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Updated: Oct 12, 2020

When the world is on fire, make like a Fire Fighter and don protective habits.

All too often we find ourselves with the incendiary situation of too much work, too few people, and too little time. We realise we won’t meet the demands pressed upon us, so stress descends, and things start to spontaneously combust!

20 years ago technology was regarded as the answer to our time-pressured prayers. Soon, we thought, we’d be able to achieve everything in half the time. The idea of a four-day week dangled seductively. Not so. Now with almost limitless platforms – digital and traditional – to produce for, somehow the goal has shifted to generating twice the output in half the time.

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How to become an effective fire fighter.

In these combustible times, I have discovered this little formula for personal sanity and professional success:


Multi-tasking is a myth. Yes you can walk and talk, or sit on a train travelling whilst reading, you might even be able to pat your head whilst circularly rubbing your tummy, but when it comes to complex brain processes engaged during creative work, we can only focus on one thing at a time effectively. Accept this and you will instantly limit burns from stress.


When all around you is ablaze, FOCUS on one building and now put that fire out. Once it is out completely, move on to the next. It’s far more productive to DO one thing with 100 percent of your attention – even for a small amount of time – than it is to juggle priorities with divided focus.


I’ve made a habit of sticking a smile on my face – even when I’m working in my office alone. Yes it can make you look a little silly but the benefits are plentiful.

Firstly, it relaxes your facial muscles and this effect then ripples throughout your body releasing your shoulders, hips, legs, arms…. now with the body relaxed the mind can get active and get productive!

Secondly, since you are feeling nice and relaxed, the brain now releases happy endorphins, which are known to literally aid creative thought. So now you’re on to a real winner!

Thirdly, if you walk around the office smiling, you give everyone confidence that everything is under control, and that they are all doing great. This allow all that happy, productive, endorphin creativity to permeate the whole office, making everyone confident and capable!

Lastly, it’s important to note that since the mind can’t tell the difference between a fake smile and a real one, you can fake it till you make it. Win win!

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