Self-ImprovementShoppingTechnology

How does this impact you?

This isn’t new information. Millennials are not into material things. (Sorry Madonna.) Sure we still enjoy our Starbucks and Amazon products like anyone, but I proudly speak for Millennials everywhere when I say, we are not strictly material girls in this material world.

This may sound false but when you think about it, it makes total sense. We have already been labelled as spoiled because we have had multitudes of ‘things’ available to us. As we’ve grown up, we have learnt about the lack of purpose in our extravagant things.

Does this statement threaten your business?

We have found worth in our experiences! Don’t bother telling us we won a TV or a Michael Kors bag. Instead we want to win the trips to warm places, a weekend away in the mountains or a free meal at a unique restaurant. Pretty much anything that is worth being Instagrammed.

A trip overseas, concerts, charity events, parties, road trips, extravagant group dates, (or less extravagant like McDonald’s) are all experiences that we can do with friends. There are also dates like pumpkin carving, skating, picnics, a day at the river, bowling, mini golf, the list goes on. Sharing experiences with people we love is much more appealing especially when large amounts of money are not always needed!

Yes, sometimes our experiences do cost money… a lot of money. But with our lack of care about brand names we can get everything we want without breaking the bank. I for one, shop at the thrift shop whenever I can as I know I can find my needs and some wants without breaking the bank. And trust me, my wardrobe is still full of beautiful clothing pieces. Because I shop at thrift stores, I am able to save up for the things I value more than brands, like overseas trips.

My friends bought cheap toy guns that fire foam darts so we could have battles in their apartment rather than perhaps purchasing a brand new TV. (An example of adulting at it’s finest.) And what do we get out of our childishness? We have awesome stories to tell and memories that will last a lifetime. Yes their TV works less than great but they don’t need a new one so why would they buy one now?

The experience outweighs the material.

My examples of today’s biggest craze really does seem much less superficial than the picture painted of the roaring 20s or Madonna’s song, but is it? Well yes having less and appreciating more is beautiful. I am just not convinced that we as humans have changed so that we no longer wish to be better then the person next to us. I think this because of the nature of Instagram.

We still feel the need to post all of these experiences. Is it just because we want grandma to know we spent our birthday on an amazing road trip? Or to tell your mom you are being safe at the concert? Of course not. We post so that we make sure everyone knows where we are, what we are doing, and that we are #blessed.

Marketing to millennials requires a promised experience. Does your product have a cute label worth being Instagrammed? Is your office space welcoming and trendy? Is your shop current and appealing? What about your website, is it simple to use and engaging? Have you managed to market your product through word of mouth and social media? I hope that you can answer yes to these questions if millennials are your target market. If you can’t say that your business thrives in these necessary categories, I suggest making some upgrades that are sure to improve your company’s overall position.

I love that more of us are working to gain experiences over the material things. I hope that this trend will never die as it is fulfilling and fun!

What changes have you made to better market to millennials? What experiences have businesses offered you to make you appreciate their business?

Tess Houcher

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ProductivitySelf-ImprovementTechnology

My family has over a dozen chickens. They are laying hens. We use the eggs ourselves and sell what we don’t need to friends and family. You and I are a chickens, here’s why:

A chicken will lay eggs on a regular, daily schedule when she is happy. To make and to keep her happy, she needs to be free to wander, run, jump and sleep. Time to interact with fellow chickens, to feel safe and eat whenever she wants. A happy hen means good eggs on a regular basis.

In my odd scenario, my family is the HQ of the business. Expecting eggs, like tasks at work, to be fulfilled on time and done well. But if we don’t allow the chickens the ability to run around outside or provide them with good food, we cannot expect eggs at all.

At our jobs, we are expected to fulfill the tasks assigned to us. This guarantees long days when we aren’t always given the ability to wander, eat whenever we want, take multiple breaks, workout in the middle of the day instead of during the early or late hours and that phone of yours just keeps begging for your attention.

We have wants and needs that all attribute to a job well done. But, it is not the responsibility of the companies we work for to make sure we have our personalized list of necessities is met.

We need to put the power in our own hands. What can each of us do to ensure we are doing our best? Are the notifications on your phone stealing your attention? After work do you run to the couch, instead of taking time to work on your physical health? Do you bring healthy food to work or are you going out for fast food daily? These are questions we must ask ourselves.

There are two types of distractions which could cause you to not be efficient at work. Sensory distractions and emotional distractions.

Sensory distractions are caused by what is going on around you. A co-worker sneezing, not enough in your lunch that day, the weather outside is beautiful while you are inside. These are all examples of distractions that happen around you.

Emotional distractions are your drifting thoughts. Did you lock the door when you left the house this morning? Did Joe catch your sarcasm, or does he think you actually believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows? Did a family member say something to upset you? If you spill coffee on a t-shirt, is it still a t-shirt? These questions that take your mind off of the tasks you are supposed to be doing are emotional distractions.

There are distractions everywhere! It’s almost like they were placed there to avert our attention on purpose!

Not like this GIF which is obviously not at all distracting…

These distractions sound an awful lot like… you guessed it, social media! The notifications, beeps and buzzes are there to remind us of the world that is on our screens.

Our phones may inhibit our ability to think deeply about work. Therefore hindering our competence at work or any other place we should be focusing on an assignment.

Social media can be a welcoming break for the mind. It allows you to take in information that you don’t ever have to remember and all you have to do is scroll. But the problem occurs when we find ourselves unable to focus. Our attention spans have been shortened no thanks to our ever buzzing phones. In this day and age it takes self discipline and training to get a longer attention span.

Just like how you train for a marathon or practice an instrument. You never expect to be amazing after one day of practicing. The same goes with working on skills in keeping focused on one thing. It does sound odd, having to train our attention spans to be longer. But as that skill isn’t often practised in a natural setting it is necessary.

So maybe we aren’t exactly like chickens. Yes, our environment can make a big impact on our ability to work well but we can also be the difference. Thankfully, we are quite capable of taking matters into our own hands to ensure we are always completing a job well done.

We can start by minimizing the notifications received on our phones. Take a break from the desk and walk around. Sitting for hours on end doesn’t allow us gain perspective and everyone knows that walking just simply gets the blood moving. To make sure we bring a lunch that fills us up with real food. Maybe a fidget could be beneficial as they boost attention and memory.

There are so many ways you can help yourself be more productive at the office. As much as we would love to have the same freedoms given to a chicken, having the ability to decide for yourself what you need and don’t need to fulfill your day is a pretty great skill.

How are you working to have a prosperous work day? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!

Tess Houcher

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