Do you complain when you get bad service?

I seem to be on a bit of a roll with talking about manners this week.

So when I read this article on The Atlantic I thought I’d share…

A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research looked at the difference between how men and women complain and found that men will talk to ANYONE about their experience whilst women tended to keep their complaints to close friends and family.  It’s suggested that men tell anyone who will listen because they just want to let off steam whilst women want to protect those close to them and save them from having the same troubles. (more…)

What are your bad manners costing you?

One of my major pet hates is rudeness. I cannot stand rudeness in any form. Which is why I LOVE this story about a cafe in the South of France that is charging extra for customers who forget their manners when ordering coffee.

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A coffee” will set you back €7, according to the sign, while “a coffee please” is a little more affordable, at €4.25.

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Tools I recommend: Vonage

When I was offered a trial unit from Vonage, I jumped at the chance. I’m in the thick of it with my Health Coaching Course now which means coaching calls, so I needed something a little more stable than Skype or google+.

It’s not the first time I’ve used Vonage either, when I ran my PR firm I used it as my main phone line but it was relatively new back then so I was keen to see how times have changed.

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So what is Vonage? 

Vonage is a phone service that runs over your broadband connection – in other words is a voip (voice over IP).

If you’re a freelancer or small business who communicates with clients over the phone then Vonage is an invaluable resource. You have your own phone number (you can chose any area code you like too – so if you’re in Birmingham and want a London presence then you can chose a 0203 number) and the device simply plugs in to your broadband router. You can also chose a call plan that includes international minutes so if you’re reaching out to clients across the globe then you’re not going to be receiving any high phone bills.

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This week I’m going to try the Pomodoro Technique

I’m always looking for ways to become more productive. I’ve already started filling up time that I would normally waste doing mini tasks (for example if I’m waiting for the kettle to boil I’ll wash a few dishes or answer a few emails) so I’m interested in anything that will help me do more in less time.

So this week I’m going to give the Pomodoro Technique a whirl.

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The main basis of the Pomodoro technique is essentially time boxing. It’s a technique that was developed in the 90’s by Francesco Cirillo and is so simple.

You simply pick a task, set a timer for 25 minutes and get stuck in. You HAVE to remember to stop when that timer goes, regardless of where you are in the task, you HAVE TO STOP.

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Courgette Noodles with Pistachio Lime Pesto

There is nothing easier than making pesto. You simply gather all the ingredients together, bung them in the food processor and whizz – then you’re done. It’s a great staple to have the in fridge, especially if you’re prone to coming in from work and can’t be bothered cooking anything special but still want a healthy (and tasty) dinner.

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I stumbled across this pistachio lime pesto recipe in this months Sainsbury Magazine and I had to try it. I’ve adapted it to suit my own tastes (I like my pesto really garlicky and I LOVE lime) so here is my version…

Pistachio lime pesto recipe

You will need (more…)

Are you a scanner? And how to cope if you are.

So here’s a question for you, have you heard of the term “scanner” when it comes to describing someone’s personality?

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No? But I’m sure that you’ve heard the variants such as multi-passionate and multi-potential which have become somewhat buzz words of late.

But the term scanner was coined by Barbara Sher who describes this personality type as:

“People who love to read and write, to fix and invent things, to design projects and businesses, to cook and sing, and to create the perfect dinner party. (You’ll notice I didn’t use the word “or,” because Scanners don’t love to do one thing or the other; they love them all.)” 

Well, this is me down to a tee. I’m constantly digging, scheming and dreaming. I’ve known about this term for quite a while and you know what? I’ve learned to embraced it.

And I’m not alone!

I’ve had quite a few careers jobs in my young(isn) life (call centre agent, sales, talent agent, event planner, public relations, small business owner, journalist etc) AND alongside a vast range of interests and willingness to try new things has meant that I’ve often been branded unfocussed and scatty…

But as the New York based author says: “A scanner is GENETICALLY wired to be fanatically interested in multiple things at once.”

You hear that? It’s genetically wired.

But scanners have a major problem. We become bored and go off on tangents and we think it’s bad that we keep quitting things and moving on. Something which Sher thinks we should stop feeling bad about and instead start having fun with. We also tend to doubt ourselves because we fail to decide on just one career path which then leads to worrying that we could be getting it wrong which then leads to the frantic need to focus.

But before you start thinking that procrastination habit is OK, not everyone is a scanner. There are people who jump from idea to idea that do so because they actually can’t make up their mind about what they want to do or have other reasons for doing so. (more…)

Saying No To Freelance Work

From Coping to Thriving is a six-week journey that will teach you how to turn your coping strategies into self-caring behaviours, leaving behind struggle and learning to thrive. This post is part of the Thriving Blog Tour, which is spreading self-kindness to the masses. To learn more and join us, click here.

How I changed my habit of saying YES to every job and why I’m happier for it. 

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One of the worse things about being a freelancer is undoubtedly feeling as though you HAVE to take on work.  There’s something about saying no to freelance work (especially when you’re not sure where your next paycheque is coming from) that can leave even the most hardened freelancer feeling uneasy.  But using the default response of, “Sure, I’ll get that to you by tomorrow,” leads to long-term negative consequences not just for the clients but for yourself.

I find that taking on too much work can lead to feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, guilty, frustrated, and resentful which, as with too much of anything eventually starts to take its toll.   (more…)

Snacks of Great Scribbers

I know I’m not alone in my nosiness when it comes to other people’s routines. Especially with what people eat.

So I had to share these great illustrations by Wendy Macnaughton who did a piece for The New York Times on what fuel writers have relied on whilst working.

Walt Whitman began the day with oysters and meat, while Gustave Flaubert started off with what passed for a light breakfast in his day: eggs, vegetables, cheese or fruit, and a cup of cold chocolate. The novelist Vendela Vida told me she swears by pistachios, and Mark Kurlansky, the author of “Salt” and “Cod,” likes to write under the influence of espresso, “as black as possible.” For some writers, less is more. Lord Byron, a pioneer in fad diets as well as poetry, sipped vinegar to keep his weight down. Julia Scheeres, the author of the memoir “Jesus Land,” aims for more temporary deprivation. “When in the thick of writing I minimize food intake as much as possible,” she told me. “I find I work better when I’m a little starved.”

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I don’t really snack whilst I work, if I do it’s probably roasted and salted almonds and I do drink a LOT of tea – how about you, do you need something to nibble on or drink whilst you work?

Eat Anything You Want…

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So I stumbled across this brilliant video narrated by food journalist Michael Pollan. In his book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual he offers 64 simple rules that can set us up for better health.

One of those rules is “Eat anything you want, just cook it yourself.”

I really love the way that this video is illustrated. We’re told countless times to stop eating processed food etc but the way this is illustrated just *makes sense*. Food cooked by a human being = good, food cooked in a factory = bad. 


Your thoughts?

5 handy food & drink tips…

I like anything that makes my life easier (better). Check out these five simple tips that will most definitely make life better…

Make champagne (or cava) extra fizzy…

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I know it’s a real oxymoron to say “left over champagne” (who has that right?) but this is such a great little tip if you’ve a bottle that’s going flat. To bring the bubbles back, drop a raisin into the bottle. Any carbon dioxide that’s left in the wine will stick to the raisin’s ridges and release as tiny bubbles.

Like Pineapple? (more…)

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