Two simple questions

question-mark

I went for a run last week, finally, after a three months of “I really want to get back into it!” As I was in the shower afterwards, I found a familiar conversation going on in my head. That was great. I really shouldn’t leave it so long next time. It would be great to make this a regular thing again. Do you ever find yourself saying that? Perhaps with healthy habits like exercising, going to the gym or getting an early night. Or treating yourself to a holiday, a hobby or a get together with friends you don’t see […] Continue reading »

What’s in your hand?

little-hand-holding-leaves

I heard a great story recently, of a Ugandan villager who was asked this question. The only thing he owned was a piece of swamp land where mosquitos bred. His land was responsible for the soaring Malaria rates in the village. Not only did he feel he had nothing of value, but what he did have was killing his people. But instead of doing nothing with it, he was inspired to dig. For weeks he dug, until finally he hit water. Out of his swamp land, he dug two giant ponds, which became full of fish. The fish fed his […] Continue reading »

Forget balance. How’s your work life rhythm?

rhythm

I haven’t had a 9-5 job for a long time. But I don’t think many people do these days, even if they are supposed to. Ever since I became a mum 9 years ago, I’ve been juggling and experimenting with different working patterns – from 2 mornings to 3 days a week, evenings, weekends, random nap times, and varying combinations of nursery, childminders and amazing supportive friends. I never knew how to answer the question “how many hours a week do you work?” because every week was different. When my youngest started school last September, I found myself with 5 […] Continue reading »

Renegotiating Rules – why I write

experimenting

Why do I write? Seems like an easy enough question. I was invited to be part of a writers’ blog tour by the lovely Erin Casey – writer, book coach, editor, and contributing editor for SUCCESS magazine. The remit: blog about why you write. Then introduce your readers to three other people to do the same a week later. Sounds simple enough. A little bit like the old chain letters, except without the death threats and promises of wealth and love. Hmm… more about that later. So why do I write? Sanity Eight years or so ago, when I started […] Continue reading »

How to get things done when the work never ends

running-shoes

Do you find your work ongoing, your to-do list never-ending? Does it feel like there’s always something else to do – as soon as one thing is done you’re moving onto the next thing? Here’s the bad news – the work never ends. The nature of much of our work these days is that there’s always more you can do – more ideas, more calls, more campaigns, more research, more tweaking, more thinking, more clicking you can do… Which is why it can be hard to find momentum and motivation, and easy for inertia and procrastination to set in. After […] Continue reading »

How to change a habit

pancakes

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” “What you do every day creates a culture.” These are a couple of truths that really resonated with me at a leadership conference this weekend. It doesn’t matter how great your strategy is, if it goes against culture, culture will always win. And I’ve certainly seen that a lot lately, with groups I’ve worked with who have felt at the mercy of their organisational culture – non-stop culture, last minute culture, email 24/7 culture, immediate response culture, crazy deadline culture… Let’s take that down to a personal level for a minute. We can have great […] Continue reading »

Five ways to stay focused

post-it-messages

So there was big controversy this week when Facebook revealed that it was manipulating news feeds in a social experiment to see how that would affect people’s moods. Outrage aside about how the study was conducted or communicated, the findings are, well, pretty obvious actually. What we see affects us. The messages we read, hear, or are otherwise exposed to, influence our mood and our perspective. A friend of mine, who works in PR, decided several years ago to stop listening to the news on her way in to work, because it depressed her so much. Even though part of […] Continue reading »