2020 Emotional Honesty Live Happy Inspiration Post Lockdown Reduce Stress Time Management

I Can’t Find The Time!

Finding Time

My gorgeous client who I will call Maggie, busy lady, juggling work and home and all that good stuff. No different to you or me. As is really common she is struggling to find time to eat healthily and get in some exercise consistently.

“I was going to do it Wednesday but I couldn’t find time”

“I just haven’t been able to find the time to get to class.”

“I just have to find time to do that. I’ll find time next week”.

Yeah yeah yeah. I have heard that before!

Here’s the thing.

Time is not something you find down the back of the sofa. Time is not something you can rummage for at the bottom of your purse.

Time cannot be found. It also cannot be made. It’s not something you whip up in the kitchen like a batch of cupcakes.

Time is just time. We all have exactly the same. 24 hours in a day. No more no less. No matter how complicated or full of responsibilities our lives may be you get exactly the same allocation.

All you can do with time is prioritise it.

You prioritise time. That’s what you do with time.

Think about money. If you want a really healthy pension or good medical insurance or enjoy having a nice house or whatever, what do you do? You prioritise that payment, on direct debit so it goes out on payday each month. If good retirement or medical cover is important to you, you prioritise that money. The mortgage or the insurance gets paid first no matter what. Then you figure out what choices you are going to make that month with the money that’s left. Beans on toast. Island holiday. New shoes. No new shoes. Whatever. The point is you have prioritised what you have deemed most important first. It’s a non-negotiable, and after a while it’s automatic. You don’t even think about it. That money is allocated first because it’s a priority. You don’t try and find the money for it at the end of the month when you have been on trips to the zoo and eaten out and been to the supermarket. You don’t look down the back of the sofa for mortgage money.

Prioritsing time for your wellbeing is the same. If its what you want, what you genuinely want, then genuinely prioritise the time for it. Make it a non-negiotiable in the diary and choose to not do something else. Be okay with that choice. It’s your time. It’s your choice to make about what you prioritise.

Stop looking for time. Stop trying to find it. It’s not hiding!

The truth is you already have it.


2020 Emotional Honesty Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love Simplicity and Time Management

5 Things I no longer have time for…

Bet you can’t guess #3!

You can call it a post-Lockdown burst of clarity, or just getting older and wiser…but here are 5 things I have decided I am done with.

Being Done With feels incredibly relieving and I have a real sense of lightness about it – like having a really nice internal spring clean. What is also incredibly pleasing about being Done With 5 things…is that it opens up SO much emotional capacity, physical space and T I M E to do things I really care about.

I hope it might inspire you to do your own list …what are you Done With?

Here are mine for your inspo!

So, good people,  I Am Done With:

  1. Hangovers

So yeah, this is a big one to start with. I’ve been an enthusiastic drinker of alcohol all my adult life. It’s been at the centre of every celebration, commiseration and Friday night since the year dot. It’s been part of the best of times and the worst of times.

My shy, underconfident teenage self used it to make herself feel interesting and to burst through the thick layer of excruciating self-consciousness at house parties. My older self used it to make other people feel interesting at boring dinner and industry parties.

It’s been my constant companion in my ever-changing social setting all my adult life. Not so much the last 10 years or so, but y’know, a few wines a few times a week. A very normal amount. Certainly not a problem amount, just a few wines, like you do.

Then – in October last year – after one too many – I decided to Break Up With Booze. That I was D.O.N.E. For 30 days. But then…here we are in June – and I am STILL DONE! I’ve done sober birthdays, Christmas, black-tie speaking events, weddings, you name it I have done it with nothing stiffer than a soda and twist of lime.

And do you know what’s been the MOST surprising thing about it? After DECADES of social and convivial drinking, the absolute SHOCKER to me as been HOW FREAKING EASY IT HAS BEEN TO JUST STOP.

Just like that. I’ve had a drink on 3 occasions, and that’s IT. Not been drunk at all. Not even tipsy. Essentially, I have raised a few glasses in toast and that’s it.  And it’s been AWESOME.

I LOVE not drinking. I had NO IDEA that would happen. I LOVE having more energy and sparkle. I LOVE how much longer the weekends feel.

It’s taken my breath away how EASY it’s been, and how I have ZERO desire to go back. I’ll have the odd glass a few times a year if I want, or not if I don’t, but that’s it.

I’ve learned a LOT about doing it the easy way, the psychology of embracing a hangover-free life – and I’m going to teach it in a Sober October course later in the year – you can check out my Academy here if you are curious.  It really is about doing it EASY, without force, and I’m excited to teach that in-depth later in the year.

  1. Being Over Busy All The Time

Okay – second thing I am just DONE WITH is Being Busy All The Time. Being that person who is racing from one thing to the next all the time. Feeling like I am never “finished” and that there is always one more post to write, one more of my voluntary commitments that needs attention, something I should be doing for someone, some chore I should be on top of.

I have taken the enforced state of No Obligation during Lockdown to really prune my obligations. It’s meant making some hard decisions about what to let go of and gracefully release. And – do you know what…it’s EXTRAORDINARY!

Getting to the end of the day and feeling a sense of accomplishment that I have created all that I promised myself this day – but – that I am done for the day, and that things are not hanging over me. That there is more time and space to enjoy what I am actually creating (writing this for y’all, for example) rather than just wanting to get it ticked off so I can get onto the next thing.

I teach a concept called Life Maths to my clients and Academy members – and, y’know what people: IT WORKS. Less truly is more. Less obligations, less To Do’s equals more space more depth, more connection, more learning, more enjoyment, more fun. Life is just BETTER.

Doing All The Things  (just because you are capable and you can) is totally overrated, and I am cheerfully Done With It.

Life Maths is included in my 30 Day course Goals With Souls course in the Academy – you can dive in today for just $39 if you want to create more space for what you want in life.

  1. Ironing

Just – nah. Life is too short to iron. I only buy stuff that doesn’t need ironing. And I’ve got rid of my ironing board. Hurrah for me.

  1. Not feeling “cool enough”

I think this has been another benefit of lockdown – because NO ONE has been doing anything, all the FOMO just disappeared for us all. Poof! SO NICE!

It’s made me realise that actually a lot of the things I enjoy – ARE NOT COOL – BUT I DON’T CARE! Yes, I superlove catching up with a friend with an expensive mocktail in a nice bar wearing cute shoes…but …also…I really like switching my brain off and doing a jigsaw. SO uncool – right?! But…I’m done with caring. I like what I like. And I’m all in with it.

Bring on the jigsaws. I’m all about it.

Yoga. Yes, love it. Completely reconnecting with it.

Binging on Personal Development books and courses.

Being coached. Yes yes yes.

  1. 10,000 Steps a Day.

Mmmmm I know, that’s the Gold Standard number of steps we should all be doing every day. And if you are not, you are some sort of sedentary sloth-like loser. Well, y’know what – I am not buying into that anymore. The right number – for me – is 5000.

If I do more than that – that’s a bonus (and most days I do) – but I am not going to let the Steps Police live in my head when they are not aware of all other good stuff I do each day for my body.

I don’t want to feel BAD about my steps – when I am so active in a variety of ways each day that don’t get counted (except by my BODY, which – DUH – is the only ACTUAL place that they DO count!) – and I REFUSE to be held captive to a baseline that was set by a Japanese marketing agency in the ’60s (google it).

10000 steps DOESN’T WORK FOR ME, I am – quite cheerfully – done with it.

We use a much more evolved system in the Wellbeing Warriors Academy which you are welcome to dive into the two 30 Day courses on it, on-demand here called Witness The Fitness, and NEAT Up.

So – that’s my hot 5 things I am done with:

  1. Hangovers
  2. Being Busy All The Time
  3. Ironing
  4. Not feeling “cool” enough
  5. 10000 Steps a Day

What are YOU done with? I’d love to know.

You can find me on Facebook and / Instagram right here:



And you can work with me daily here.

2020 4 Dimensional Wellness Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Love Your Work

How to know you are living your purpose

I was ill a while back, in bed feeling sorry for myself surrounded by a sea of tissues. It was the day the cleaners come but nevertheless I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed. They will just have to clean around me I sniffed.

Jilly, my sweet and spritely South African cleaner, chatted away as she dusted. She had some holidays coming up over the next few weeks and she had to take her leave as she couldn’t carry it over any more.

“Are you going somewhere nice?” I mumbled, thinking a bit of Fijian sun was exactly what I needed to get rid of my cold.

“Oh no” she said brightly “I shall be at home. My husband is away on business so I am going to have a GOOD SPRING CLEAN without him in the way!”

She said it with such utter relish I would have been floored had I not already been lying down.

“But Jilly, you’re a cleaner. You clean all day! Every week! You are going to spend your holiday cleaning? Voluntarily?” I was incredulous.

“Oh yes” she said with utter conviction and glee, no doubt thinking of the sparkling clutter free cupboards in her spring clean “I love it!”

And there you have it. Someone who is living their purpose in the most joyful way.

It just goes to show that there is a perfect role out there for us all. And that our perfect role might be someone else’s worst nightmare but there is a place where we can all find our perfect fit. Where we are contributing to the world in a way that is far more than going through the motions or doing it for a paycheck. Where we are bringing joy to others and joy to ourselves.

In my job I see many people who are most definitely not living their purpose and helping them figure out what it actually is, is a whole heap of fun. But it is a rarity that someone walks into my office declaring “I love my job I do!” so I treasure Jilly for being one of those rare people who have naturally found their purpose and is living it with such surety and joy.

How do you know you are living your purpose?

Here are a few questions to ponder:

  • If you had all your monetary needs taken care of would you still want to do what you do for free?
  • If you unexpectedly have to do some work at the weekend are you resentful about it or does it not really bother you?
  • Do you lose yourself in your work and find the hours fly by as you are immersed in what you are doing, or do you find you are clock watching the minutes creep by?
  • Would you read books about your day job on the beach for pleasure?
  • Is checking emails on holiday a resentful chore or does it not really bother you at all.

I believe there that we all have a place where our unique skills, aptitudes, interests personality and passions meet where we feel truly engaged with our work. Finding it can be tricky but it is so worth the effort. It doesn’t mean there are not still bad days, or that we don’t enjoy the money, but life comes from a very different place when we connect our unique gifts with our profession.

Action Step:

Ask yourself those exploration questions. If the answer is a no to more than 2 then you may not be living your passion. If you need extra help to figure out what might be a fulfilling way to earn a living, check out my Life Coaching Academy Wellbeing Warriors.


4 Dimensional Wellness Energy Boosters Love Your Work Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Summer time

5 smart tips to avoid the cray-cray Christmas Work CRUSH!

Now, there is a kiwi specific cultural phenomenon that happens for those in the workforce in December.

What happens is that every project you have ever touched or been associated with during the previous 11 months (and indeed some that you haven’t) suddenly has to ABSOLUTELY be finished by Christmas Eve, OR THE WORLD WILL END. End, I tell you.

All joking aside, it’s actually super stressful. Due to the fabulously extended January holidays we all enjoy this creates a real pressure cooker environment which can lead to a) massive overwhelm before Christmas b) utterly unrealistic expectations that can never be met c) not enough time for Chrimbo shopping or drinking egg nog with colleagues whilst wearing festive antlers.

Northern Hemisphere peeps will be back at work as usual on the 3rd of January, whilst most Kiwi’s will be drinking cold ones for another 4 weeks, so clearly – we win! No one would want to give up their January. BUT – can we reach it without descending into Xmas Madness?

Here are a few tips you can put into place today:

1. Get really clear, really really clear, that the working world will not in fact end at midday on the 24th December. Do not buy into the madness.

2. Set some expectations NOW. Get ahead of the game whether by a team meeting, or email or whatever. Set some expectations NOW on what you can deliver by when. Communicate with staff / customers / clients / suppliers / colleagues and so on expectation and timelines. Be confident and set your boundaries on what is realistic.

3. Beware the hospital pass. Veeeery common at this time of year is the colleague whistling in a project and making it your problem, when in fact they have sat on it procrastinating since June. Boundaries are required here, people. Don’t let your December get pulled into the madness because someone else has been fluffing about for the last 6 months. Use your “no” judiciously but firmly.

4. Accept some stuff will just not get done before Christmas. This is okay because a) the world will not end (see point 1), and b) it means you have a job to come back to.

5. Make time for some fun. The seriousness of the Xmas Madness can suck the joy out of a normally happy workplace as everyone feels so under the gun with this end of year deadline. Remember that this is the season of goodwill unto all men, and make sure you allow enough space for laughs and thank you’s and celebrations too.

We are still far enough away that you can do some really effective (read: ruthless!) scheduling and expectation management now.

Head off the Xmas Madness at the pass, don’t make it an inevitable part of your working December.

After all you’ve got eggnog and festive antlers to attend to.

Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Relationships

A Smart Man With A Dumb Phone.

Last year I stayed with some treasured old friends from uni in the English countryside. They live in this fantastical house. It has a turret! It has a moat! It has one of those amazing freestanding roll top baths like the Cadbury’s Flake advert! It is a testament to the wisdom of the best piece of financial advice being to marry the right person in the first place, and stay married to them.

Now then, he is a big city lawyer, partner of a London law firm. Top level, big cheese, commercial lawyer…but….he is also easily one of the most laid back and chilled guys to be around. I was wondering how he pulled this off given the pressures of his role and a pretty epic commute…and then I saw him put his phone on to charge. It was a fully old-skool style Nokia 3310. The unsmartest of phones. It looked like it belonged in a 1990’s museum exhibition.

“Er….is that your phone?” I said incredulously.


“But you have a work phone too, right?”.


“That can’t be your only phone?” I persisted, my brain struggling to compute.

“Yes. It’s my only phone. It’s all I need”.

“But…but…you don’t have a smart phone? With a screen? With internet? At all? Anywhere?” I’m scanning the room as if to see a top of the range iPhone or Samsung magically appearing out of thin air.

“Nope. This phone is it.”


I don’t mind telling you I took a few quiet minutes to let that sink in. This is a man with a seriously massive job, running his life off a Nokia 3310. This is in great contrast to me and his missus who had had a fab day shopping and pottering but between us had used Google maps to find our way around a diversion, MyFitnessPal to compare protein consumption, Facebook to look up what country another old friend was living in (Denmark), IMBD to settle the score on who was the actor in a thing we couldn’t’ remember (Mathew Broderick), and Pinterest for a twist on a mojito recipe (raspberry and cucumber).

If you are dumbfounded by this dumb phone revelation, consider that one 2017 study found that Americans spend an average of 5 hours a DAY on their phones, another that some teenagers are spending up to NINE hours a day across assorted social media platforms.

A term has been coined to describe that mild (to (be honest now) extreme) panic that sets in when you can’t find your phone or it’s out of charge:

Nomophobia (No Mobile phobia, geddit??).

No wonder France led the way last year by passing legislation to reduce pressure to respond to work queries out of hours calling it the “right to disconnect”.

It’s a modern-day paradox that we are increasingly disconnected in an uber-connected world. That with some people if we don’t get an instant reply, we wonder if they have, in fact, been kidnapped. Is all of this connectivity good? No. Is all of it bad? No. It is, as it usually is, all about finding the optimal balance. Spending that weekend with someone in a huge job incongruously twinned with a Nokia 3310 did however make me consider that the belief, “I have to be connected and contactable for work”, might not be as true as I thought. Perhaps for many of us, “I need it for work” is an excuse for smartphone addiction and that comforting dopamine rush of being needed or liked with each ding or red flag notification.

Being over-connected to our phone dramatically reduces our capacity to be present. The perfect example of this is watching the telly with two screens. If you have ever sat in front of a show and been scrolling through Instagram at the same time, you will know for sure the impact that has on your comprehension of the show. You have missed key bits, only have the gist of what’s important, and the amount of empathetic connection you have whether that is crying at the sad bits, or being scared at the scary bits, or laughing at the banana skin fall will be significantly reduced.

Two screens equals a massively reduced emotional connection. It’s not just like this with the TV, of course, it’s the same with the person you are with if your attention is split between them and your (or their) phone. You miss the full emotional impact of the share about their mother’s dementia, or the child sharing their delight at bringing you the dandelion, or they miss your natural enthusiasm for the raspberry cucumber mojito recipe.

The present moment is where our joy, happiness and purpose live.

We cannot experience them anywhere other than the present moment. If you want to set your 2019 on fire then one way is to tweak your digital boundaries and balance. Thing is, for me, there have been a number of times where having a smartphone with Google maps, or a receipt in my email, has absolutely saved not just my bacon but the whole pig.

So, you also might not want to go the whole hog and ditch your iPhone for a retro Nokia, but you might want to think about the following:


  1. Can you take your email off your phone? Delete it completely? Do you really need it there? Really? Think about it: if your office knows you do not have email on your phone you reduce all expectation that you will check it or answer it out of hours.


  1. Do you want to delete your social media off your phone? What will you do when you would otherwise be mindfully scrolling? Hmmm…that’s food for thought isn’t it?


  1. There are a huge array of apps that have been developed to stop you using your other apps so much. Ah, the irony. So, you can download an app like Offtime which helps users unplug by blocking distracting apps like Facebook and games and filtering communications. It also includes some fairly alarming information on how much you actually use your smartphone and on what.


  1. Curfews and boundaries can be very effective. Studies have shown that the blue light from our screens affects our natural sleep response, so a no phones in the bedroom or a phone curfew an hour before bed might work well or you.


  1. A no 2-screen rule might work for you too. So if you are watching TV, do that, be fully present and enjoy it. When you are checking Facebook, do that and do the same. Split focus means reduced enjoyment.


  1. Choose to be present when you are with people. Be fully all there. Phone away and preferably on silent so the notifications don’t take your attention from the person you have decided to actually spend time with. Focus deliberately on real-world, real-time connection. Maximise your attention and reap the emotional rewards from that choice.


A smart man with a dumb phone? Just maybe he is onto something.


If you liked this blog, you will lovelovelove my Coaching Academy. 

Smart, practical tools that you can download, put into practice and get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women. Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm – just click here to join and I’ll see you inside! 

Dream and Goals Emotional Honesty High Energy Happiness Live Happy Inspiration Love the Skin You're In Positive Thought Strategy Reduce Stress Relationships Self Care and Self Love

Change The Game

This picture meme I came across at random is everything I believe.

Physical wellbeing is *obviously* really important.

But it is often given far higher importance than our emotional, mental and spiritual health and wellbeing.

Change The Game

The interesting thing is that when we attend to our mental, emotional and spiritual health (with smart, easy to apply coaching tools) we start to feel comfortable in our own skin in a way we may never have done: and that becomes the foundation for almost effortless physical health choices.

Those diets that stop, start, stop, start: you just start to eat healthy ongoing because you want to.

It stops being hard, and becomes the obvious choice.

That excessive habit wagon you have fallen in and off time and time again? You don’t need another 30-Day miracle boot camp promising you the world or a gym membership that lapses and you feel guilty about; you need to attend to your boundaries, learn why you worry about stuff and exactly how to stop it, and generally expand your level of self-awareness and trust: and, guess what…you’ll exercise regularly because you want to, because it’s just what you do. No fuss. No struggle.

That crazy lack of rest and downtime, running on empty and lack of balance? Do the deep work and watch that fall into place. Start honouring your mind and body with appropriate self-care without force or guilt.

If you are O.V.E.R. doing the same thing, listening to the same old promises, falling on and off the same ole wagon with the same ole excuses…

Do. Something. Different.

Learn how to take care of your wellbeing – emotional, mental and spiritual – and watch your physical wellbeing fall into place.

Do. Something. Different. For. You.

Something that the woman you want to be in 2019 will thank you for.

You want change?

You want to look different?

Feel different?

Change. The. Game.

Join 700 smart women in my life coaching Academy, and do wellbeing differently.

We have been doing it differently in there for 3 years now.

We have a formula that changes the game because it changes YOU.

If you are ready for real change; then I’m ready for you.

Join up right now, you won’t regret it!



Live Happy Inspiration Positive Thought Strategy Self Care and Self Love

Faith or Fear – Reduce Worry Today

Our worries often seem so real it’s as if they have happened already.

  • The client has cancelled.
  • The kid got hurt.
  • The car broke down.
  • You missed the park.
  • The money ran out.
  • The presentation went really badly.

The anxiety we feel about these things as we sit watching the children play on the swings, or in a tense boardroom, or on the way to our destination in town,  can feel as anxious as if these things are already real. It feels bad. We feel worried and anxious. And how many times does the thing we have worried about NOT happen? ALL. THE. TIME. A huge amount of stress for nothing.

Here’s the thing. When you get on a plane to a sunny tropical destination, do you know how the plane stays up in the air? Like really? Hats off if you have a first in aeronautical engineering but I am willing to bet 99% of us don’t really know. Could you actually explain it? Nah! No, you just know it does, and that’s more than good enough. You trust in the process. You can’t see it, or define it, but you know it’s all happening and the plane is going to make it to Club Tropicana. Or how about when you get home from work and flick the telly on. Do you know how the electricity works? Like, really? Could you actually explain it? No, you just know it does, and that’s more than good enough. You trust in the process. You can’t see it, or define it, but you know it’s all happening. And it does.

All day every day we are putting our trust in things we can’t see. We can’t define. We are trusting in intangibles. We have a huge amount of faith in stuff we can’t see and we can’t explain. It’s an awesome capacity, really helpful. It helps us to glide through life, get things done, stay calm, take stuff for granted. It can be a very positive force for good.

Endless worrying is like using this force in reverse. By worrying about some future event that may or may not happen, we are asking ourselves to once again have faith in something we can’t see, but something that makes us actively anxious guaranteed.

Feeling relaxed or feeling anxious a lot of the time comes down to the ability to believe something unseen. It comes down to faith versus fear essentially. Faith in the fact something good is going to happen (the plane stays up, the telly goes on) or fear that something bad will (the job gets lost, there will never be a park in this rain). Either way, you have to believe in something you can’t see: faith or fear. Fear or faith.

We can choose to believe in an unseen outcome that’s good and relaxing, or one that’s not so good and anxiety-inducing. It’s a choice, not a certainty. Trust and faith require that we believe we are big enough, brave enough, strong enough to handle it whatever the outcome. Which you ARE. Worry is a fear of events unseen. It robs us of joy in the present and actually makes us less able to handle what comes up. If we are going to believe in something we can’t see or know for sure, choose faith over fear every time.

If you liked this blog, you will love, love, love my Coaching Academy. 

Smart, practical tools that you can put into practice, get support and accountability as you up-level your wellbeing in an amazing community of like-minded women.

Create a life you love, and a body you love living in and enjoy wellbeing without the overwhelm.

Just click here to join and I’ll see you inside! 

Self Care and Self Love Simplicity and Time Management

The Yogic Naughty Step … 3 steps to making time for you

The Yogic Naughty Step ... 3 steps to making time for youWhen I first got bitten by the yoga bug over a decade ago in London I had a very busy career at the Financial Times which I loved, but which (I can see now) I gave too much of my time and energy which left my life very out of balance. Something needed doing late or at the weekend? I’ll do it! No Problem. I’m your girl! I was super-committed, successful and ambitious. I also had the balance of my life waaaay out of whack and my personal life was crumbling.

When I found that first yoga class (a Beginners course very like the one I teach today) I felt such an overwhelming and unexpected sense of relief and peace. It scared me actually: I didn’t know that that feeling was it was so long since I had felt it.

I knew it was something I had to pursue. Pretty soon I was there 3 times a week, even when I moved across London I loved the teacher Simona so much I would schlep all the way from Shepherds Bush to Clapham and back for her classes and not mind one bit. It really was a revelation for me.

It was a revelation for my working hours too. I developed my own ‘naughty step’ technique for getting out of work on time no matter what. I realised that when you are running a newspaper everything is always urgent, there is always something that needs to be done. I also knew that there was now something I wanted more: to practice yoga, to learn more, to feel that feeling. So on Mondays and Thursdays I started leaving the office at 4.55pm which was unheard of for me. The stuff kept landing on my desk, people rocking round expecting me to handle things at that time just as I had for the previous 6 or 7 years. But, I still left. I chose the thing I wanted more, to get the feeling that I got at the end of class and to improve my new yoga practice.

Yes for those first four or five weeks I had some heated discussions, and yes I let some people down, and yes some other people grew their skills through some inspired delegation. But, the paper came out, the world continued to turn. And then, do you know what, the last minute requests stopped, on Monday and Thursday the Head of Production might rock over and say “now I know Thursday is your yoga night but can you look at this tomorrow morning?” or my staff would step up and say “ I’ll clear that last page boss, you get on to class”. And off I would go. And I never missed a class from then on despite having a senior job in a highly deadline oriented business. My career continued to go from strength to strength too. Probably because I was more relaxed and had more balance.

If my former workaholic self can do it: you can do it. You can be there and make that time for yourself each week. It’s a case of training the people you work with much the same way you would train a toddler what is and is not okay behavior a la Supernanny. The key is in being clear what you want, consistently voicing it and following through regardless of the reaction you get. In short it’s the Yogic Naughty Step.

1. Voice.  What is it you WANT? Be clear with yourself so you don’t get distracted in the moment by passing momentary tasks. eg. I want to feel flexible and relaxed by Easter. I want to give myself that hour and a quarter to myself each week in class. I want long term health and wellbeing. Diarise it. Commit to yourself.

2. Choice. Wait for the inevitable last minute thing that’s just so important that it has to be done RIGHT NOW to come up. Assess it calmly…be aware of the choice that you are making. Choose to be able to stand a moments discomfort as you say ‘That will have to wait until the morning, I have an appointment now’. No need to explain or apologise.

Choose a moments discomfort so you can have what you really WANT. If it’s really that important someone else will step up and do it. Really.

3. Follow Through. Go do your thing: guilt free! Do your yoga class, go for that run, have the weekly ball game with the kids. Whatever your thing is that you want.

Next week when it inevitably happens again repeat the same thing “That will have to wait until the morning, I have an appointment now”. Consistency is key.

Rinse and repeat. Before you know it you will have reclaimed that time, and the last minute requests will stop.

It’s a funny thing but once you consistently respect your time other people will too.

Louise Thompson


Reduce Stress Simplicity and Time Management

You have all the time you need, really!

You have all the time you need, really!“I don’t have enough time!”

This really is the mantra of modern living. How many times a day do you find yourself saying just that…I’d love to but I don’t have time. I really want to do that thing/go that place/ see that person but I don’t have time. Once a day, twice? If you are anything like me a dozen or more. I’ve had a bit of an epiphany about it which has really helped to notch down not only how many times a day I say I don’t have time, but to increase the amount of time I do have.

So, here’s the thing: I do have enough time. You do have time. We all have all the time we need. It’s not lack of time that’s the problem here. Accepting that is the first step. We are not lacking in time. And that’s a fact. What we are lacking in is clear priorities. It’s much more accurate and empowering to say I don’t have clear priorities, rather than I don’t have time. Clear priorities are something you can do something about, manufacturing more time is not (unless you are God) (which if You are You know that and will not be reading this).

So, here is how to have more than enough time. Firstly set some very clear priorities for yourself for the next 12 months. What do you want to achieve and how do you want your life to be this year? Personally I have 3 personal goals for year and 3 professional goals. I think this is the maximum, 3 of each. Firstly it means you get some balance between your work and personal life, and secondly it will force you to be ruthless. You can’t have 25 priorities, choose 6 tops. One of mine is to get fit, one is to write a coaching book. Ther others include  having fun with my gorgeous husband,  expanding Positive Balance classes, and to travel in South America. List yours now.  Think big picture and be ruthless and honest with yourself. 3 personal goals and 3 professional.

Done? Okay, so, next time the ‘I don’t have enough time’ mantra rears its ugly head take stock. Don’t have enough time for what? It then becomes a very simple choice. I now always choose the task or thing that is in alignment with and will move me towards my 6 life goals for the year. Choice between getting through all my email and going for a swim…I choose to make time for the swim, the email will have to wait. Choice between working late on the website or going to the movies with a friend? The movie every time, the website can wait.

By setting very clear priorities for myself and consistently choosing in favour of them I find that I do have more time. And I have less panic about the things that are not getting done because clearly they cannot be that important if they did not make it to my Top 6 priorities for the year. So I worry about them less because they are automatically the 7th or lower priority for me, so I can park them or flag them much more easily.

So, handy checklist for the Magic Elixir Of More Time:

1.       Accept you do have all the time you need if you have clear priorities.

2.       Define 3 personal and 3 professional priorities for the year.

3.       Choose consistently in favour of those priorities.

4.       Enjoy the time spent on priorities, relax about what gets parked or flagged as it’s obviously less important.

5.       Whenever the feeling arises of not having enough realise it’s not a time issue its a priority issue.

Right. Blog post done. Now, I’m off to the pool for a swim!


Louise Thompson

Live Happy Inspiration Reduce Stress Self Care and Self Love Sick & Tired of feeling Sick & Tired Simplicity and Time Management

Wasted Time or Play Time?

There is a common complaint that I notice with many of my coaching clients, especially those who are tired (or suffering from Adrenal Fatigue / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) or working through Life/Work Balance issues. They have a real thing about any kind of down time being ‘wasted time’. It’s a concept that comes up again and again. And I think it’s a new and growing phenomenon that’s leading to a whole heap of stress. I must confess to being susceptible to this Cult Of Productivity myself: I notice it when I am stuck in traffic, or when the computer isn’t working as perfectly as I would like it to, or ordering something is taking longer than I thought it would. This stressful thought keeps rearing its ugly head: ‘this is such a waste of time’, usually accompanied by its good friend ‘this should be quicker/easier/more efficient’.

These thoughts lead directly to a place of stress. Bad for the head, bad for the body.

It’s occurred to me that I didn’t use to feel this way. When I was younger I didn’t put this pressure on myself for every thing to have an outcome. Just enjoying or doing something for its own sake was enough. At school and university my friends and I elevated wasting time to an art form in its own right! And those are the bits I look back on with the most fondness. The endless games of cards and pissing about (car surfing anyone?!) And yet I, and so many of my clients, seem to now feel so uncomfortable with even the most limited moments of unproductivity.  What is that about?

As the world has become increasingly immediate and increasingly measureable I think it’s encouraged us to lead our lives in the same way. An expectation that all time and every effort invested should show some sort of meaningful outcome. But, should it?

I think the stress that the concept of ‘wasted time’ generates is due to a perception that time is inherently limited. That leads to a perception that all time needs to count with an outcome. Which generates stress. Is the point of time well spent to get things accomplished, or is it to have fun and experience the maximum amount of joy? As adults in this increasingly technologically enabled, measurable and immediate world I think we have lost the ability to play. Or to see play as an important part of what makes life fun and ourselves happy.

Look at how children play. When children play its as a means to an end in itself, because they see time as unlimited and therefore no outcome is required. So how can it possibly be wasted if it’s unlimited?

I think there is a lot we can learn from that attitude. This is what I have learned around the concept of ‘wasted time’:

  1. Just because it produces some sort of outcome doesn’t mean that it’s important.
  2. Just because its quantifiable doesn’t mean I should do it
  3. If the only joy in the doing is the crossing off on the list when it’s done then I should consider not doing it or getting someone else to do it for me
  4. Some of the best most fun and memorable time in my life had no definable outcome.
  5.  Unproductive time is a fact of life. We are not built to be ON all the time.
  6. Unproductive time is thinking and daydreaming and processing time. That is productive in itself.
  7. Play and fun are important.
  8. Resting and chilling ARE an activity in their own right. The outcome is being chilled. That’s something the body requires for health. It’s really important time.
  9. Enjoyment is just as valid a goal as achievement.
  10. I need to play more.

So I am challenging myself to reconnect with play for the sake of itself: I have joined a mosaic class one morning a week. I am really enjoying it; there is something very satisfying about fitting all the tiny chards of ceramic together for no reason at all other than the simple pleasure of doing it. It’s a bit fiddly and a bit messy. I like that, and the quiet companionship of the other women in the class. Sometimes I feel guilty about all the work I ‘should’ be doing and that it’s ‘wasted time’ then I remember, I’m a life coach, I teach people about life/work balance…this is me Living It to Give It and I relax and focus on the little fiddly tiles again and the couple of hours simply flies by! It’s been good for the mind and the soul.

If you find yourself running mental loops about wasting time it’s my bet that you could do with reintroducing a bit of play to your life too. Try using the time stuck at the grocery checkout and in traffic to daydream about your next holiday or the best one you ever had. It won’t wake the queue go faster but it will make it a more pleasant and positive experience. Think back to something you loved to do as a child to play (baking, playing footie, making things, etc) and try and introduce a related aspect of PLAY into your week with no aspect of outcome attached. Play for it’s own sake, and see that if we are in the moment and enjoying ourselves then no time is ever really wasted.

Louise Thompson | Life Coach, Writer, Speaker

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