Time to get away – Book a mini-break

This week is almost over and I’m exhausted. Seeing the winter decoration being put up at my hairdresser’s this week, it hit me. We’re now entering the crazy last few weeks of the year. At work, people are trying to reach their annual targets. Students are slowly but surely preparing for end of term exams. Across the world, folks are getting ready for the advent season and ultimately Christmas.

These activities, plus our normal daily activities, can leave us drained and shattered. How fantastic is it that we’re getting a long weekend! 2 and 3 December will be given off to employees in the private industry and we can enjoy a mini-break from Wednesday till Sunday. What are you going to do with these extra days off?

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Goal setting – 8 more weeks till 2016

DP World 2014Looking at the calendar, there are only 8 more weeks left in this year and it’s scary how many weekends are already blocked for various fun activities. Next weekend, one of my oldest friends is flying in from London and I can’t wait to spend time with her in person. Later this month, I’m thrilled to marshal at the DP World Tour Championship and there’s also a trip to Hong Kong booked.

As you know from previous posts, time is precious and I appreciate my “me time”. Simultaneously, I enjoy being active and I’ve started a list of things for the remainder of this year. Amongst them are these 3 activities:

  1. Visit the falcon hospital in Abu Dhabi
  2. Prepare for an 8k in mid-December
  3. Become PMI qualified by 31 December

Have you set any goals for the next 8 weeks?

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Survey – What do YOU need?

It’s almost the weekend and like many of you, I can’t for it to start. This week has been rather packed for me.

One of my work projects is due on 15 December. It’s picking up pace and often, calls are scheduled for the evening to accommodate the different time zones. Friends also invited me out for 2 dinners. I love spending time with them, learning about what’s going on in their lives and eating some delicious foods.

While there’s been a balance between work and pleasure this week, over the next 2 days, I’ll need some “me time”. In the past, I’ve often overcommitted myself, thinking I can juggle all these different activities. Being disciplined and structured, I will make the time for them, however, it comes at a price.

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Thanksgiving – Great time to enjoy time with friends and family

Halloween is hardly over and it’s already time to get ready for the next holiday. Thanksgiving! I love turkey and stuffing and for me, it’s always been a great day visiting friends and family in the US. One year, driving to Lawrence, KS and spending the holiday with my friends from school, it was actually so warm (21 C/70 F) that it didn’t feel like a cool autumn day. The walk after a huge meal was fantastic and it was such a relaxing weekend. I’m still looking back at it with fond memories.

Often, holidays like Thanksgiving can become a nightmare for the host. There’s so much to prepare and cooking a turkey takes for ever. To not get frazzled by it all, you can follow these 11 easy steps for a relaxed Thanksgiving party:

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Working from home

The other night, my colleague and I were talking about flexible working options and how to make it work for him. My boss sits in the UK and can’t watch over my shoulder for every task. He needs to trust me and my actions have shown that he can. Knowing how I’m working, he granted me a compressed working week and I can only say: “It’s brilliant!” Instead of working 8 hours over 5 days, it’s 10 hours over 4 days, giving me a 3 day weekend.

Now let’s focus on my colleague again. He’s interested in alternative ways of working. As he often has to attend telcons at 5:00 and 6:00 am, his days starts extremely early. After all, he’s in the office for these calls. We brainstormed how working from home can be beneficial for him and possibly also for you. Working from home! On days when calls are starting at 5:00 am, he could work from his house.

How can working from home work for you:

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Beat procrastination

Last week, my friend and study partner found out how terribly lazy and what a master procrastinator I can be. You’ve probably heard of writer’s block? I was stuck with a “study block”. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t focus and instead could see any other project needing immediate attention. I could see what I was doing and even wrote down a few notes as time passed.

2:02 pm: started reviewing… Felt hungry, looking for something to snack on… I didn’t really like these vegetable crisps, it’s been too long since I’ve eaten them last time…
… One more look at the news. There was a prominent event that influenced Dubai that day….
… Just 2 more games of Mah-jong. I lost the first one, so I had to play the second one…
2:39 pm: got a bit done… Time to look at the telly again and to take a break with a cup of tea. My tea is already cold and the smell of the chips is annoying me. Better put the bag in the bin. Oh, it’s getting really interesting on the TV now…
2:43 pm: only 4 minutes lost, not feeling too bad about it. Better continue…
…No, just one more game…
3:21 pm: finally working on my review again. Yeah!
3:31 pm: That’s done. Now let’s start the questions. Maybe I can play one quick game of Mah-jong….

Something that should have taken me about 20 minutes took 1 ½ hours. That’s 4.5 times the original time!! To beat procrastination and to gain your time back, try these tips:

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