The Holidays are here

I have the oddest holiday allowance at work, but it usually ends up that in a 6 month period I get a week off (for my going away time) and 5 odd days which I tend to use for ‘me days’.

This year I am taking a one week cottage holiday in August which will be a mixture of ‘me’ time, catching up with friends and family and spending some quality time with my other half. (yep, 9 days to fit all that in).

I also want to take a few days for some more personal ‘me time’. Some down time when I am simply not in work. Time to draw, paint, write and generally be creative (all the things I can’t do in work).

It is easy not to have a plan for the summer, but you should have a basic plan if you are to make the most of your time off. Even if it is just planning to take advantage of the good weather and relax. Schedule it in.

How to make a free time plan:

1. Write a Summer Bucket List

Make a list of the things you want to achieve this summer. Strike some items of your bucket list and add some new ones.

Free Download: Summer Bucket List (for your Filofax)

2. Find a happy medium

When you have time off, schedule time to relax. Don’t be so busy that you don’t get any rest and relaxation, but if you are bored you clearly aren’t using your time wisely (and this boredom will put you off revisiting this experience if you are a workaholic).

3. Indulge in your hobby

You should be doing this on a regular basis in any event, but if you have the day off (or week off) schedule in some hobby time where you can take advantage of the extra time. E.g. Catch up with some friends with a round of golf. Go on a day trip when you have the extra travel time.

4. Attend Events

Check out what is going on in your local area and get involved. The summer months are packed with festivals, outdoor movies, summer parties, longer opening hours etc. Don’t miss out. It won’t be long until we are all moaning again about the rain and the dark nights.

5. Read a Book

Catch up on your reading – indulge by reading a few chapters of that book you have been meaning to read.

6. Catch up on Chores

Only after having some time to yourself should you really be using your time to catch up with chores. Set aside a specific amount of time for chores so they don’t take over your whole holiday.

7. Review and Manage

Take the time to review your to-do list, your daily default schedule and all the other ways you manage your time. Take some of your free time to assess how well it is working and consider how you can generate extra free time.


C is for… Confidence



The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something.

In the workplace there are two aspects to confidence:

  1. to have self-confidence; and
  2. to inspire confidence in others.

An employer will want to know that their clients and customers will have confidence in you and they (as your employer) need to be confident about you too.

The first step in inspiring confidence in others is to be self confident first (without being arrogant).

The second step is to be good at what you do.

How do you show that you are self-confident?

First consider how you appear to others. Consider how you appear in a variety of situations that you find yourself in where confidence is important such as at interviews, at meetings, at networking events etc. Provided that you can at minimum show a confident exterior and give an impression of being confident (even when you are trembling like a leaf inside) you are making good progress.

Your level of confidence can be revealed by your behaviour, your body language, how you speak and what you say. Keep it in check.

Action Point: Look at someone you admire or consider very confident and watch what they do.

Skill Development Plan

Unfortunately there is not a quick fix for building self-confidence (or for inspiring confidence in others). However, a lot of things that you do day-to-day (particularly if you are working on your skill development generally) can help improve your confidence.

Examples include:

  • working on skills that you need to develop
  • setting goals and keeping track of your achievements
  • keeping a list of achievements in your career journal
  • harnessing the power of positive thinking
  • improving your technical skills
  • practising situations where confidence is required.

Action point:  add some confidence building goals to your list and jump in the deep end.