On the road: Surviving long days, early starts and travel

How do you maintain your energy levels (and sanity) when you travel? How do you make sure you arrive fresh, on the ball and raring to go for a full day’s work, training or meetings when you’re getting up before the crack of dawn and stumbling back in late at night? I’ve been travelling a lot recently. Officially, I’m the Productivity Ninja for the Midlands, but lately the Midlands has stretched to include London, Edinburgh and Geneva! On the whole it’s a lot of fun, but I have to admit, those early starts and long days can be a bit […] Continue reading »

Where do you do your best thinking?

Where do you do your best thinking? | Grace-Marshall.com

One of the things I often challenge my clients to do is to give themselves more thinking time, which sometime prompts the question of ‘where?’ There are the usual suspects: in a quiet room on my own in the shower on a walk/run in the car The glamorous: On holiday On the beach In a cafe At the art gallery And the bizarre: Sitting on the toilet Standing up anywhere While doing housework (really?! I’m not convinced…) Where do you do your best thinking? I don’t know about you, but my best thinking rarely happens at my desk and certainly not […] Continue reading »

Killing yourself to meet a deadline? Give yourself a lifeline.


  I have a bit of a love hate relationship with deadlines. I love them, because they work. There’s nothing like a deadline to get me moving, out of uncertainty and procrastination, and into crazy wild-eyed get it done mode. But I also hate the stress they bring on. The way they loom in the distance for ages, then all of a sudden creep up on us and send us into blind panic. Even the word deadline seems so final and last minute – do it or die. I won’t deny it, there is something quite seductive about that adrenaline […] Continue reading »

Planned Sponteneity

Planned Sponteneity | Grace-Marshall.com

My husband laughed when I suggested this.  When we first got together we were pretty spontaneous. Meeting friends, going out, what’s for dinner, driving over to Italy for the weekend – all that just happened, when we felt like it. We didn’t do much planning. We didn’t need to. Then we had kids, and in came the routines. The meal plans, the bed times, the school runs, the housework… My theory is that kids are so unpredictable, we tried to scope ahead and plan as much as we could, to give ourselves at least a fighting chance of being able […] Continue reading »

Two simple questions


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?


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?


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 »