The Beginning of Awera: A Holistic Approach to Productivity
Facing the ugly and heartbreaking truth
Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. That is one person every 40 seconds. The number of suicides worldwide has long passed the number of deaths caused by interpersonal violence, conflicts, wars, and terrorism — combined. This shocking data is official information shared by WHO.
Moreover, millions of people around the world are dying from mostly preventable diseases which are caused by stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, lack of movement, or a bad diet.
We know this topic is a rather grim one, and many of us might be lucky enough to not have had a close encounter with such devastating matters, but this is a real issue in today’s world. In the past decade, our mental and physical health have become a much more discussed and integral part of society and its agenda, and for a good reason.
The growing implications of the ongoing pandemic on our mental health, globally, are also something we’ve had on our minds the past year.
In January 2021, just 3 months ago, 41% of US adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder. That’s almost half of the US population, and we are very aware that this hasn’t been the case just there, but truly everywhere around the world.
What we make of this, is that as a society we have lost the skill to live life fully and make the most of what we’ve got.
We struggle to achieve the goals we set for ourselves while maintaining good health, both physically and mentally. And many external factors are contributing to this issue.
Some of the factors? An ever-growing demand for greater productivity, society’s increasing and often unrealistic expectations, the huge information (and misinformation) overload we can barely cope with, and big corporations with million-dollar marketing budgets working to sell us products that make us even more distracted, unhappy, and sick.
The big picture and nothing less
We know it sounds quite dramatic but we aren’t here to complain. We want to be a part of the solution.
During the early conception days of Awera, these were the things that would keep us up at night. Being super passionate about efficiency and performance, we couldn’t help but think about the relationship they have with our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing.
If we’re anxious, depressed, lonely, stressed, or overworked, we can’t perform at our best. Hell, we can barely give our minimum.
And by perform, we don’t only mean professionally.
Yes, a big part of our performance does usually have to do with work, but here we are talking about all areas of life… Are we exercising? Are we spending meaningful quality time with our loved ones? Do we have the energy and time to explore nature, to learn new things, to take care of ourselves and our families? The list goes on and on.
We didn’t just want to create something that would improve people’s planning and work efficiency. And we weren’t interested in providing value only when it came to our mindfulness and wellbeing. We wanted the big picture and nothing less.
The (underrated) importance of our personal energy
Our time might be limited but our energy can be expanded and renewed. In order to build our energy capacity, we need a holistic approach. That means looking at our energy as something which has 4 different aspects or let’s say 4 different manifestations — mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual.
Each energy aspect is responsible for something different.
The physical one builds our endurance and also promotes our ability to recover both mentally and emotionally. Secondly, the emotional one is the one that creates the right internal climate which will then drive our ideal performance. The mental aspect of our energy helps us to focus on the task at hand and moreover supports our creative expression. Lastly, the spiritual aspect acts as a powerful source of motivation, determination, and resilience.
This is why Awera, a tool for holistic productivity, was born.
Awera’s approach to productivity isn’t just about “getting stuff done” or managing your time better. It’s about managing your personal energy and focus on a daily basis.
Striving to help all professionals who are on the verge of burnout, but also aiming to support those who are way too overwhelmed and stressed to even show up or know where to begin, we started gathering all the little pieces of a puzzle which came without a box displaying the final result.
The Internet has been filling up with endless, buzzword-dense content on these topics, and we believe that most of it isn’t really of great value. There are tons of self-proclaimed experts and information seems to be multiplying at the speed of light. It’s getting increasingly difficult to know who and what to trust or what approach would be the right one for you.
There are many productivity products out there, but while some get part of the job done, none of them really address the core issues head on. All the tools and models we’ve used over the years helped us figure out the ideas we’re trying to convey and the value we’re determined to provide.
If everything is a priority, then nothing is
Here’s a major one — where most productivity apps feel as if you need to add dozens of daily tasks, we’re actually nudging you to focus and prioritize. No point in adding stuff just for the sake of it, and then feeling like you’ve terribly failed when looking at your to-do list at the end of the day. Less is more. The fewer things we focus on, the more focus we give them.
By approaching our personal energy in a holistic way, we have managed to build our energy capacity. That was about doing a bit of everything in order to get the maximum of all aspects — mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. After that, the game is kind of the opposite! It’s time to narrow down and really focus, so we can reach our optimal performance.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.” — Stephen Covey
The truth is that some of our tasks, projects, and goals are more important than others. That’s because they can have a bigger positive impact on us and even make everything else easier and better.
It’s a fact that we all have 24 hours in a day, and everything and everyone is fighting for our limited time, energy, and attention. The question is very often not “what to do”, but “what not to do”.
Cultivating a beginner’s mind
Awera, furthermore, doesn’t only care about our daily, weekly, or monthly tasks and goals. Awera is here to make sure we are on an ongoing personal growth journey that doesn’t really have an ending date.
After years of experiments, failures, and victories with multiple businesses, trying out numerous things, and getting to talk to successful people from all walks of life, we are convinced of this: personal growth is essential.
Focusing on ourselves first should be the foundation for everything else we want to do. If taking care of our health and our energy isn’t a priority, then we could never unleash our full potential (a bit cliché, but what the heck!) or be able to really show up for our loved ones.
When we are growing in our projects, relationships, and daily endeavors, we can be sure that we’re always moving in the right direction. Approaching every new challenge with a “shoshin” or “beginner’s mind” is how we manifest our philosophy towards learning and becoming better with each day.
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Head of Marketing & Community