What makes you happy?

It's the International Day of Happiness - so how happy are you and what makes you happy.

The sun has come out - that makes me happy.

  • A lovely bunch of flowers - freshly delivered or picked from the garden - that makes me happy.
  • Chocolate (good quality) - that always makes me happy.
  • Watching the birds in my garden - that makes me happy.
  • Listening to my favourite music or an upbeat song - that makes me happy.
  • Children and babies - they make me laugh and smile with their wonder at the world.

There's more of what makes me happy on my Facebook Page.

Whatever you do in life - be happy! :)

I'm working late are you?

Occasionally I receive an email sent either very early in the morning or late at night (nothing to do with different timezones).

What does this say about the person's working patterns or workload?

In many organisations, there's an expectation that if other people are working late, then perhaps I should be too.  These people are quite likely to expect a response or will make a call outside 'normal working hours'.

It's great to have the flexibility of working at a time that suits you.  However, if you're spending a lot of time working late or having to get up early to either get ahead, catch-up or clear a backlog, this will impact your productivity and stress levels.

The pressure of today's economy means more and more people are working later and later in to the evening and over the weekend.  If you work late or you see your boss working late, an expectation is set with your team.  You extend the working day way beyond normal office hours and can end up exchanging emails and even phone calls with colleagues at silly o'clock.

If you want to work flexibly - that's one thing but respect other people's time and don't expect them to be keeping the same hours as you.  Even if you're the boss - lead by example.

Keep your work and communication with others to 'office hours'.

What can you do to redress the boundaries and avoid burning the candle at both ends?

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bad habit: cancelling meetings at short notice

English: HCCH 4F Meeting Room
I recently had a meeting cancelled on me at short notice. Usually this isn't a problem but unfortunately I was already on my way travelling up to London, so only found out when I got there after a two and a half hour journey. 

Two attendees had phoned at very short notice (two hours before the meeting was due to start) making our objective for all of us to meet face to face for the first meeting of the year fairly redundant.

Another person was in a similar position having also travelled in to London. 

There will always be unexpected or unplanned events or reasons for short notice cancellation - sickness, family, accidents, unavoidable traffic or travel delays.

When you agree to attend a meeting you're committing your time and the time of others.  You set an expectation that you will be there.  Respect other people's time.

If you have to cancel - give plenty of notice.  Just because you don't have far to travel, isn’t always the case for everyone.

Don't commit to a meeting you know you won't be able to make.  Too many times people say 'yes' and agree to a meeting without really thinking it through.  Only realising too late that they have another meeting immediately before or after, they have other commitments at that time, they're working on a project so won't be able to attend. 

If something else comes up - say you're already committed.

Look ahead. If you thought you'd be able to make it when the meeting was first booked but then realise that you have other commitments or other priorities come up - rearrange ... in good time.

If your disorganisation, lack of planning or overcommitment means you can't make the meeting - make sure it doesn't happen again.

How would you feel if you turned up for a meeting and found it had been cancelled but no one had let you know?

On the plus side - I was able to write a couple of articles and respond to a few emails on the train journey there and back. 

If you'd like to address some of your time habits - take a look at the 90-Day Habit Mastery Programme.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)