“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think”Edwin Schlossberg.

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I use lists because that’s how I seem to work best. I like crossing stuff off which means things on the list are getting done. I think I have a good memory however when I’m a bit stressed my list management becomes less effective. The signal this is happening is when I recall something needs doing but can’t remember what it is, and so it won’t be on the list.

Sometimes I get up at stupid o’clock, do some email catch up and then head into the office, clearer head and inbox!) Sometimes I leave work early, go to the gym or just cook tea and then work for a bit after.

Expanding the start and finish times of my working day and introducing more breaks in between for exercise and catching up increases my thinking time and quality of work. I’ve also found that a healthy body really does mean healthier mind and a more relaxed me.

Flexible working is now part of my work package. I make sure I have time for colleagues and ensure things get done and expectations are managed.

When I’m getting my thinking time it creates potential to be more effective; to accommodate managing both the work list and family life.

There’s a blog post by Carolyne Mitchell (@cal444) called I can fly again, she cites Alan Brodie who suggested – the quality of our thinking affects the quality of our performance.

Having and making time to read and meet people to catch up, chat things through, share how we are feeling, how things are going well, how they could be better, is all part of the game.

And actually, we can’t think properly unless we feel at ease in that thinking time. We shouldn’t apologise for catching up over coffee in what is perceived work time; it is actually work.

So put some balance in your life. Don’t let the scales always tip one way. Give yourself time and create space to be organised, more relaxed and creative.

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