Tag: time

Stop Listening To Your Notifications! Productivity Tip 1

How do you manage your time?
Are you living by the reminders on your phone?

Stop this now! Stop Listening to your notifications.

As a series that I published a while back on Linkedin, I wanted to repeat this on my blog to make you aware of the top productivity tips I find fit for our day and age.

One of my key productivity tips is to turn off any notifications and alerts on your desktop, phone or tablet.

Start being in charge of your time and be in control of who you answer to. And when. You must be in control of what’s happening with your most valuable asset: your time. It’s not necessarily about how you manage your time, but how you preserve your time for what’s important in the now.

Watch my productivity tip number 1.

If you are interested in more tips around productivity, head over to my playlist on YouTube.

You can also check out my personal development course which helps you to align your inner values to your goals and purpose in life.

This is return leads to more success and productivity.

Mobile: +44 (0) 7814 467 965

Sunday Column (466)

We are expecting the coldest night this year…or by time of reading, we would have had it. Nice, finally winter, and again from tomorrow it should get warmer. Is that global warming? Is that the beginning of the end? Anyway, the cold days are lovely, particularly if you have time to spend it with the family in front of a fire, after attending the annual ‘Light Up Hassocks’, the annual pre Christmas fair.

Some of you have noticed my more spiritual approach to things, my motivational quotes on Instagram. I have daily mantras, LOA (law of attraction) and believe the mindset is key to survival, future developments and success. Part of it is getting out of bed at 5 am – despite not working 9-5, I am still getting up at 5 am, go running or do my weights. It is getting harder, mainly because I challenge myself a bit more, but also because it is so cold. However, the effort is worth it, my circumference is back down to where it was a year ago, my weight is on track. I stopped counting calories and continue the journey. That’s what it is: a journey to weight loss, a healthier life. The bigger picture: a journey of life to survive, to live happily.

Having time is one thing. Starting a business is another. And combining the start of a business with having time is a good thing, I suppose, as you can focus on the business and have time for it too. Yet there is no income as you start and build your pipeline. There is time to do some training, hence I got a certificate for business and life coaching last week, but really I need to balance all those things “I would like to do” with “business essential things I want to do”. I am very positive about it. Before Christmas, there will be little work, and just enough to justify some business expenses. From January it looks more promising, and I am hoping to sign a contract before the end of next week.

What does that mean? It means I am now committed to work for myself in Q1. A big step. I am still keeping my ears to the ground, keeping that safety net with me. And, if there will be a big job, a great challenge, I could be tempted to go back into the security of a regular income. There are reasons for it, a master plan. I cross that bridge when I come to it, and running my own business also means I will be pickier in what I do. It comes as a gradual process going from doing a 6 months project at an agency to a 10 months project at an adtech provider to new projects next year. I just didn’t call them all consulting but essentially that is what it was. An article on that is still to come. I enjoy writing articles and hope you all read the one on DMP and CDP predictions for 2018?

There are some huge things I am learning at the moment and I am confident you can gain from that too.

– I see my kids almost every day and spend a lot more time with them. Hence I can have a lot more influence on their behaviour and teach them things about the growth mindset, personal development and watch them growing up. I am feeling blessed being able to do that. Also, I understand that will change again whether I do consulting work or a full time job. Either way I will be working more in London or abroad.

– I went through the exercise of a thorough understanding of my finances. Starting at ‘how much do we need’ and ‘how much are we willing to spend’ to ‘what’s the bare minimum’, questioning some of the things we have spend money on. I should add ‘I have spent money on’. Hence I deleted my Amazon app, as it makes it too easy to just spend a few quid here and there.

– Despite being in charge of my own time, I am not having more time. I fill the days with learning, chasing, working on databases, pitching new business and exploring everything I need to know about coaching. It is a fascinating stage and I have met some great people since starting this only 2 weeks ago.

– It puts your whole life in perspective. Thinking about the fear you have, the confidence you need, the admin you have to go through and what you are missing out on vs. what is important in your life. How do you define happiness, and how are you managing balancing fear and happiness?

Whatever comes out of the next 3+ months will be a huge amount of experience. No one prepares you for that, yet it is a mental exercise like no other. That’s it. If I end up with an employer in Q2/2018 then I have learned to much, that I add even more value than I would at the moment. If I continue as I am, then I hope I end up in two year’s time where I want to be. And from there, the sky is the limit.

You know, trusting yourself is a huge step. I always have done, and I am so grateful for the support from my family. It bolsters my confidence!

That’s my week really. How was yours?


Sunday Column (208)

What an eventful week. We still trying to get our little “terrors” to give us enough sleep. We utterly failed Sunday night but Monday night was one of the best sleeps in ages. Could be due to me having a successful fast day again. I am still trying to not eat on Mondays but the past two weeks I was busy with things. Never mind.

Sleep. Eating. Exercise. I managed a few running sessions by taping my shins so that the pain is relieved. It worked quite well. Eating wise I am still, for many years, trying to find the right mix and balance. The summer is easier as fresh salad is nicer and more widely available. With varying home times and evening events, I don’t seem to get a routine. Lunches are usually healthy yet media lunches are still on every now and then. Guess that and my love for wine doesn’t help. Overall I drink a lot less than I used to but due to my size I easily overindulge without noticing. Change4life, the government awareness scheme, points out nicely that it is not about being drunk but the sheer volume of booze you put through your systems or attack your organs with. At least my fruit salad regime in the morning seems to work well 🙂


The house. You know when buying a house that you have to do some work. You don’t expect the heating to stop 5 months after having it “redone”, at the same time to replace the fridge and hoover? Luckily we don’t need a new boiler but a leaking pipe and low pressure in the system called for another plumber’s job. Despite the kitchen tap and some other small things that need done, we cannot complain. Just always happens at the same time. Never mind. I guess that is what savings are for but they only last a while 🙁

I made another trip to Africa…at least on TV. This time for a documentary on the legendary race from Paris to Dakar. As a young boy I dreamt of crossing the Sahara or Russia with a motor bike. It never came to fruition and now my wife opposes me getting a motor bike. Might get a mountain bike though. Anyway, the competitors said that once you go to Africa it gets under your skin. You cannot forget it or ignore it. I wonder if that is about the birth place mankind will always feel connected to? I don’t know, but the rally sparked my intend again to get the Land Rover, mountain bike and get out there to adventure the world. Soon followed by my two boys. Camping, hiking, biking, outdoors. I want to feel alive because I am.


Regarding feeling alive, I watched a BBC Four documentary about a person that survived the Holocaust and his children researched his last step after his death. I will probably write more about that, but if you haven’t seen it, check it out. Six Million and One on BBC iPlayer. It had me in tears several times, maybe not so much because of the Holocaust but because of the way they interacted with it and the love they shared amongst the siblings. Definitely one to watch.

I am planning to write another extensive Germany post. I haven’t written one for a while. I think I found closure in my love-hate relationship with Germany at my last trip. This is very nice. I also got a reply from a friend who I sent a card a while back to find closure. It is nice to see that things are working.

Work was quite busy this week. I enjoy it being like that, and find that working from home is more productive as you get less interruption. So maybe Ms. Mayer Yahoo! needs to rethink her statements. My new commitment for a club looks promising also. I will join another one in 2 weeks to make a final decision, but I am convinced I found what I was looking for. It is an extra time commitment but also a very rewarding work. Final decision in 2 weeks, so watch this space.

My wife had her birthday this week, so we managed a few take aways and she went out with the girls. I spend Saturday morning running errands with Colin and going swimming. Proper me-Colin time. I enjoyed it a lot. At the weekend we had some good friends over for the famous Ballueder cheese fondue. What a great time.

Time overall seems to fly. February went with the blink of an eye and before we know it, it will be Easter. Then my birthday, half term, summer. Time. One of the few things we never get back, one of the few things we really need to use. Carpe Diem.

I seem to write about that each week how I keep getting this urge to get things done. At work. At home. At extra curricular activities. When I am old and grey I want to look back to a life and say “I made something out of it”, I managed to help people achieve things and along the way I had a good life. And two boys that by then will have their own kids.

Wouldn’t that be the ultimate fulfillment?

Have a great week,


Two – two years since you were born Colin. I remember as if it was yesterday. I just got made redundant from my job, was interviewing for the next opportunity and we were in the middle of a recession. Yes, I could have stayed where I was and moved away from London, but that wouldn’t have been an option, particularly with you on your way.

Two – there were only two of us before you arrived. Your mother and me. A two bedroom house, two cats, a more or less two seater car, and “two” many evenings out in town. And you, Colin, didn’t want to make an appearance.

Your mother got induced, and I remember holding you in my arms for the first time. “Why is he not crying” I asked the midwife. “First baby?” she replied, adding that I shouldn’t worry, you would be crying more than I had ever imagined. I couldn’t tell you how right she was.

Your arrival changed my life, it changed our life. The sleepless nights at the beginning, the different bottle feeds, the weaning, and you growing up. Just last weekend I watched some videos from you being 6 and 8 months old, and you had changed so much. And you have changed so much since.

You babies grow up far too fast. I was paralysed, almost to the extend that I didn’t want to bath you. I didn’t want to make a mistake. I was afraid and curious at the same time. I didn’t have the bonding your mother had, any mother has to her newborn.

You changed the way we think. We started to think about the future, we got more considerate towards others, and you became the focal point in our life. You became what we started living for, and with.

Colin, it has only been two years. Two of hopefully many more. I keep joking that you will leave the house when I am 54. But I don’t mean it like that. I believe that time will pass much quicker than I would ever imagine. And, I have so many plans.

Apologies if I am struggling to find new ideas for us to do things at the weekend. Swimming, train rides, walks and playing in the garden seems to be the standard. But soon you will speak and we can go for walks and have chats. We can speak about life and what you can expect.

I cannot wait to show you my world, for you to discover your world, and for you to understand life. What is important in life, and what is obsolete. So you find your own way, your own life, your own priorities and make the best of the given time you have here on earth.

You are a fighter. You are a strong boy with lots of energy. Of course I’d love to see you playing rugby, going to university and get a good job. But maybe that is not what your plans are. Maybe life has completely other plans for both of us.

So let’s see what the next two hours bring, the next two days, weeks or months. Our holiday, time we can spend together.

I love you Colin. And the last two years have passed so fast, that I’d like to turn back time sometimes just to pick a few moments we spend together and re-live them.

Happy Birthday,
Your dad.

Sunday Column (111)

Another week, and another week where I anticipated to write a few blog posts but never got around doing it. Monday I was in the office until late, and same on Thursday. Tuesday and Wednesday I made it home for bathing time and spend a few hours afterwards catching up on things. To say the least, we are busy.

Latter is not a bad thing, and I am not moaning. I enjoy what I am doing, who I am doing it with and what our company and my work is all about. It is great. Really.

Just on Friday I went to the nma live event and saw how much buzz is in the industry. I try to summarise my thoughts on RTB and use of several DSP technologies at another blog post later this week. If I have time. But the buzz and interest is amazing. We are part of a new striving part of the online marketing industry. It is just fantastic and mind blowing at times.

Now enough about work. Colin finally got his 2nd set of molars through, so hopefully he’ll be less grumpy. Rohan slept a bit more this week, maybe because of his injections. After we couldn’t visit our friends due to Colin not being well, other friends of ours couldn’t visit us this weekend because their little one wasn’t well. The joys and pain of having kids, but you wouldn’t want to trade them for anything in the world.

I still strongly believe that if you don’t have kids, you are missing out: mainly on the pain and strain and the challenges life brings. Your food bills would still be the same in 10 years time, your house still the same size and your carpet would look like new. Seriously, whilst I never was fussed to have kids, I couldn’t imagine or wanting to imagine my life without them.

There hasn’t been much else happening. We are trying a new food routine to loose weight. Our take away bill got too high and I noticed the wine cellar emptying on a more regular basis. So we are all set to make it work this time to shed a few pounds. Not that custard crème cookies in the office help much 😉

We are positive, happy and content. Our new sofa should arrive this week, Easter is upon us and hopefully a lot of reunions with friends. If the kids don’t get sick…

So onwards and upwards. Time is there to live and enjoy. And we do. Also I spoke to my long time friend Marc today, and that we had our 16th birthday party together at his house, smoked roll ups with Fisherman Friends and got someone to avoid alcohol poisining by giving him salty water to spew. Yes, we remember, only 8 years ago. Oups…18!

Are we getting old? In all fairness, I haven’t been sick of booze for a long time, not had a roll up for many many years and generally, yes I am getting more settled.

Time just moves on, that is for certain.

Have a great week,

Sunday Column (70)

I know a lot of people are getting bored of the Sunday Column, calling it more of a diary than a blog. Fair point, but maybe that is what it is. My thoughts to an openly accessible diary? I try to bring in some idea on life every now and then. However, in all honesty, I hardly have time to sit down and reflect lately.

Work wise the week started off with a very good meeting and on Wednesday I had my first new starter at mexad UK. Finally things are coming together and we are increasing not only the team and presence in the UK, but our growth is supported by an office move next week. So things are going well. Being responsible for the UK means that in return I get a lot of extra work.

So when I write a lot about work, it is because that is where I spend most of time. I sleep less hours in my bed than being at work, and less time with the family than at work. And, I think that is something one has to think about.

If you look at all those studies about people growing old. Mediterranean and Asian food & lifestyle? I am not sure if I mentioned that before, but if you search in my blog you surely find some topics and I believe a TED video on that too. Eating fresh fish, fresh root vegetables, olive oil and enjoying a healthy, relaxed but focused life, integrating the whole family/generations, makes them live a longer and happier life. But I haven’t found a study yet how they work, how much ROI people deliver etc. Question to ask would be how important is that? Is being less ambitious the answer to having a longer and happier life? But if satisfaction in your job and a good career is a motivator, what dilemma do you find yourself in?

Enough about that. On a private note Colin took his first steps by himself. He isn’t 100% there yet but it surely won’t be long for him to walk. He is accepting the harsh German “NEIN” and cries when I tell him off. It sometimes breaks one’s heart but it needs to be done. I wish I had more time with him.

Last but not least, and I deliberately write this post prior to the game: Germany is playing England in the Football World Cup. I personally do not really care who wins and it is only a game. My interest in football is very limited and I wonder how reactions will be if England loses. If they win, nothing will affect me, as I really don’t care. The other way around things could be annoying for a while 🙁 So what to wish for?

I leave you with those thoughts. The weekend is lovely. We have above 25 degrees, many 1st birthday parties, and a BBQ with the neighbours. Happy, content hours.