Digital Detox – Are you glued to your phone?

Digital detox for beginners

When was the last time you and your phone were separated? Let’s say for an hour. You two in two different rooms. Remember that? No? Neither do I and it’s scary. My phone and I aren’t glued together but… It’s time for a planned, digital detox!

It all started last year when I went on a holiday and international roaming wasn’t working. It was an absolute shock – it happened on my work phone and I was supposed to give a presentation. Little did I know then that international roaming hadn’t been set up by the company. If I had, trust me, relaxation would have kicked in a lot sooner. The first few days were like cold turkey. Luckily, my personal phone was still working and I had my connection to back home. At the end of the week, I realised something had to change. I didn’t want to be so dependent on phone, tablet, laptop, you name it.

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Stop the flood of emails

Don’t be controlled by your emails!

Over the last two weeks, I had a number of clients and readers asking me a VIQ, a very important question: how do you stop the email madness? They’re bombarded with emails and their inbox is taking on a life of its own. One of my clients was happy to share her story of how we got her to become the master of her emails, rather than email dedicating her life.

Let me introduce you to Amanda*. She is leading a service team based over 3 different continents and due to the time zones, the team has to operate via email as one communication channel. Very often, the team copied Amanda into the email as an FYI. With over 12,000 emails just in the inbox, more in the subfolders, there was a lot of information sitting around – often doing nothing.

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How to have more time this weekend

Time seems to fly in Dubai. How can it be that we’re almost in April while we just celebrated New Year’s Eve? They say time flies if you’re having fun. Generally, that seems to be true and like you, I don’t want to stop having a good time. And yet, I know that we can’t always have fun and live carelessly in the day. Often, the weekend is filled with errands, boring tasks which were ignored during the week and some fun activities. How can you make your time work for you and enjoy your weekends even more?

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Stay cool in times of stress

Last week, a member of the project team had a crisis. Everything was becoming too much for and she had to step out to regain her cool. It’s an all too common situation for a lot of teams and individuals these days. Deadlines are shorter, workloads are increasing and with smart phones, we’re constantly connected. Recharging our batteries becomes more challenging.

Here are 15 top tips to stay cool when you’re experiencing stress:

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How to have an organised home office

Keeping the home office organised is a very common struggle for many of my readers. One of my clients and I spent a very productive decluttering session, purging, sorting and organising her papers and files. It was so rewarding seeing her achieve peace of mind by knowing where everything is now stored and according to her preferences.

I want to help you to be as productive as you can be in your home office and compiled some top tips for you:

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Get on top of your emails

Another week has started and for those based in the Middle East, it’s already the second day of the working week. Yeah! The weekend is so close. I love it. What I don’t love, though, is coming back to work after the weekend and seeing my inbox filled with emails. How did this happen? Last week, I managed – drum roll, please – to reduce my inbox to a mere 49 emails. With my American and European team still working on Friday, emails were fired out and I’m back in the hundreds. Does this also happen to you?

Here are 8 tips to get on top of you emails again:

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Time savers = Life savers?

Do you ever have the feeling that time just flies by? This happened to me this last weekend. It was a fun packed one. An organising job, meeting my friends, playing a decent round of golf and finally having purchased new bedroom curtains. Luckily, I didn’t have to do any of the boring or time consuming activities. I’m very grateful for having found some time saving shortcuts, making my life a lot easier. Here are some of my favourite time savers = life savers:

  • Automate your bills and savings. Set up a direct debit or standing order and have your mortgage/rent, utility, TV and phone bills paid directly. While you’re at it, create a regular transfer on pay day and put however much you can afford to into a savings account.

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Who’s in charge? You or your emails?

Over the years, I’ve appreciated the summer months at work. There are generally more public holidays and colleagues are using this time to go on leave for a few weeks. The number of emails and meetings drop and I can catch up on low priority projects as well as prepare for upcoming ones. It’s brilliant! With some companies also working a compressed summer schedule, it’s ideal to be more productive. However, this year, summer hasn’t slowed down.

Last Wednesday, about 70 emails waited for me in the morning. Now, you may say that’s nothing. Agreed, it’s all relative. For me, it’s over 2x the number of emails I normally receive overnight and every email requires an action. Sometimes it’s simply filing the email (I love these). For the majority, it’s replying with more specific information (these take time). The consultancy McKinsey discovered that we spend 28% of our time managing work emails. That’s almost 1 ½ days each week!

How can you control the time spent on email? Here are my top 15 tips for getting back in charge over your emails:

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The Home Office – Are you still cleaning or already getting things done?

Today was a great day. Starting with a walk around the lake, I’ve attended a very informative seminar about medical benefits in the GCC. The best was finishing my work day from home.

To me, working from home has many advantages: Less interruptions and less distractions, a lot more focus and productivity! Given my various deadlines (who doesn’t have them), it was just what was needed and I was so pleased to close a number of activities off.

To some, working from home is a very different story. The laundry basket is calling your name, you haven’t seen your neighbour for a while, why not catch up and oh, you haven’t decided what to cook for dinner yet. What can you do to treat your home office just like your regular office?

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Work smarter, be more productive

Organised Life and Mind

Organised Life and Mind

168 hours! That’s how much time each of us have per week. The majority of these 168 hours will be spent in bed, hopefully being sound asleep. The second biggest chunk is being taken up by our work. Being in the Middle East, we often face working outside of our normal working hours.  Who doesn’t work with colleagues in Western countries which are 2, 3 or even 8 hours behind our time zone and which have the Monday – Friday working week instead of our Sunday – Thursday working week?

Just like you, I don’t want to spend day and night working. There are too many great things in Dubai (and in life) which I like to experience. Over the years, I’ve been experimenting with different approaches to become more efficient. Here are some tips to help you work smarter and enjoy life more:

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