The negative effects of driving

The negative effects of driving with work and commuting.

When we spend a great deal of our time commuting or driving between appointments – do you consider the long term impact this can take on your general health and wellbeing. We may not be able to do much about our commute or the kind of job which we do which entails driving. However being aware we can be – and doing small things which may stop the negative effects this is likely to be having on our health and general wellbeing. Take a look at the tips below.

driving

by Euroffice.

 

Increase productivity with good time management

It maybe startlingly obvious but good time management is an essential ingredient to increasing productivity and profitability.

In an age when we are expected to process information at an ever-increasing rate it is easy to either bury yourself in admin, operate in fire fighting mode, or do everything just in the nick of time. Not great for stress levels or getting things right first time.

Good time management is just another thing to put on the To Do List – and so if we are not careful it gets binned!

Increase productivity with good time management

So when I was asked to work with a recently promoted employee and she described herself as an “as it happens” sort of person. I thought, what a great term.

Indeed an as it happens sort of person, I would describe as someone who takes things in their stride, is flexible adaptable and easy-going, which are all great qualities to possess.

However conversely it also indicative of someone who does not like to plan, organise and probably as a result, puts themselves under a huge amount of unnecessary stress and are often too busy for their own good. It certainly was in this particular case.

What was interesting about this particular client, who I will call Susan, was their underlying almost subconscious perception, (and I suspect many others of us share this) that planning and being very organised can be a little bit restrictive, small-minded and even obsessive.

Just because we do not have anyone telling us to plan, for example, in our home environment, we don’t spend time planning ahead, often to our detriment. The result is we end up rushing around like a headless chicken, packing too many things into too little time and then end up feeling overwhelmed.

With the lines between work and home becoming ever more blurred, forward planning can save a great deal of time a great deal of angst both in the workplace and in our home life.

When you do sit down and look at what is coming down the conveyor belt, you may feel guilty or inefficient because you have sacrificed time out of your busy schedule to plan, schedule and prioritise. However the outcome of time invested in this way is you will feel much more in control and that a weight has been lifted from your shoulders.

Even the act of making a “To Do List”, and taking the stuff that is whirling around in your brain and putting it on paper is a very powerful act. Susan never had enough time, had paperwork she could not find, lacked confidence and often felt under stress.

However bit by bit, we worked away at scheduling time in her diary for organisational planning in different parts of her life.

The outcomes were outstanding in many more ways than I certainly had anticipated. Susan found she had more time and felt less stressed. She was now using this time more effectively in many aspects of her life which we had not specifically focused on.

Susan now feels much more confident in her own ability. She has gained more friends, taken up a hobby and even lost weight.

And most important Susan now feels she is in charge of her life, not that her life is in charge of her.

I am sure that  these changes were not purely coincidental.

Susan still is an “as it happens sort of person”, but now her subconscious self, has recognised the old adage “fail to plan and you plan to fail.”

If you would like to find out more how we can help our business drop contact us or you might want to take a look at our Business Coaching page

Whatever we focus on gets bigger

If we are not careful whatever we focus on gets bigger and bigger and then becomes our own self fulfilling prophesy.

Now that is good if we are focusing on something good happening in our life, but scarily bad if all we can focus on is negative stuff that is worrying us.

If you are worrying about stuff, your mind is in worry mode which is very draining. And whether you believe in self-fulfilling prophesy’s exist or not – the chances are if you believe something is going to be difficult the chances are guess what, it will be.

Well you may argue it is difficult because it is a challenge. The truth is if we believe something is difficult, or even impossible, the likelihood we are going to think ourselves into it being even more difficult if not impossible to achieve, whether it is
or not.

There are many big examples through history of things being deemed impossible. Roger Bannister and the four-minute mile is a well documented example.

Everyone believed it was impossible for a human to run so fast. But once Roger Bannister had broken the record many people have run a mile in even less time.

On a more day-to-day basis, even the smallest problems, can be dismissed as too difficult and guess what we make our lives more challenging and limit ourselves by believing that is just the way things are.

One of the reasons for this is our brains shut down and do not seek solutions to whatever is limiting us. We also subconsciously collect information to confirm our beliefs.

A good example is when you have bought a new car, you suddenly start seeing “your car” wherever you go. It isn’t that there are suddenly more of your make and model of cars on the road. It is just that you have collected this information in your subconscious about “your car”.

So whether it is finding a car parking space, or having a great holiday, if we believe that is what is going to happen, chances are it probably will.

If your subconscious chatter is telling you that you are that everything is gloom and doom, chances are those thoughts will influence the direction your life takes and the decisions you make.

Try instead of focusing on the problems, to focus on solutions, the actions you can take and the good stuff you have in your life. This will help you feel more positive, become more creative and develop resilience.

Give yourself positive “can do” goals that focus on positive outcomes and be mindful that whatever you focus on gets bigger and better. And wouldn’t that be so good!

Review what you do well

Review what you do well.  Too often we stress and focus on our disasters and fail to actually sit back and think about things that we have done well.

Reviewing the things you have done well, does not necessarily mean big or important things in your life.  This review can take in anything and everything. Bad habits, dealing with difficult people or meetings.

By spending some time analysing the things that have gone well – and dissecting why and how that came about, we can learn a lot about ourselves.  We can also work out what works, and what motivates us.

Whether it is a technical challenge in the office that you were able to resolve, or dealing successfully with a client, there will have been a process.  It may have been quite accidental – but the process will still be there. And if you can work out what that process is and repeat and refine it as necessary, that information will be there to support you in the future when a challenging situation arises again.

So think about what you have done well or improved upon in the past year. How did that happen?  What steps accidental or planned did you take to make that happen.

Taking the example of the difficult client. What were the steps you took to resolve the situation?  How much time did you allow?  What mood were you in?  What steps did you take to try to prevent the same problem arising again. Do you continue taking these same steps going forward.

All these elements would have a part to play in your review of how it helped to create a good outcome. Recognising, analysing and remembering the things you have done well the next time things are not quite going according to plan will help you better deal with the current challenge that you are faced with.

Remember – always review what you have done well.

Why you should hire an apprentice

I was forwarded the following blog on why you should hire an apprentice. I do think that apprenticeships have been very under valued in the past few years. It would seem to make sense to take someone on and train them up to your companies specification. So here it is along with a break down of  the costs and the benefits of employing apprentices.

Why you should hire an apprentice
Why you should hire an apprentice by PowerTool World.

Someone in a mood with you

Most of us have been a victim of other people’s moods and have experienced negative behaviour from someone– and not been able to work out quite what we have done to upset them.

The thing is their negative moods may simply be an expression of their negative thoughts. And their negative thoughts maybe about something totally unrelated to us which they are acting out in their heads.

Of course maybe you have done something to upset them, and they are demonstrating this by being stand offish or sulky rather than by explaining their grievance.

But as we are not privy to their thoughts it’s not surprising that we are unable to understand what is going on and thank goodness their thoughts are actually none of our business. Dealing with our own thoughts are bad enough – let alone taking on board everyone else’s!

This then results in confusion and uncertainty, which then affects our thoughts and probably our own behaviour. We either get worried or cross about the way we perceive we are being treated, and so we end up having negative thoughts, which results in our own form of negative behaviour.

It is easy to see how this has a sort of domino effect. It becomes catching and everyone who comes into contact with this negative behaviour starts to feel fed up and miserable.

Negative behaviour is just like a highly infectious disease that travels from person to person and the scary thing is this may have all been prompted by a simple insignificant misunderstanding.

This kind of scenario can develop within the workplace, particularly when we are under pressure.

What Can We Do About Other Peoples Moods? 

Actually nothing.  What we can do is something about how we react to them.

Next time someone appears to be in bad mood for some unexplained reason which is troubling you, be extra especially nice to that person and act as if you have not noticed.

It maybe a little hard to do at first, but persevere.  Don’t be sarcastic, just happy and positive. Make it your own secret game if you like, but be sure to be authentic.

This will give you a double whammy. Firstly, if they are feeling down, due to some other issues which are going on in their lives, you will be showing you care about them and you are not adding to their woes. And secondly if their negativity is consciously directed at you, there will be nothing more irritating than you being extra nice.

Annoyingly for them, you are not reinforcing their thoughts about you, and they are not gaining the reaction perhaps they are hoping for.

Happy thoughts are also contagious.  Having happy positive thoughts, make us feel happy and contented. And as these “feel good moods” are equally as infectious as negative thoughts, they can have a really positive effect on others around us as well as ourselves.

Being consciously aware of our own thoughts and how they can influence our behaviour and those around us, has got to be one really good way of being much happier, content and more in control, whatever is going on in our lives.

Let’s face it, we may not be able to control everything that  happens to us but we but we do have the choice of controlling how we deal with it.

Remember the business rule “little and often”

A while back a colleague said to me, “I like to do things little and often – that way they don’t take over my life and I stay on top of stuff.”

Whether it is in the office or at home most things in life if you do them little and often will manage themselves.  Now although this may seem obvious – how many of us are guilty of leaving things just that little bit too long  which results in us spending unnecessary time trying to sort stuff out which instead of taking a few minutes, now is likely to take a few hours.

Think about it.  If you do stuff little and often stuff – whatever that stuff is, it never gets to the point where you can not find anything, or more likely, that you can not find the particular thing that you desperately need to find.  A good example is expenses. If you do these weekly it is far less onerous and stressful experience than leaving it for three months where you are likely to have to trawl back through your diary and work out where you were and what you were doing as well as tracking down the correct receipt.

The thing is – that most of the “stuff” we put to one side and don’t do as often as we should is because it is boring, not urgent at the moment or we just don’t enjoy doing it.  All of these are also valid reasons for actually doing this “stuff” more often.

This does not just apply to expenses any number of projects. If you keep things up to date little and often “stuff” will run better, become more effective, accurate and actually end up probably taking less time.  And you can almost guarantee that the things you have not kept up to date with will suddenly become of critical urgency at the very same time as something else which is even more important.

So the “little and often rule”, is a good mantra when your time is short.  It helps you prioritise the things which are not urgent yet, but will need a little attention soon.

So remember the rule “little and often.”

Vintners’ Hall hopes to exceed charity money raised last year in 2016

Vintners’ Hall hopes to exceed the £360,000 it raised for charities last year by continuing its mission of supporting fundraising for worthy causes in 2016.

The Vintners’ Company, regarded as the spiritual home of the UK wine trade, will host a number of major events at the prestigious venue throughout the year that will once again allow charities to maximise the amount of money they raise.

Located in the centre of the city, Vintners’ Hall has proved a major success with charities that have enjoyed memorable evenings in the historic surroundings, assisted by experienced staff who fully appreciate and back the fundraisers objectives.

The hall, which seats 120 people and is part of Searcys’ Collection of Venues, supports some major charities by generously providing them free use for events, while many others benefit from discounted rates.

“As a venue we understand the importance of supporting charities and maximising the value of hosting their events here,” said Steve Marcham, General Manager at Vintners’ Hall.

“The aim is to support ten of these events throughout the year and it is something we have done successfully in the past with well known charities such as Marie Curie and Alzheimer’s Research UK.

“ Vintners’ Hall is a thought provoking and stimulating environment with acres of history – it’s a fantastic venue in which to raise money for worthy causes. We helped raise around £360,000 last year for charities and hope to exceed that in 2016.”

One of Vintners’ Hall’s most successful charity events in the past has been Marie Curie’s ‘Great Wine Dinner and Auction’. The last of these events took place back in October 2015 and helped to raise more than £100,000 for the charity that provides care and support through terminal illnesses.

A specialist menu was created for the event by Searcys to compliment the wine and, following its success, the event will once again take place at Vintners Hall on Tuesday 4th October 2016. It will be the third time the event will be held at Vintners Hall.

“Our event at Vintners’ Hall last October was a great success and we expect another memorable evening later this year, “ said Susan Boissier, Special Events Manager at Marie Curie.

“Clearly it is important for us to not only create an excellent event for our guests, but to raise as much money as we can for the charity through tickets, auction prizes and generous pledges. We are delighted that Vintners’ Hall is willing to support us by providing the event space without charge, and this is a key element in the fundraising success of this event.”

Other charities benefiting from Vintners Hall’s support in 2016 will include NRAS, Orchestra Of Age Of Enlightenment and Help 2 Read.