Finding metrics in mood

Stress – a king medical umbrella approximation of them all. More harmful than life, more reaching than death and as difficult to control than a Heffalump on cocaine.

Guess what, the darkness of stress dominated Middle Age might just be over giving way for the light of Renaissance as Moodmetric is here! To sort out our plight, they have forged us in the depths and blazing fires of Mt. Techmore the true lord of the rings – the one to conquer them all.

No, don’t be mistaken to regard it as another lifelogging device, this one is something more fundamental. This is response to the prayers for us who have been struck down on our knees so bad in the final frontiers of resilience that we had to crawl back years to be operational again. This is the tool for those daring to look in the mirror and fight not to leave even if they don’t like what they see, because the popular quick fixes do not offer hope neither humor anymore.

Again, if you think this is yet another heart monitor, activity bracelet, or magical ametist moodring, giving this ring a chance you are in for a surprise.

I was privileged to take a FTD glimpse into a day at Moodmetric. Let the poor-to-mediocre attempt to capture the essence of the day in a video speak for itself. Warning: Video contains harsh imagery and self promotion.

Finally I see a clear guiding light to the dark places within me that are the most difficult to manage; me. I see a sustainable solution to gain control over many different types of condition that were previously measurable only in lab conditions (and therefore also totally useless in real life too): autoimmune disease treatment, chronic inflammation relief, cortisol control, and maybe even unexplained infertility. I see also maybe a bit of fun giving my friends a lie detecting test to spot the psychopaths. I see hope.

Thank you Niina Venho and Henna Salonius for a one-of-a-kind FTD, but also strengthening my hope for better!

Se päivä, kun kun teko oli Kunteko

Kävipä niin auvoisesti, että sain tuupata perjantaiharjoittelijana itseni yksi orastavan talvinen marraskuun päivä kolmen työtelijään ja napakan kuntatyöntekijän moukarihäkkiin. Kunteko luki kyljessä.

Loppu oli kaukana historiasta – se moutoutuu hiljalleen vieläkin. Alla kuitenkin lyhykäisessä videossa jotain nostoja päivän teemoista sekä tunnelmista joltain merkillisiltä kukkuloilta.

Eli tehkääpä hyvin ja hurmaantukaa kunnallisesta hyvästä -sivuilla. Uskaliasta saatetaan rankaista vaikka palkinnolla!

Kiitos Anna-Mari, Anniina ja Taina!

BPS Finland Reloaded

Remeber my previous FTD Family Affairs at BPS Finland? Guess what? They were nice enough to invite me over again for a re-run!

I will tell you only so much that my intentions were to shoot a regular video report, but in the name of honesty it came out so boring, I decided to do a something little different.

Just when you think you have embarassed yourself enough already, there seems to be something inside that makes you want to raise the bar even higher..

Please check out the video report below to find out what happened!

Damn you videos. You have not seen the last of me nor us!!

The still shots, however, came out all right, I guess. We jumped into these quite late in the afternoon, so a little more time could have made it possible to stage some more scenes. Below you can see some pic thumbnails.

10 hacks to stop busyness

Keeping oneself busy is probably the most important value of our time. Busyness surpasses religion, materialism, individualism, and even social media presence. It seems that being busy, busyness (business), gives us respectable status and signals effectiveness.

For many years, I also fooled myself to be stressed out about my output until I realized that I just simply didn’t have to be busy.

Look, I know the statement above might seem like another cheap woo-woo-NLP mind trick, but refusing to be busy really worked for me without having to compromise my productivity even the tiniest fraction. As a matter of fact, I got more productive and content as the busyness stopped.

If you also want to stop being busy, you might want to give the 10 points below a try.

1. Breathe

As basic as it gets, breathing is the only real urgent and on going process in our lives. In all its urgency, it can also relieve the sensation of urgency.

While simple, intuitive and shallow breathing alone will take you most likely pretty far, mastering how to breathe right will gain you control over the stress levels and sense of urgency, no matter what the situation is.

All in all, articles and books about breathing could easily stock a library, but keeping it simple, in the event of excess stimuli or if you just want to calm down, inhale deep, but in about half (eg. 4 sec) the time you exhale (about 8 sec).

2. Clear to-do from waste

Look at your to-do list (granted, you keep a list of to-do’s in the first place!) and cross out all of those tasks that are not backed by your values. There are no universally right values, so if, for example, vanity happens to be one, you need to serve that value and act accordingly.

3. Set clear objectives for working

Set clear goals for the day that are derived from what you have planned for the entire week and/or month rolling down from 3 month, yearly plans, and longer term plans. Not only will a plan help you get things done, but plans will also take you where you want to go. Clarity over to-do increases locus of control and let’s you feel less busy.

4. Get sh*t done. Don’t procrastinate.

Well planned if half done -but remember, only half! As planning helps so much in all the different ways, fulfillment comes from actually completing something. No excuses, just start delivering and manage your task backlog wisely. Only very seldom makes it sense to procrastinate, so don’t make lousy excuses for yourself.

Having already crossed out all unnecessary task right from the top and having your hands on the actual to-do, refrain from excess quality and attack the tricky tasks with zeal.

At the end of the day, look at all the things you have done, appreciate your achievements, and start priming yourself for yet another rear-end-kicking day ahead. Sense of progress and achievement also boosts locus of control.

5. Guard your time. Be selfish if necessary.

Time is our most important asset. Even the almost almighty money cannot touch it, so treat it accordingly. Life is too short for garbage entertainment, bad books or lousy music. The only one to keep yourself from being exploited is you. Less is more.

6. Get rid of clutter

Clean table tops, roomy closets, organized cabinets, and simple wardrobe will  make your day to day life easier in so many ways. While you don’t have to spend so much time getting with and by indifferent stuff, less clutter around also spares your decision making capacity for the important stuff.

While aiming at minimalism, you’ll find a lot less craving for sugar too. This is about reaching clarity over a busy mental landscape.

7. Stay off sugar

Sugar is probably one of the most addictive but also lethal substances. Despite its dangers, we are bathed in sugar partially to sooth our stressed out, depleted ego.

Yes, sugar apparently restores a depleted ego, but as the sugar rush ends, you’ll find yourself worse off than before topping up your glucose levels. In desperate need of sugar, opt for fruit as there is also fiber to level the rush.

8. Meditate

This article alone packs a whopping 76 scientific benefits of meditation, so it might be a little daring to dismiss the potential of meditation.

Some might think meditation requires dissolved bones to reach out-of-this-world zen-master yoga poses and ability to levitate, but it’s nothing like that. Again; breathe. Be mindful. This is the part where you don’t have to perform! Allow also negative feelings to emerge. Zen over haste.

9. Sleep

Sleep deprivation will take you to your final rest early. Life is also quite simply a bore when you are tired as sleep deprivation reduces so many aspects of your physical and mental health.

Eating too late, too much and too heavy/sugary will destroy your sleep. In addition to bad eating habits, consumption of alcohol in the evening, even by modest quantities also prevents you from reaching the deeper phases of sleep.

In order to facilitate good sleep, go to bed early and leave all digital devices out from your bedroom – or at least vicinity of the bed. Really, stay off that blue light! Internet will wait for you until the morning.

10. Smile

Let go of that frown on your face, replace it with a smile and see how everything changes, not only inside you but also around you.

On a universal scale, as you will be most likely totally forgotten in 100 years time, you might as well relieve yourself from all the pressure that it was all about you. Don’t take life so personally. Just enjoy this short period of insignificance and enrich everyone crossing your path. We are already there.

Do you think I missed something essential?

If not, goodbye busyness. Hasta nunca.

Family affairs with BPS Consulting

Picture above: CTO Tommi Luoto and Tech Consultant Duy Le bringing solutions to the table.

What a typical FTD morning: I am up before well before the alarm goes on and out on my three wheeled scoot-monster to start the day early with maxed out momentum.

In particular, I was in for a interesting day with BPS Consulting, a family run business and an official partner for SAP. With their company established since 1998 and taken through multiple structural changes they are 10 people in Finland and 4 in Hungary strong. But don’t let these employee numbers fool you, they bolster also an extensive partner network in both of the previously mentioned countries (70 + 50 top-notch subject matter experts respectively) to deal with even the most demanding challenges.

Talking more specifically about my personal drivers to spend a day with BPS Consulting, I have to say that business feels sometimes a bit too serious and boring maybe because people safe guarding their smart image – not to say I’m personally any more de-armoured myself in my typical business conduct. Cool and aloof with suit and tie on is a pretty safe bet. Anyhow, in the end we all want to spend engaging and enjoyable time and I think it’s a huge driver in business too. I was drawn to BPS Consulting, because I’ve simply had such rich, non-filtered and fun information exchange at a couple of different events with BPS 2nd generation top management CTO Tommi Luoto and COO Janina Luoto. I was also curious to see better, how their family run business really works.

In terms of the agenda of the day, I was supposed to take some photos and video there, but their office is being renovated currently, so some furniture is missing and most of the people were out of the office at their clients. Change of plans. I would probably get this profound feeling of something being totally wrong, if the initial plans some time really actually held through the day.

Anyhow, it made more sense to focus on their new websites with their tech wizard Duy Le who apparently has more SAP certificates under his belt than John Rambo is packing explosives on his typical trip to jungle.

Website design, SEO, content etc. – these same topics seem to follow me where ever I go now. Discussing the previously mentioned topics around corporate communication takes you easily to more fundamental questions of the company, such as:

Who are we?
What do we do?
What is our vision and mission?
What is our value proposal?

Besides other interesting things, BPS is also focused on rocking the latest SAP technologies like S/4 HANA so we got to look at a SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer solution too that their bright talent Markus Lindevall had been working with.

God, I wish I had my alter ego business partner Henrik Kaila -eh, I mean Don of Finland from Don & Branco -a smoking sales gun anyhow- to check what the Finnish tweaked German solution was about. Don could have also helped us with the website section obviously too.

All in all, a great chunk of the day passed also in friendly but brutally honest dialogue between a software vendor and a buyer that are not financially attached in any ways. In addition to what happens between a client and a vendor, it was very revealing to hear about what happens kind of behind the scenes among vendors themselves and SAP.

Obviously, discussion also lead to selling and for instance how they had try to tackle the challenge of cold calling.

What is so god damn difficult about cold calling?

Everyone hates cold calling – the prospects obviously, but no doubt the poor salesmen too. Without knowing what kind garbage behavior people throw at you when you are trying to sell something, let me tell you it apparently can get nasty. From the sales point of view, with the odds being what they are (100 knack, 10 snack, 1 tack – as the Swedish door-to-door salesmen used to say.) and no matter how you decide it’s not personal, the constant flow of being rejected is a tough bit to swallow for even the most robust sales gun.

I personally always think it’s a bit odd how people get so upset if someone tries call and offer them a deal on a magazine. Seriously, you might want to reconsider how you treat phone sales – you know they are people too and they are just trying to make their living. As a business, you also might want to consider how you represent yourself.

Related to these sales initiative, I was all in all pretty impressed by some recent changes BPS top management had done in the company management implementing an extensive score card system to support their growth. Sure thing, you have to use heuristics to set such KPI’s but I think even targets that steer you slightly wrong are better than overall vague nonsense or no targets at all.

Reflecting on the day the most describing word for the day was honesty and transparency. Janina, Tommi and others at BPS seem to foster an amazingly open working culture that is genuinely quick to try something out and also fail fast.

BPS seems to stand tall with who they really are and don’t just do things for appearances. Now, as this goes so them knowing that it might hurt their short term gains over long term excellence, I give them my huge admiration for their integrity – maybe it’s a family business thing? I’m sure waiting to know more as we set another training session for the autumn.

Oh yeah, one more thing; I met a cool person Jannika Joutsenniemi from Mobedig – a start up currently at least partly sheltered at BPS office. They are working on a cool new social service to manage our free time better that will come out later this year. We also agreed on a FTD for the coming autumn, so stay tuned!

Paikkaa etsimässä Susirajalla

Pohjustetaan kanvas heti raportin alkuun parilla hellyyttävällä nostolla meistä suomalaisista.

  1. Suomessa ei lähdetä kokeilemaan kevytkenkäisesti, varsinkaan ilman selkeää tavoitetta. Meidän pitää tietäämitä teemme ja tehdään.
  2. Varmana asioistamme kiirehdimme suu viivaksi puristuneena aamulla askareisiimme. Kiirehdimme ehtiäksemme mahdollisimman pian takaisin kotiin, jossa meitä ei varsinaisesti odota mikään, paitsi ehkä naapurikateus.
  3. Kateus ilmenee mm. kahvipakettitarjous-price match –kilpailuviettinä, joka saa meistä sankat joukot alennetuksi omaksutun perässä töykeää niskahikeä höyryäviin jonoihin ja konkurssien kellistämille haaskoille.
  4. Halpa on ok, mutta ilmaisella ei ole kuitenkaan enää arvoa – siinä on vastavuoroisuusansan käry. Tänä päivänä edes golf-osake ei löyhkää ilmaista epäilyttävämmältä.

Yllä kuvatulla näyttämöllä Perjantaiharjoittelijan arki on kiivas ralli intensiivisten virtaustilojen rei’ittämää ajantajua. Silloin kun käydään pilttuussa tapahtuma- ja tunnelokia harkitummin läpi, puidaan paljon odotusarvovirheitä, hallitaan eri tasoisien hylkäysreaktioiden pettymyksiä ja mietitään tekemisen suuntaa. Valtaosa kaikista vuorovaikutustilanteista on eräänlaisia kylmäsoittoja. Pitää tunkea  itsensä tahdikkuudesta piittaamatta toisen kiireeseen ja yritä löytää WII FM:n taajuus yhdellä huitaisulla kanssakävijän vastaanottimesta tarjoten hernerokkasumuiseen eetteriin epämääräistä apuasi. Myy siinä sitten itseäsi, kun on vielä ylpeyttäkin.. Kaikesta päätellen hyvä harjoitusohjelma siis.

Pettymyksistä puheen ollen, kyseisen viikon alkuperäiset harjoitteluvaraukset lakkasivat harmikseni olemasta. Yksi lenkki murtui  pitkässä ketjussa.

Vaikka olenkin perjantaisin ilmainen, aikani on arvokkain voimavarani.

Piti siis keksiä jotain korvaavaa – jotain, jolla pääsee takamatkalta viimeisellä kierroksella alkuperäisten odotusten kanssa tasoihin ja vieläpä aiheutuneen pettymyksen ohi.

Jos ei ole hävittävää, ei kaihda myöskään riskejä.

Oli irrottava etelän betonisesta kuplasta Susirajalle – niille viimeisille rajamaille, jossa Prisma-tavaratalot ovat olleet aina muodissa, ihmiset juovat vieläkin maitoa ja ruuassa on limaista gluteenia sekä pöhöttäviä hiilihydraatteja. Niillä seuduilla Instagramin peukutuksin ravitsema kiiltokuvamaisuus kääntyy takaisin kotiin jättäen sisun jatkamaan yksin matkaa.

Onneksi minulla oli pohjoisen taivaankannella kotoinen tähti, jota kohti kulkea. Sen tähden alla on isoäitini pullalta tuoksuva pirtti. Onpa lähettyvillä vieläpä muutama globalisaation voimia uppiniskaisesti uhmaava sukulainenkin. Näistä rajaseutujen kävijöistä enoni Jari Tanskanen lupasi ottaa palmujen alta tulevan, etelän sukulaispoikansa siipiensä alle päiväksi. Haroittelupaikka oli Joensuun kaupungin Maastomittaus, päivän aloitusaika miehisen varhainen ja päivän epistola muissa perjantaiharjoitteluissa jo tutuksi tulleen tuntematon. All systems go.

Itse asiassa oikeasti maailma tuntui hetken työhön perehdytettäessä jopa rajalliselta, kun oivalsin, että olen rimpuillut jonkin hetken tämän pitkän ja haaraisen infrastruktuuriarvokejtun eri vaiheessa Insplanilla harjoitellessani.

Vielä ehkäpä noin 200 vuotta tätä samaa rataa, ja voisin pystyä hahmottelemaan jotain kokonaisempaa ajatusta yhteiskunnan toiminnasta!

Toimistolla päivää käynnisteltiin keräilemällä ihmeellisen näköisiä varusteita ja jotain risuisilla viivoilla ruuhkautettuja papereita kouriin. Muotiväri vaatetuksessa tuntui olevan silmää kirveltävän keltainen ja sain itsekin sitä ylleni. Kahvitilasta ammennettiin vielä kierros Havukka-ahon Ajattelijan hahmon, Kuolleeksinaurattajan tarinankerronnan tyylillistä kulttuuriperintöä ja evästys päivään oli valmis.

Mikäköhän ihmeen koje tämäkin on ja miksi se tuijottaa minua takaisin?
Mikäköhän ihmeen koje tämäkin on ja miksi se tuijottaa minua takaisin?

Tavallisessa arjessa tuskin tulee monestikaan ajatelleeksi, millainen määrä kaikenlaista liikennettä jalkojemme alla maan syövereissä kulkee. Niiden putkien, piuhojen ja kaapeleiden varassa pysymme kuitenkin todellisuudessa mukavasti hengissä. Pirullista maan syömässä infrastruktuurissa on tietenkin se, että se on ilman karttoja ja huipputarkkoja erikoisvälineitä silmältä piilossa – ja myös hyvä niin. Pirulliseksi tilanne äityy kuitenkin niille, joiden pitää päästä joko siihen verkostoon käsiksi tai erinäisistä syistä maan ydintä kohti tunkeutuessaan välttää vahingoittamasta sitä.

Nykypäivän lähteenetsijä työssään
Nykypäivän lähteenetsijä työssään
Karttapisteiden taltiointia kentällä. Tällainen data mahdollistaa tulevaisuuden digitaaliset ratkaisut.
Karttapisteiden taltiointia kentällä. Laadukas data mahdollistaa tulevaisuuden digitaaliset ratkaisut!

Päivään mahtui reilu kourallinen näyttöjä ja joitakin kartoituksia. Mentiin hyvän asiakaspalvelun ja hoputtavassa aikataulussa pysymisen ristivedossa leppoisista kohtaamisista kiihkeisiinkin tilanteisiin. Päivän aikana huomasin ja minulle osoitettiin paikkoja, joissa oli varaa digitalisaatiolle.

Itse asiassa moni pullo vaikuttaa olevan täynnä digitalisaatioketsuppia odottaen ulospääsyään, mutta tavara on monesta syystä tiukassa pullon perällä. 

Ei mennä tällä kertaa kuitenkaan niihin yksityiskohtiin, miten digiketsupin saisi pullosta liikkeelle. Todetaan vaan, että ehkä se vielä alkaa valumaan sieltä Suomessakin ulos, kun aika on kypsä.

Varhain aloitetun päivän todennäköisesti myös päättää aikaisin. Perjantaiharjoittelijalle sen sijaan päivä päättyy oikeastaan aina liian aikaisin kellonajasta huolimatta. Löimme toimistolle palattuamme, ennen kotiin lähtöä, vielä pari kierrosta korttia – ja mitäpä muutakaan kuin moskaaOttivat harjoittelijakummajaisen etelästäkin kierrokselle eivätkä suunsoitostani huolimatta antaneet edes hävitä! Melkoista vieraanvaraisuutta ja ehkä minua auteltiinkin isällisesti vähän. Tilanteessa välittyi ihmisten vilpittömyys ja veljelllinen empatia. Huomioonottaen vaikkapa Googlen löydökset parhaasta työtiimistä, näistä tunnelmista moni työnantaja maksaisi isot lunnaat.

Noista tunnelmista erkaantuessamme tuli mieleen eräs kansallisen kirjallisuutemme klassikko. Pahoittelut kajoamisesta, mutta ajattelin lainata sinua vallinneesta säätilasta ja viikonpäivästä johtuen hiukan soveltaen:

Hyväntahtoinen viikonloppu katseli heitä. Se ei missään tapauksessa ollut heille vihainen. Kenties tunsi jonkinlaista myötätuntoakin heitä kohtaan. Jahellao