What makes you smile?

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  Sometimes it’s the silly things.  Like blowing bubbles, and having cuddly toys in meetings. Yup, that’s actually what we had in our Ninja Away Day – our team meeting in London last week! Sometimes it’s the thoughtful things. A hug, a smile, a note of appreciation. A coffee, a hand on your shoulder, a pause at the end of a conversation, so you can ask the question that’s really behind the question. Sometimes it’s remembering to celebrate. A fist bump, an air punch, a high five. Giving yourself a pat on the back. Writing a ta-da list or shouting […] Continue reading »

What’s your optimum speed?

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I was chatting to a lovely VA last week, who said that she knows she has capacity for more clients when she finds herself taking longer to do everything. She finds herself procrastinating, idling, skirting around decisions, spending all morning doing something that frankly would only take 20 minutes if the heat was on. She was craving the deadlines, the urgency, the challenge of juggling multiple commitments and clients asking her to bail them out of a tight spot at the last minute. Having just spent several days with another client who was feeling quite the opposite, this made me […] Continue reading »

Making space

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This has come up in almost every conversation I’ve had with clients, colleagues and friends so far this year. Making space seems to be a big theme for 2015. In a world where the trend has been for faster, further, sooner and more, what we crave more than anything is space. Space to enjoy, space to think, space to breathe, space to live. And that’s what productivity is really about – or should be about. Not how to go faster on the hamster wheel, but as my friend and chief Ninja Graham Allcott puts it: “Productivity = Making space for what […] Continue reading »

12 questions to start the new year

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How are you feeling about the year ahead? Are you ready and raring to go, with some big, hairy, scare-the-pants-off-you goals? Or are you still getting your bearings and wondering what day it is? If it’s the latter, don’t worry about playing catch up. Just start now. In truth, every time we stand at the threshold of something new – a new year, a new term, a new season – it gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect, to make a decision, reset our direction, reconfirm commitments and declare what matters to us. Here are some of my favourite […] Continue reading »

5 questions to wrap up the year

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Often end of the year reflections become either a sweeping statement (it was a horrible year, let’s get it over and done with) or a giant to-do list exercise where you tick off everything you’ve done and carry over everything else into next year’s resolutions. The truth is, it’s not just about what you’ve done. It’s also about who you’ve been, where you’ve been, what you’ve learned, and crucially what you’re taking with you into the next year. So here are five questions I’ve found really useful for wrapping up the year: 1. What were your highlights? What achievements will […] Continue reading »

5 ways to create rest

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Well I’m a week into my 10 days of rest experiment and while it’s not been plain sailing it has been working. Not in a dramatically obvious way – I haven’t been suddenly bouncing out of bed feeling on top of the world (yet). But I have been less tired, waking up has been a little easier, and when a friend was telling me how exhausted she felt, I realised that actually, I don’t feel exhausted at all.  Funny isn’t it, how one late night can be felt straight away, but feeling rested is something that creeps up on you. […] Continue reading »

10 Days of Rest

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Are you ready for Christmas yet? This is probably the most common question I get at this time of the year. From friends, family, and complete strangers. What does that even mean? Ready for what? Ready for all those presents you’ve painstakingly picked, bought and wrapped to be stripped in two minutes flat? Ready to gorge yourself silly on the best homemade stuffing to rival all stuffings, and then spend the afternoon in a food coma? Ready to celebrate? Ready to enjoy? Ready to collapse? Or all of the above? Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I do […] Continue reading »