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Mindfulness: How to Start Your Day the Right Way – ReadWrite



Deanna Ritchie

This year, employee engagement rates took a dip for the first time in years, falling to 34%. At the same time, the percentage of actively disengaged workers rose to 16%. Whether you’re a manager or team member, you can’t overlook the importance of those figures. At the same time, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your engagement levels as high as possible. What if you can’t control all the outside forces that make you feel occupationally disconnected? You can still push back against feelings of disengagement through the practice of mindfulness.

At its core, mindfulness involves being “present” and in the moment. You’re alert to everything going on in your body, from hunger pangs to a bevy of emotions. Yet you can look at them objectively because mindfulness doesn’t take the past or future into consideration. Your only job is to focus on the here and now.

When implemented correctly, mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress and possibly boost immune system responses. In other words, it can be a valuable tool if you find yourself depleted emotionally and perhaps physically at the end of every workday.

To get the most significant impact from working mindfulness into your life, aim to interweave mindfulness activities into your daily life. If possible, try to start your day with mindfulness, so it becomes more intuitive. Below are some changes you can make as soon as tomorrow morning.

1. Put technology on your side.

When used incorrectly, digital devices can distract your concentration and even increase your anxiety levels. However, that doesn’t mean your smartphone or tablet can’t be an asset on your mindfulness journey.

Just let your fingers do some walking throughout the App Store. Numerous app-based solutions help you learn exercises to get yourself into a mindful mindset.

Take the breathwork app Othership, for example. Othership is devoted to teaching the art of conscious breathing, which is essential to mindfulness. By following music-driven guided breathing exercises, you can prepare your body to fight fatigue, restore energy, and find its center.

In addition to using a breathwork app, look for apps to help with meditation and other mindfulness-friendly techniques. Again, it can be much easier to get started by just following the directions you’re given rather than figuring out what to do through trial and error.

2. Get up at the same time every day.

Healthy sleep hygiene doesn’t mean just going to bed early. It means staying on a consistent schedule that allows your circadian rhythm to stay on track.

When you arise at about the same time seven days a week, you should start to feel like it takes less effort to concentrate. Since mindfulness is all about concentration, rising like clockwork just makes sense.

At first, you may have trouble conditioning yourself to avoid activating your snooze alarm. However, this type of response is natural, particularly if you’re accustomed to ignoring your first alarm. Some tricks to train yourself to awaken fast include exposure to sunlight and standing up right away.

Have patience with yourself — but don’t stop trying. Even the most resistant night owls can become early birds.

Plus, you reduce your worries about being late when you stop oversleeping. Consequently, you’ll be calmer when performing mindfulness activities.

3. Plug mindfulness into your morning exercises.

Yoga, pilates, and stretching tend to be the exercises most associated with mindfulness.

If those activities don’t appeal to you, never fear. Mindfulness can take place during even the most intense of workouts. Simply pick your morning pick-me-up of choice and approach it mindfully.

For example, pay attention to your breathing during your warmups. You’ll reduce your heart rate and open your lungs. Try to stay in the same positive headspace throughout your exercise until you reach the end. Then, return to deep, contemplative breathing for a brief cool-down period.

It’s important to know that you don’t need to exercise for an hour. You’ll benefit even if you can only shoehorn a two-minute warm-up followed by eight minutes of cardio into your morning. The experience will stimulate your body and mind. As an extra advantage, you’ll be less likely to injure yourself during your activities.

4. Keep a journal.

The act of writing down whatever enters your mind can be cathartic. For this reason, many mindfulness enthusiasts like to journal.

You can journal any time during the day, of course. But morning may be the quietest time to sit alone with your thoughts.

What should you journal about? You don’t have to follow any set pattern. For example, you may be inspired to jot down the last dream you had before bedtime.

Maybe you have a desire to create word art or doodles. Let your creativity and honesty flow. You’ll tap into your beliefs, passions, and feelings.

Even if you have nothing to say, you can always write something. It might be a description of the current weather or an inventory of your emotions.

The point is for you to raise your self-awareness quotient because emotional awareness can improve personal and professional performance.

5. Wait to read texts and emails.

Are you someone who dives into your inbox within the first 15 minutes of waking up? Unfortunately, you may be derailing your chance to get into a mindful zone.

The issue is that you force your brain to depart from just-awakened theta and alpha stages. Theta and alpha stages are essential because they set the stage for daydreaming, freeform thinking, and — you guessed it — powerful mindfulness.

Trying to take in information and make decisions without giving yourself time to relax is a recipe for stress.

Even if you end up using apps to guide your mindfulness, resist tuning into work-related content.

Otherwise, you could make it nearly impossible to enter into a peaceful state. All you’ll be able to think about is the angry email from your client or your boss’s request for yet another 10:00 a.m. check-in meeting.

Workplace engagement isn’t a one-way street. It’s up to both companies and workers to set the groundwork for the best possible outcomes and connections.

Incorporating mindfulness into your mornings may not make your workplace better, but it can make you a more productive, optimistic, level-headed employee. And that’s good for your morale, even if you wind up moving to a different company.

Image Credit: Na Urchin; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.


Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending



Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play

London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs



Deanna Ritchie

As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations



Deanna Ritchie

As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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