Five questions I just answered for a magazine about how to stop office life & information overload making you sick:
1. Why is it important not to ignore the underload syndrome? What are significant problems that can crop up if it’s left to carry on?
Distraction - you will always be distracted when having personal relationships - friends, family, lovers, children - and those relationships will suffer!
2. In your opinion, what are the key identifiers that would alert someone that they are suffering from it and need to take action?
People checking that you are actually listening to them when they are talking to you - because you are distracted!
3. How prevalent is it in your opinion?
Huge - huge!
4. It seems a monumental issue if you do have it - how do you start to tackle it?
Delete the 90% of email newsletters you don’t need anymore that clog up your inbox. That will feel like a huge waste of energy saved!
5. What are the most important steps to take in order to conquer the problem?
Make how you spend your time more important than how you spend your money!
Go and get a great coffee, or go for a ride and take the time to reflect on how you want to spend your time.
The only way to win the Russell Brand argument?
An open to letter to everyone who’s written an open letter this week…
The world is fucked – we all know that. The parents of the four children that die every single minute of malnutrition, while we throw away 2/3rds of our bagged up Tesco’s salad, certainly know that more than me.
I don’t have the one answer. Russell Brand certainly doesn’t have the answer. Do you have the answer?.
Could we therefore all agree that we all need to stop killing more time and wasting our energies simply telling each other that we are wrong?
It’s an argument you can’t win
Depressingly, I’ve seen all this at close hand for years. Non-stop disagreement resulting in zero action.
I was a Director at Comic Relief, I had more friends and acquaintances tell me what we were doing was wrong, than when I was just making as much money as possible running an agency selling more stuff to people that didn’t need it.
I’ve seen many charities waste employee time, energy and money because they can’t agree how to do what they all joined up to do. They just waste meeting after meeting telling each other they are wrong.
Is literally the reason the world is fucked because we can’t get others to agree with us about what to do about it?
So we do nothing?!
If you think I’m wrong, if you think Russell Brand is wrong, Comic Relief wrong, your friends wrong, Robert Webb wrong, Harry Deansway wrong, even Jeremy Paxman wrong, there seems no point wasting any more time telling them.
Its an argument you really wont win. Do you think you can get them to change their minds?
Can’t we instead, agree to disagree and spend our time getting on with doing what we think is right instead?
Is it more important for us to try and convince others they are wrong than to stop people dying, people in poverty, people raking in excess profits…?
Why not just go and do what you think is right? Why do you care if I think you are wrong?
Vote, run a marathon for charity, sell all your possessions, start a political party, have a cup of tea with your neighbours, sponsor a friend. Whatever it is, you can make a difference by doing whatever you think is right, it doesn’t matter if anyone else thinks your wrong.
Online, hidden behind the shared pictures of celebrities, cats, celebrities cats, selfies and ‘targeted messages’ are all the tools you will ever need to do whatever you think is right.
I might think you’re wrong, you might think what I do is wrong but by actually doing whatever you think is right – Just starting with one thing - whatever it is – now, even! - you are right. And if continue to write words instead of take action – then I am wrong.
It’s the only way everyone can win the argument.
We are hosting an event on 5th November, London 9-11am for anyone who would like to come and put their ideas into action
Blog Post: I Like Mondays
Chris is the “boss that works from coffee shops” (BBC). It results in him being more productive and creative and able to be a part-time CEO. Every single Monday he does something he’s always wanted to do
Cycling back in time…
This summer I cycled the whole Le Tour de France route for charity – 2,100 km in 21 days of cycling, being told where to be and when, where to eat and when - I loved it! But the thing that started to fill my mind – over the numerous hours of peddling and peddling was that I just wanted to get home and try cycling from London to Birmingham along the Grand Union Canal, with my very non-cycling wife and to be able to do it as slow as I wanted and to stop and eat, whenever I wanted – I couldn’t wait!
Turns out, Helen could wait… but after she ran out of excuses, we finally chose a Monday and set off. Once we reached the start of the Grand Union down by the beautiful Syon House, Helen would have already cycled further than she has done ever before!
I dropped the kids at school and met Helen at a nearby Gail’s Bakery where she was powering up with a strong coffee.
We reached the start and there was a signpost that pointed to Birmingham – only 139 miles away. Two weeks earlier on Le Tour I would have knocked that off by 4 o’clock that afternoon – I think this was going to take a bit longer.
The first miles along the Grand Union are like an unseen film-set of deserted boat yards, until it stretches out, taking the long way round the back of West London, towards the M25.
Our first stop was a lock cottage that had been turned into a brilliant traditional tearoom – 2 teas, 2 slices of thick white bread with tuna filling and we were off again.
The tow path is essentially flat but full of stones and little bumps that keep your bum bouncing up and down. The only time you really have to work hard though is alongside each lock as the canal rises out of London – and so does the towpath, keeping up..
Lunch stop was Rickmansworth and brilliant coffee and loads of cake at a Harris & Hoole coffee shop. Like most other cyclists, I have a sweet tooth - our main motivation to cycle is so we can eat more cake without feeling guilty – It’s one of the reasons Le Tour was so good!
We were well into the afternoon now and the canal went through the grounds of the 5-star celeb filled Grove Hotel. Helen wasn’t going to cycle through that without a stop! We left the canal and pushed up the steepest hill to the bar, on the cheapest bikes and smelling of countryside and hard work, to share the garden with their normal clientele, in their Porsches and £5,000 suits and dresses. Helen struggled, feeling out of place – I loved it! Two martinis, beers and endless bowls of (protein rich!) nuts and we headed back onto the canal for another few hours.
Now, getting a little dark and slightly the worse for wear we powered on. Helen went into her ‘survival mode’ – going silent – cycling as fast as she could.
We were aiming for the canal side, Three Horseshoes Pub at Winkwell – which thankfully at 8.30pm, appeared like an oasis of warmth, friendliness and craft beer, out of the pitch-black towpath. We devoured a great hearty meal, more beers and slept like two logs.
We had cycled only about 45 of the 139 miles so the next morning set a more realistic target of finishing at Aylesbury, at the end of an upcoming arm of the canal. We started the day slowly with an incredibly long breakfast / brunch / lunch in Winkwell and continued it, as we took about another 4 hours to cycle the 25 miles to the end…
Five minutes later we were on the train back into London and back on the canal towards home in time to have tea with the kids.
The canal is like a shadow under motorway bridges, behind town Centres and under miles and miles of glorious trees. It feels like stepping back to a time before roads and cars. We cycled passed so many moored boars where the owner would simply be ‘pottering away’ on the roof. A more innocent, simple time…
Was a great start to the week. I like Mondays
What’s next Monday?
Work ‘Out Of Office’, Go Part-time and Do-it-yourself:
Grand Union canal
The Grove Hotel
The Three Horseshoes
Chris is the author of ‘Out Of The Office: work where you like and achieve more’. http://workwhereyoulike.com
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