Help! My email is taking over my life!

‘As soon as I clear my inbox, a new batch arrives – consequently I spend my time
reacting to every new message but not being proactive’.

Does this sound familiar? Our lives are circumscribed around the Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Android, or any device where one can get online: consequently we spend our waking hours reading, replying, copying and deleting. Is any real work ever done and
is this plethora of email really necessary?

However, email is here to stay: so here are my 5 top tips to help you manage it.

1.Bin it!
Utilise your inbox for actions that you need to take: then get rid of the rest. Old
emails just take up space.

2.Get sorted!
After actioning your emails, put them in named folders for quick access. Tidy email folders are a lot easier to handle when you open your in-box.

3.Flag it!
Flag important emails so you can see at a glance exactly what needs to be tackled
immediately.

4.Go off-line!
When you’re trying to concentrate, go off-line. Curiosity may well get the better of
you if you can still hear that ‘ping’ telling you an email has arrived – and
then it is hard to remember what you were doing before it arrived!

5.Less is more!
Keep your emails short and to the point. The less you write, the more likely you’ll get a reply. Write in bullet points and the chances are your answer will be in the same format. However, if you’re just after a chat, then use the phone!

Email is a phenomenal tool for efficient communication. It can take us
from one side of the world to the other in an instant but it needs to be
managed effectively. So, enjoy being in control of your inbox rather than your in-box being in control of you!

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Do you learn from your mistakes?

We never set out intentionally to make a mistake but it does happen and, in many ways, there is no better way to succeed in business than to learn from errors. Wise people admit their mistakes readily for they know that progress accelerates when they do. They also know how to learn from the mistakes of others in the same way as they learn from their own.

It is never easy to admit you’ve made an error and sometimes they can have far reaching repercussions. However, they are all part of our learning, growing and improving and are an essential part of our journey through life.

I remember saying this to my children when they were growing up. ‘Just admit you have made a mistake and then we can all move on’. And then of course, they would say ‘but if I admit I did something wrong, then you will tell me off! – so that is where the learning and teaching takes place. Not an easy one for a child but nevertheless a very important lesson for all children to learn. Continue reading

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Find Out How to Reduce Stress by Positive Self-talk

Is your glass half-empty or half-full? When events go wrong in your life, do you automatically go into ‘victim mode’ – saying “How typical that bad things always happen to me!”

Or are you one of those people who can see things from different perspectives and then move on. When events do inevitably go wrong in your life, do you assess why it happened and take the positive learning that comes out of it?

Do you see yourself as a positive or a negative person? Many people actually don’t recognise when they are being negative as it just becomes a way of life to them. They are negative in themselves and they are also negative towards others. They know how to criticise but they never know how to compliment. Continue reading

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Work Stress? How to get that job promotion

Are you stuck in your current position, or job, with little opportunity for advancement? Are you fed-up waiting to move further up the career ladder?

If you can answer ‘Yes’ to either of these questions, then maybe it is time for you to re-evaluate your career prospects.

The type of company you work for can often determine the potential for your later promotion. Initially, when applying for any job, you should always seek out companies where there are clear opportunities for advancement. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a large organisation but it shouldn’t be a company with no prospects.

Obviously, you will need to convince your present employer that you are ready to take on greater responsibilities and your boss needs to see the added-value that you could bring to a higher position. That added-value could be experience, expertise, communication or other specific skills, a natural ability, enthusiasm, commitment or vision. Whatever you bring needs to make you stand out from the crowd and, with the inevitable competition, it is essential that you are able to do that.

This challenge requires careful planning and I suggest that you start thinking of yourself as a ‘product’. What is it about yourself that makes you ‘special’? What are the specific qualities that you can offer the company that would be to its benefit? Every organisation profits from the commitment and ability of its individual employees and it needs to exploit all the talent at its disposal. Is your talent being fully exploited? If not, then you need to make your boss, or departmental head, aware that you are able and qualified to take on additional responsibilities at a higher salary. It is your responsibility to ensure that your ambition and willingness to improve your status is known and recognised.

You need to make yourself indispensible to your department and willing to go that extra mile to show that you want the business to grow and you want to be part of that growth.

So let’s look at some tips to help you on your way:

Choose your timing
Make sure it is the right time to start this conversation. Don’t start it when your boss is frantically busy or stressed out!

Be Marketable
Managers are busy people but they value ideas and creativity and someone who will think ‘outside of the box’. They appreciate an individual who is self-motivated and willing to volunteer for work opportunities that may arise but are outside of their normal job description. It may be useful to assist in the workload of someone in a senior role to yourself in order to demonstrate that you are capable of a similar position, if available. Continue reading

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WORK is the biggest cause of stress!

I was interested to read the other day that research carried out by Mind – the UK Mental Health charity found that one in three people say their work life was either very, or quite,
stressful, more so than debt or financial problems or even health.

The survey of over 2,000 people found that workplace stress has resulted in 7% [rising to 10% among 18 – 24 year old] having suicidal thoughts and 18% [one in five people ], developing anxiety.

After these results reached the press, I was contacted by LBC Radio London and asked to comment on the research.

  1. Why were the figures so high?  Was I surprised?
  2. Are there greater pressures in today’s working world
    than there were years ago? 
  3. Are managers doing enough to help their employees?’

So I thought we would have a quick look at some my responses, today. Continue reading

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Why sitting all-day, could be killing you says Motivational Speaker Carole Spiers

When you read this blog, you will probably be sitting in an armchair or, possibly, at your desk. In that case, you won’t be standing-up and walking around and the consequences are that you might be taking years off your life, just by sitting!

There is also the possibility that you are increasing your risk of
developing heart disease, blood clots on the brain and even certain types of
cancer, just by being sedentary. This is all rather scary bearing in mind how much sitting most of us do per day.

Recent evidence suggests that being seated for much of the day can also increase your
risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, standing-up daily for an extra 90 minutes, plus regular exercise, may actually lower your chances of developing this serious metabolic disorder. The incidence of diabetes is increasing dramatically in many areas of the developed world including America, Europe and the Middle East including the UAE and the prevention, plus better cardiac health, are both possible by adopting
some healthy lifestyle habits. Continue reading

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