In order to grow you’ve got to switch off


Modern life is tough. We just don’t switch off any more. We need to take a break, from everything. It’s good for the soul. Switching off from everyone and everything can do you the world of good.

Years back when I was setting up my public relations company, I used to visit the various business forums (this was before twitter and facebook were mainstream). You’d see the same names pop up late at night, frantically working and come bank holidays, Easter and Christmas, they’d swap taking a break for more work. The question “whose working this bank holiday” would often be asked.

It created a bit of unease with me. As though if I dared to take some ME time on a public holiday I wasn’t in to my business enough and the whole world would fall apart.

It was bullshit. I see that now. In fact nowadays, I probably work less and get more results – go figure. It’s not that I don’t work hard or work long hours – I do, but I know when it’s time to take a break, step back and shut down – even if it’s just for 24 hours.

Author of Activate Your Life, Andrew McCombe says “We often overlook the importance of proper rest and relaxation, but without it our bodies don’t have time to repair, recuperate and grow.”

EXACTLY. In order to grow you’ve got to switch off. It really is THAT simple. {click to tweet}

Here are 4 reasons why you should to take a break… Continue reading “In order to grow you’ve got to switch off”

5 things to do on a Friday for a better Monday


In my quest to be the ultimate productivity ninja, I regularly try out new ways of working. But one thing I’ve done for quite a while is make sure that I have a Friday ritual of planning for the week ahead.

Now, I know that you’re probably having a #FRIYAY moment so you don’t really want to be thinking about Monday morning, BUT I promise, the advice I’m about to give will help you enjoy the weekend more.

How you end the week seriously impacts on how you start the next week. So if you want to have a great weekend here is what you should do every Friday afternoon.

Give yourself credit for what you’ve done this week.
When you look at your to-do list and see a whole bunch of items that are yet to have the highlighter treatment then it can be disheartening. But look at what you HAVE achieved this week. By acknowledging what you HAVE achieved will give your happiness levels a boost and will spur you on to get back on track when Monday arrives.

Schedule your Monday to-do list on Friday.
Write your to-do list for Monday on Friday. By getting your to-do list done not only do you hit the ground running on Monday but you also give your brain a rest over the weekend as you’re not mulling over what needs to be done. Continue reading “5 things to do on a Friday for a better Monday”

Freelancer’s Guide To Going On Holiday…

When you’re freelance or self employed it can be difficult to tear yourself away from work, but as I’ve mentioned before in this post, you need a break.  Without a good break your brain will turn to mush and your clients won’t be getting the best version of you – and who wants that? But I know (more than anyone) what a hassle it can be arranging a trip when you work for yourself.

Here’s a quick list of things you need to do before jetting off to make sure that you don’t come back to a whole heap of stress…

Sardinia 2011

Before you go…

Make sure your clients know you’re away. If your client knows you’re on holiday then they are less likely to try and contact you. Just send a quick email to anyone expecting work or an update a few weeks before you go.

Send any invoices in advance: Unfortunately whilst it feels as though the real world isn’t still functioning whilst you’re away, it is and you’re still going to have bills to pay upon your return. So send your invoices early or schedule them to go out automatically. The same goes for any bills that may need paying.

Plan your workload: Work doesn’t just stop (hopefully) so the weeks leading to your holiday may very well be a more hectic than usual. Plan and prioritise your workload so that you stay on top of your game.

Set that auto-responder: Seth Godin declares email bankruptcy (the act of deleting all those e-mails that piled up while you were having fun, so they don’t ruin the vacation glow) before he goes on holiday. He sets his auto responder to simply say: “I’m on vacation until x/x/2013. When I get back, I’m going to delete all the email that arrived while I was gone, so if this note is important, please send it to me again after that date.” A bit of a harsh move but if you get a lot of nonsense emails then you may find that this helps save you a lot of time.

If you take calls, forward them to voicemail (I usually ask them to just send an email as I’ll pick that up when I’m back – I’m not quite at the email bankruptcy stage).

Whilst your away…

Switch your data and wi-fi OFF. If you’ve got a smartphone or iPad then you’re going to be so tempted to just “quickly check” your email. Trust me when I say that you won’t just quickly check it you’ll see something that will drag you in and you’re supposed to be relaxing. If you want to continue to post of social media then delete the email accounts from your phone. You can put them back when you return.

Take a notebook: If you’re anything like me then holidays are where you get your best ideas. Taking a notebook will help you get those ideas down and it’s very therapeutic.

RELAX:  Remember you’re going away to relax and recharge. The moment you slam that front door is the time to switch off from work mode.

Things you need to stop saying in press releases

This month I resolved to stay on top of my inbox. This meant reading and filing (as opposed to my tried and tested method of ignoring and deleting) emails as they come in.

This has meant, over the past month I’ve read a LOT of press releases and there are some phrases that need to be stopped – asap.


This isn’t a PR bashing exercise, that’s not how I roll, after all I used to work in PR myself but rather a little advice guide for anyone thinking of writing a press release to promote their business.

Stop The Press (or any variation) – I’m sorry, this is probably the most annoying phrase you could EVER start communication with. You’re not in Press Gang, your fashion line/travel company/online boutique really isn’t important enough that ANY editor is going to stop presses for you. Therefore that phrase is totally redundant. If I see this in the title it gets immediate trash bin treatment.

BlahBlah-preneur – ENOUGH with the “preneur”. I can cope with Entrepreneur (although aren’t we all? So really, its not gripping) but adding “preneur” to the end of everything just grates. Mummypreneur or Mompreneur is the absolute worst – you are a freaking female in business and you are NOT defined by your childbearing skills so just own it!

Embargo: If I see the word embargo then I assume it isn’t urgent so I just ignore it, but 9 times out of 10 I don’t ever go back to it and it ends up in the bin!

Going forward: This is a phrase that should be banned full stop, not just in press releases. It’s one of those pointless statements like “at the end of the day”.

And finally, it’s not a word but it’s something that you need to keep in mind…

Last minute events – Don’t expect us to drop everything and rush to your event – no matter how good it is. We have deadlines and lives, we need a decent amount of advance notice for any event we attend. Especially, if you’re expecting us to travel.

Seriously, it’s tough to promote your business and getting it in front of journalists, writers and bloggers etc is even tougher. If you want attention be straight to the point and quit using buzzwords because buzzwords = bullshit.

What words do you hate to see pop up in your inbox?

How to work better…A manifesto

How to work better…


  1. Do one thing
  2. Know the problem
  3. Learn to listen
  4. Learn to ask question
  5. Distinguish sense from nonsense
  6. Accept change as inevitable
  7. Admit mistakes
  8. Say it simple
  9. Be calm
  10. Smile


Ryan Gander praises Peter Fischli and David Weiss’s ten-point manifesto 

10 point manifesto by Peter Fischli & David Weiss 

Should I check my email?

Hola from a warm and gorgeous Madrid…I was planning on doing a few travel related posts before I left but in typical Rachael style I didn´t quite have the time. Anyhoo, I´m just checking out the cyber-suite in the ultra modern Axor Feria (review will be up when I´m back) so thought I´d pop on, check my email and write a small post…

I usually like to shut down when I go away but with the lure of free wi-fi and lots of exciting projects on the boil I buckled. Which then reminded me that I wanted to share this great infographic by Dell…

Should I check my email?




Right, that´s enough from me, I have wine to drink and tapas to sample. Next stop – Palma!