What’s your hidden strength?


What would come to mind if I asked you about your weaknesses? The stuff you struggle with and stumble at. The things you think you ought to be better at, or resigned yourself to being rubbish at.  The words you’d choose to complete the sentence “I’m too _____” or “I’m not very _____”. Now I want to ask you, what’s the hidden strength in that weakness? You see, every weakness hides a strength.   My friend Marianne once said “Our weaknesses are just our strengths in the wrong environment.” It’s where something we’re really good at gets misused, overused, or simply […] Continue reading »

Are you the default person?


An article caught my eye this week. The first line asked “Are you the default parent?”, followed by “If you have to think about it, you’re not. You’d know. Trust me.” It gave a humorous and somewhat bleak account of all the things you scope, think about and are responsible for if you are the default parent. There were definitely parts I nodded furiously and laughed out loud at, but I also realised there are times when I’m not the default parent. Like first thing in the morning for example. If my daughter wakes up before I do (which she […] Continue reading »

Who do you want to be today?


Not when you grow up. Not in five years’ time. Today. If we were about to start working together – in a workshop, or a 1-1 coaching session – one of the first questions I’d ask you is What do you want? And you might start telling me about what you don’t want – the constant pressure and overwhelm, juggling competing priorities, never getting to the end of the work, feeling guilty, exhausted, out of balance. You might talk about the brilliant things you’d love to achieve if only you had the time. All that purpose, passion and genius hemmed […] Continue reading »

Take Your Time


As a Productivity Ninja, I have many conversations around time.  “Not enough time, too much to do” is how most of my conversations start. We talk about good use of time, about how to work faster, smarter, how to not get bogged down in detail, paralysed by overwhelm, waylaid by procrastination or drowning in email. In fact, my whole book is about dealing with the stuff that sucks up your time. But sometimes people say to me “I’m focused, I’m clear, I’m fired up, I’ve got my baby steps, goals, projects and to-do list set up. I know exactly what […] Continue reading »

Where’s your fire?

“Where’s the fire?” The times when I get asked this, I’m probably flying around a million miles an hour like my life depends on it. Usually it means: Slow down. Stop panicking. There is no real fire. Nobody’s going to die. Breathe. In the main, I help people do less firefighting. And to fight fires with less headless chicken and more brilliance. But there is something about a fire that makes us focused. When we’re up against a deadline or a crisis. When there’s impending destruction that will get rapidly worse if we leave it. When there’s a wider impact […] Continue reading »

Being Kind


Last week I looked at my diary and saw two late nights followed by two early starts, in four different cities. My first thought: “I should have scoped this better…” followed by “I need to start booking hotels if I’m going to keep doing this.” I decided to be kind to myself, and get a train 20 minutes earlier that would actually cut an hour off my journey, and give me the opportunity to grab some proper breakfast when I arrived. I’m never hungry when I wake at 5am but breakfast at 8am after all the travelling was done and […] Continue reading »

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 »