Teaching our kids (and ourselves) about trade-offs, habits and screen time


How do you get kids to spend less time on screens? Nag them? Set time limits? Declare screen free time zones? We’ve tried all sorts of tactics, with limited success. Our latest experiment has been quite surprising though – and has uncovered some interesting lessons when it comes to changing habits, delegating and the importance of recognising trade-offs. Inspired by an idea in Brad McKeown’s brilliant book Essentialism, we’ve started a token system: 1. Each week, each child gets 10 tokens. 2. They can exchange each token for 30 minutes of screen time, or 20p at the end of the week. 3. They […] Continue reading »

5 reasons why we resist self-promotion


A while ago I was nominated to put myself forward for an award in the Forward Ladies National Women in Business Awards. Had I not been nominated, I wouldn’t have done it. What is it about self-promotion that makes so many of us procrastinate? Whether it’s putting yourself out there as a business, or putting yourself forward for a promotion, writing your own CV or the ‘about me’ page on your website – why do we have such resistance when it comes to self-promotion? Why don’t more people put themselves forward for awards? I got chatting about this with my coach Amanda […] Continue reading »

The one email that can cost or save you hours of work (and tears)


I’ve been deliberating whether to write this post. Because it is a bit of a rant. It’s about communication. The kind of communication that saves pain, confusion, conflict, and hours of work. Ok, so today’s world of work is unpredictable. We live and work in a world where information bombards us at a ridiculous rate and plans change weekly, sometimes daily, even hourly. What we need isn’t bombproof planning, but agility and flexibility to dodge bullets and think fast on our feet. I get that. But how much of our curveballs are genuinely unpredictable? And how much is just down to […] Continue reading »

Eliminating choice


Have you ever found yourself clearly out of your ‘zone of expertise’? I did recently, when I found out I was shortlisted as a regional finalist in the Forward Ladies Women in Business Awards and realised I had to figure out what to wear! Recognising I was out of my depth, I enlisted the help of personal image consultant Lyn Bromley of First Impressions Training. What I discovered, was not only a fascinating education in dress shape, shade and style, but also a valuable lesson in productivity. Our day started with a colour and style analysis. It amazed me how much detail and […] Continue reading »

Sanity check


They say choose your battles, but how do you know which battles are worth fighting? Which battles to pick, and which ones to stand down and let pass? When you’re in the thick of it, how do you tell the difference between single-mindedness and narrow-mindedness? Between strength and stubbornness? Between self defence and paranoia? Or between letting go and letting yourself down? I had a few moments recently, where I needed a sanity check. Moments where my instinctive reaction to something was at odds with my usual trusting, accommodating nature. “Am I mad? Is it just me…?” I needed to […] Continue reading »

What do you see?


We’ve had a big weekend in the Marshall house, with the last day of school coinciding with my son entering double digits. There’s been lots of partying, lots of taxi-ing (and dodging traffic) and of course, lots of cake. Here’s one I made on Sunday, with the finest of my dark chocolate stash. As we tucked into this beauty, I asked my kids for their verdict. “What’s a verdict?” asked my son. “Kind of like what they do in Masterchef.” I told him. “Well it is a little bit dry, and the chocolate is a bit too rich, and I […] Continue reading »

The Happy Helpful Human approach to selling


  We had our “International Ninjamboree” at Think Productive last week, where Productivity Ninjas from around the world congregated in Brighton. In one of the sessions, I was asked to share how I do ‘selling’ which was rather amusing, as in my mind, I don’t do much selling at all! Despite being a business school graduate, I seem to have an allergic reaction to formulas, numbers and ratios, so here’s what I find works for me – the completely unscientific Happy Helpful Human approach to selling: 1. Build relationships, not empires I don’t have sophisticated funnels, big budgets or a […] Continue reading »