Friday, 30 April 2010

What's your drawing say about you?

This week I've been feeling like a little mole under a huge pile of leaves.

Totally overwhelmed with 'stuff' and no time to sort it out.

My wonderful five extra days of holiday in Madrid have taken five days out of my day-to-day life and I just haven't had time to catch up with those missed days. It's a peculiar and slightly bewildering feeling. Maybe the little mole wants to hide away.

If I think about what I'd like to feel like, it's more like these beautiful, calm leaves. I don't have to be handmade or embroidered, but I'd like all my leaves flat and pressed and in nice labelled piles so I'd know what they all are: invoices, ideas, articles etc etc.

This week's workshop was all about how metaphors make it so easy to solve your problems.

Now all I have to think... how am I going to get from that pile to those nice, flat leaves in the quickest amount of time?

I know. I'm going to ask for help!

What do your pictures look like?
Hope you have a lovely long weekend,
PS Our Workshop on Work was FAB. Look at the pictures and join us for our next Workshop on Relationships. Anyone can come - in a couple, single, problems with colleagues, children etc etc. It's on Sunday 16th May in Westminster, Central London.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Getting it together...

Whenever I see people poring over their time management matrixes I either panic and instantly feel disorganised or I get overwhelming feelings of jealousy and wish I was as organised as them (or, more likely, I get both feelings simultaneously).

I'd love to be organised and, up to a point, am, but something always lets me down at the last minute. I can tidy up the bathroom cupboard and make wonderful shoe boxes entitled 'tummy', 'colds', 'skin' - you get the idea - but somehow I always end up with three things that just haven't got a home. There's definitely something about finishing a task that I don't like - there's always that bit of spillage afterwards.

So this week at Life Clubs we worked on organisation and how to have three goals a day you're going to do. It's a simple technique and enormously useful and all it takes it you knowing what your day is going to consist of (or what you want it to consist of) and making those three things your goals - let's face it... you'll always find time to check your emails.

Yesterday, my three goals were to get home from Spain intact, to run my club and to spend a bit of quality time with each member of my family as I hadn't seem them for 10 days. I think I more or less got there.

Today my three goals are to move my team at Basecamp forward (haven't seem them for 3 weeks!), to let you all know about my wonderful workshop on Saturday (all about 'Work' and all profits from the workshop go to Marie Curie charity) and to have a nice lunch with a mum I used to know who has just started working round the corner at Burberry.

What kind of a lovely day is that?

What are your three goals of the day?

See you soon,
Founder Life Clubs

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Following can be good

This week's workshop was about body language and, as I was talking to one of my heroes, my 11-year old son, I asked him what he thought would be a good illustration.

Now Tommy has a few crazes at the moment. Those of you who have been following my blog, already know about Dr Who (though who in the UK at the moment isn't an addict?) and Bionicles (those weird Lego robots), but the one you may not yet have heard about is Men In Black. Yesterday he watched Men In Black 2 and so he filled me in on the latest:

'Mum, in Men In Black, they meet these aliens and in order to befriend them, they start dancing the way the aliens dance.'

How good is that for an example?

I had a similar experience when I was in Tobago on holiday many, many years ago. It is a stunning country, but walking the streets and smiling at people, saying 'Hello', I felt a bit of hostility. No-one smiled back.

After a while, I decided to do what anyone else would have done and stop smiling and start observing. It was then I noticed that when one Tobagonian met another, they didn't smile, but instead lifted their hand up slightly from their thigh to say 'Hello'.

Like Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, I decided to copy the body language of the people I wanted to be friendly with. Each time I met someone, I casually raised my hand a little from where it was hanging relaxed.

Oh Yes! Suddenly I belonged.

All I can say is... it was a great workshop and I had a great holiday.

What experiences do you have of using your body language to fit in? Just let us know.

I hope you have a great week.
See you at Life Clubs,
PS Our Work workshop is filling up with lovely people. It's in Westminster on Saturday 24th April and Lynne (my fabulous HR) and I are giving of our time to raise money for Marie Curie. It's £75 and it's for anyone who is working too hard or not working hard enough or not enjoying their job or not sure what they want from a career. It's going to be fab. Five Life Club workshops in one day ... intense! Book now.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Blow your own trumpet

My mother always used to say that those who show-off get more out of life. I'm not sure that that's a general rule, but it pretty much is.

Yes, I know we're all brought up to be modest and self-effacing, but where does it get us?

My fear has been around setting up my own website. 'I don't need a website' I've been saying to myself. 'It's not about me, it's about Life Clubs'. But, the other day, Genevieve, my wonderful right-hand, googled me and told me straight that the link between Nina Grunfeld and Life Clubs is tenuous and I have to have my own website in order that anyone who reads about Nina Grunfeld in the papers can be directed to Life Clubs.

In my mind there was my mum and there was Genevieve, but in my heart I felt fearful. What was I going to put about myself? How was I going to show off about myself? Do I say that I'm the best or do I make a bit of an apology about having a website?

This week's workshop was about fear (and very appropriately timed it was too). Before I started writing my website I imagined myself to be that show-off and feeling both delighted and successful. And then I wrote.

The wonderful result has just gone to my great designer (David Eldridge, who created the Life Clubs website and all my books to date) and will from there go to my lovely web man who will make it all real.

So, watch this space.

And, whenever you're feeling fearful, just imagine how delighted you'll feel having done it what you're dreading doing, and do it. Or, think of my mum and go for it.

Besides... what's the worst thing that can happen?

All best wishes,
PS Do come to my day workshop on Work. It's for anyone who wants more from their work. It's on Saturday 24th April, from 10-5, in Westminster, Central London, costs £75 and is in aid of Marie Curie. Both Lynne and I who are running it are giving our time for free.

Friday, 2 April 2010

How do you solve a problem like..?

Last week we were problem solving at Life Clubs. We use a wonderful 'mnemonic' called (needless to say) LIFE and, when you've worked through it you've solved your problem.

Possibly the most powerful question to ask is 'When did I succeed in solving this sort of problem before?' because it comes up with all sorts of positive answers and can make you realise that maybe you're trying to solve a problem that isn't the one you really want to solve.

One of my clubbers wanted to be able to meet someone - if you like - be ready for a relationship. And, as she came to that question she had her Lightbulb Moment that really she wasn't ready for anyone, because the previous times she'd met new people and started a relationship, she'd been feeling really good about herself and deeply creative and happy - and she wasn't now.

What a great new problem to solve... how to get creative. This week she's signing up for all sorts of creative courses and I can't see how anyone she meets could fail to fall in love with her.

My problem is often thinking about what to write. I love writing once I settle down to it, but what to say..? When I asked myself that powerful question I realised that ideas always came to me when I relaxed. So... check me out on the sofa in my pyjamas!

Let me know what problem you've got to solve and if that question helps.

Happy Easter to everyone. Next problem... where will the Easter bunny hide his eggs if it's raining?

What a lovely problem to have.

All best wishes,
If you'd like to know more about problem solving - or anything else that goes on at Life Clubs, do sign up for our bulletin.