I’m going through a dry spell…

Over the last two weeks I have written blogs about some complicated legal jargon (that I was simplifying into plain speaking for a client); blogs about irreverent fun topics and pop culture references and web content of a sensible, serious nature. I love writing, it makes me happy and in my spare time I write poetry (yes, for fun) and my own blogs for my website.

However, at the moment the (personal) well hath run dry and I cannot get inspired with a blog topic or a poem… I know that’s funny as I’m currently writing a blog about not being able to find anything to write a blog about but it’s a serious creative issue!

I seem to have no problem for anyone else but for myself the words and the inspiration are simply not coming. I actually think it might be a fear thing, I have been so caught up with client work over the last 6 months to a year that focusing on the business has been impossible in any real way. Now that a major project is coming to an end and I have more time in front of me I have a wish list of things I want to achieve to help move the business forward and, in all honesty, that’s kinda scary.

I have plans, projections, goals (no I’m afraid I don’t have a vision board unless you count my Pinterest collection of next tattoo ideas) but taking that next step to growth can be difficult and I think that’s why I’m feeling a bit of a mental block.

However, I know the block exists so I’m doing something about it – I’ve used my connections to find a great mentor who can hold me accountable for pulling my finger out; I’ve written my plan down so I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist; and I’m writing about not being able to write, admitting my fears and telling you lot so that if I’m still in the same position in 6-months time you may all publicly boo me or thumbs down me like in the gladiator arena or at least message me and lambast my inactivity… I’ll leave that up to you!

TTFN and if anyone is looking for a VA let me know, overwhelming myself with work will force my hand – not the most solid of plans but it’d certainly be sink or swim!




I hate You!

My children say this to each other all the time. It drives me totally crazy and I really don’t like it. I’ve told them to stop, I’ve asked them to be nicer and I’ve explained to them how serious the word hate is and that shouldn’t use it unless you really mean it.

That’s the bit that really gets me though. As much as they say it and fight and fight (and they won’t stop fighting) they will not leave each other alone. I’ve been trying to get them to change their attitude towards each other but maybe I should be trying to teach them to change their situation.

This came to me the other day because I was in a situation where I was interacting with someone I don’t like. I don’t know why I don’t, I’ve just not taken to them and it makes me really frustrated. I’m not going to go into detail but it’s unlikely my feelings are going to change, therefore I need to influence the only other factor I can- the situation.

Now, if this were Dynasty or Dallas I’d deal with the problem ‘permanently’ (said whilst twirling my villainous moustache) but it’s not and I don’t have a ‘tashe. So I had to think about what I could change- I came up with a list of environmental variables that I could influence that would make things better and it reminded me that there’s always a solution.

It’s about changing my attitude towards something and looking for a way to solve it (rather than being grumpy and frustrated!)

Now wish me luck as I bore my children rigid trying to explain such an adult concept.


The Monster under the bed…

That right there (up there, the title) is the reason I always sleep with a duvet even on the hottest nights- it’s a hangover from childhood and I’m sure I’m not the only one. However, I’m not really here to chatter about an actual under bed beast but rather the metaphor.

The other day my friend and I were discussing her Sunday plans. She was tackling various landing cupboards and there accumulated clutter but she said that she was avoiding the big job of doing ‘under the bed’. I then looked under my bed and shuddered slightly, that’s a pile of useful, stored stuff that almost never gets touched; covered in a layer of dust just to prove it.

I’d love to say that this inspired me to sort it out. It didn’t. I left it and I’m ignoring the nagging vision of all that rubbish in the back of my head. It also made me think of all the other things I’d been neglecting- like blogging, my own accounts… things that I do for other people and never do for myself.

This is not a new year, new me blog… frankly I don’t have the time to be a whole different (better?) person. I’m just going to make sure it’s ALL on the list and hopefully I’ll get round to some of it.

Sorry if my ability to not be resolute has left you uninspired! Although I am sat here blogging so it must have had some effect on me!!


Priorities, Pillow Talk and Picking up where I left off…

I couldn’t sleep last night. Took me ages to drift off and then was awake for 4am. I then worked for two hours and went back to bed at 6 where I had a hideous nightmare (rhinos chasing me and no parking spaces, not even got time to analyse that one).

I think the reason is that I was stressed about my massive list- up to 3 pages (nearly typed) and no idea where to start. I’m working through it now but it made me realise that I’ve been feeling out of control since December. I even wrote a blog about it, then was so busy I forgot to post it!! I’ve pasted it below (so lucky you, two blogs for the price of one).

There are loads of different ways to prioritise a list. One friend puts a monetary value to each item; I know some people do it on a FIFI (first in, first out) basis and some on which they enjoy doing (try not to do this by the way, it leads to so much stuff you’ll have put off). I have one friend who categorises all tasks (as frogs, urgently and quick wins) and then does a couple of urgents, a frog and rewards with some quick wins.

Everyone’s different, I’d be interested to know if anyone else has a clever way of doing it?

Anyway, here’s the missing blog and I’m off to get back to my list.

It’s the season to… forget what the heck you’re doing

Generally I’m a well organised person. When it comes to my clients I’m kind of paid to be well organised- although I’m only human so mistakes do happen. However, despite 11 months of successful self planning and managing to run my own life it all goes to pot in December.

As much as I’d like it to be due to a head full of snowflakes and sugarplum fairies the simple truth is it’s more because I have too much on. Obviously there’s clients (but you’d expect that), personal stuff, school stuff, then there’s present buying, card writing, nativity/carol convert/orchestra performances to attend, Christmas parties and the requisite hangovers… then the first world crisis of trying to fit all my beauty appointments in at the busiest time of the year. It’s hardly my fault that my hair dresser can only see at exactly the same time I should be picking the kids up from school!

Needless to say I find December stressful. A few years ago when I had more time I made Christmas Day place name holders from sawn up logs fashioned into cheery snowmen… this year you can sit wherever you want! It’s the 6th and I’ve not written any Christmas cards although they e started arriving! And I have 5 Christmas parties and I honestly promise you I have nothing to wear.

Oh well, it’s nearly Christmas and I’m wearing sparkly mini mouse ears and an alternative Christmas jumper. It’ll sort itself out I’m sure. Now, is it too early to get some festive cheer?


I wish my brain would stop talking to me…

I love time management techniques, you may have heard me wax lyrical about them before – I can’t help it if I’m more interested in that than whether my eyebrows are perfect (although they are perfect as well)

Different people have slightly different ways of managing their time, I’ve spoken about the Pomodoro technique that I use before (see that blog here), but I was in a meeting with someone the other day that added an extra dimension to this that I found really interesting.

His time management technique was very similar- in that it used intense periods of focus on single objectives. However, it also accounted for the biggest de-railer of time management success… interruptions.

Now, you’d think this was obvious but I think I’m a bit harsh when I’m in Pom mode because I don’t let anything stop me- my phone is turned over or in another room, no one is allowed to talk to me (and I will tell people to go away) and I just crack on. However a) not everyone is quite as bloody minded as me and b) it’s not always realistic as the mind tends to throw in its’ own interruptions.

And this is where it got interesting, these interruptions are inevitable (the psychological reasons for these are even more so but I’m not going to go into those right now) so you need to learn how to deal with these without losing momentum and focus.

The discussed technique was to have a list of your ‘top interrupters’ (those people that interrupt you the most, including yourself) and every time an interruption happens or a thought pops into your head related to that person you note it down under their name, put it aside for later and then put it out of your head and get on with what you were doing.

This does follow through to a lot more formalised rules- such as only looking at your emails once a day in their allocated slot or only catching up with people at a prearranged time but I can’t be doing with that level of rigidity.

Therefore I’m going to take the ethos of it and use the interruption list as a way to unload my brain (bit like a secondary to do list) so I can keep focussing during Pom sessions… I think that’s the key to learning new ideas, taking what suits you and adapting it to your needs rather than picking up ideas wholesale. After all, if it ain’t entirely broke, why reinvent the wheel?