Are you benefiting from a routine?

Anybody with children knows how important a routine is for them. Ignore their nap time and you’ll have a grouchy kid for the rest of the day. In the past, routines were ridiculed as taking the spontaneity or creativity out of something. These days, more and more people are recognising the benefits of routines.

The benefits have been widely described as:

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Business travel – Enjoyable or pain?

OLAM SeychellesIn a previous role, I travelled long distance every 2 weeks and was very excited at my business travel at first. Isn’t this what everybody wanted? Seeing the world while working? Colleagues warned me that it’s physically and mentally exhausting. How can a trip to the Seychelles be tiring? Very as I quickly found out myself. Learning a lot about the different countries and cultures, I also became extremely efficient in packing. 15 minutes for a full suitcase! From choosing the outfit till closing the suitcase. How can you get ready for your business trip in no time?

Before you start packing, do these 5 things first:

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How to create a capsule wardrobe

Do you ever stand in front of your wardrobe and there’s nothing, absolutely nothing to wear? I noticed a while ago that I was wearing only 20% of my clothes pretty much all the time. My closet was full of clothes, except they didn’t work for me. So I’ve changed. I said good bye to those pieces I’d never wear (and probably never wore to begin with) and focused on a few, essential but absolutely lovable items. It was the start to a capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe is based on a few pieces which you can combine with every other piece and create, let’s say 30 different outfit. The beauty is that you can have a capsule wardrobe for your office, for your evenings/going out or just leisurely for the weekend. It saves yourself space in your wardrobe. (I can hear you thinking about ways to filling up this space…) A capsule wardrobe moreover reduces the pain choosing an outfit. You’ll know what will go together and can quickly put one together. Finally, you don’t need to buy all new pieces. You can evaluate what’s in your wardrobe and then, slowly but surely, expand. Your budget will be thankful.

How do you start creating a capsule wardrobe?

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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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Recharge your batteries

At the end of the week, I often feel deflated and can’t wait to recharge my batteries over the weekend. Work can be very stressful and I’ve recognised the need to relax to avoid burnout. For me, this means spending time with my loved ones, going out and having fun with my friends and, despite the heat, golf or some other physical activity.

How do you boost your energy levels? If you don’t know which method is suitable for you, take this test from Psychologies UK. Here are 5 suggestions for everyone to take a break and regain your strength:

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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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Is your stuff bringing you down? The cost of clutter

Last week, I was helping a client transform her spare room filled with moving boxes into an arts and crafts haven.

Until then, walking by the room was dreadful for my client. “Where do I start?” was a big question and it was just easier to keep the door shut. Yet, she could feel the impact the room had on her, even with its door closed. It brought her down. You should have seen the smiles on her face at the end of our session. Her spirits are high and she’s now all set to start her first sewing project.

How is your stuff bringing you down? What are you paying while living with clutter?

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