neutral company yourself.
4 – TRAVEL LESS
In the digital age of skype, facetime and the like, consider whether it is absolutely necessary to travel to attend meetings and conferences. If as a company you can lessen the amount of miles travelled for business purposes, not only will you dramatically decrease your carbon footprint, you will also save huge amounts of money in the process (petrol and expenses such as food and hotel costs). It’s a win win!
5 – GET SMART
However if it is necessary for your business that you or your colleagues have to travel then forget about the traditional company car and invest in the new breed of electrical vehicle, or at the very least a hybrid. After the initial investment this course of action will also yield significant financial savings.
6 – GOVERNMENT CYCLING SCHEME
Encourage and even incentivise employees to find alternative ways to travel to work, such as cycling or using public transport. There are government schemes to facilitate this.
7 – IS YOUR OFFICE ENERGY EFFICIENT?
Spend time everyday ensuring that your office is as energy efficient as it can be. Check that the light bulbs are energy saving and that computers and all other electrical equipment is completely switched off at the end of each day or when not required. Have specific times for tea breaks so that the kettle isn’t boiled unnecessarily. Reduce frivolous usage of heating or air conditioning unless absolutely needed.
8 – GREEN ENERGY
Consider whether it would be possible to harness alternative energies such as solar power at your place of work. Any energy generated that isn’t utilised by your business can be sold back to the National Grid.
9 – WORK FROM HOME
Allow employees when appropriate to work from home to reduce their carbon footprint. As well as benefiting the environment it will also be greatly appreciated by staff.
10 – RESPONSIBLY SOURCED TEA AND COFFEE
Only buy environmentally friendly and ethically sourced tea and coffee products. Look at http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/ for companies who source and supply these products. Rainforest Alliance approved products help alleviate poverty in the developing world, combat the decimation of forests and curb climate change through investment of people and the environment.
Eden Springs recently helped out celebrations of the Big Brownie Birthday, celebrating 100 years of Brownies, by donating some free bottled water to their celebrations. Here’s hoping the water helped them wash down all those cakes!
Eden Springs’ Darryl Johnson is running the Virgin London Marathon for the Charity Children with Cancer and to highlight Eden’s free water for charity fundraisers initiative.
Running through the wall
Nobody said training for a marathon was easy – far from it. Darryl has been running hard and putting in some good miles for his training, including a particularly tough 14.5 run that took it out of him (although he doesn’t look too bad afterwards in the first picture below!).
He’s also been working on speed, taking part in timed 5k ‘Parkruns’ that are organised around the country.
If you’re pushing yourself hard for a charity cause, consider applying for a free case of bottled water from Eden to help you meet your goals! Apply for a charity water donation