Monthly Archives

September 2021

Blog

What’s your next chapter?

As I write this I am looking forward with excitement to Monday and Tuesday of next week which is the second half of our five-day retreat which began in June. Since then, we have been meeting the participants at regular intervals on Zoom calls to find out how they’re getting on and to support them in making the changes they want in their lives.

The group which included three MDs and a partner in an accountancy firm came with different motivations: one to take their leadership to the next level, one to completely change careers, another to think about the last few years of their career and into retirement, and one with a lifestyle that was killing them. We used the Japanese concept of Ikigai to help them articulate their purpose and then write their next chapter – to be revealed on Tuesday!

We work with people’s stories of both success and failure. One of the key moments in the retreat is when we get people to tell stories about experiences that have been difficult, and which have held them back in some way. One of these stories is told in this blog https://thenextchapter.guru/time-for-a-retreat-i-dont-think-so/  Retelling these stories enables people to make some real shifts in their lives.

One thing we have noted in our Zoom calls between the two halves of the retreat is the extent to which people are making big changes not just in the externals of their lives but in their mindsets and attitudes and in developing new habits. As we all know, these changes are sometimes the hardest and then it’s good to have some people with you who’ve been through the process with you, understand what you’re trying to change and why and are your biggest cheerleaders.

Of course, these kinds of changes can be made in lots of different ways but the retreat acts like a reset button. It’s five quite intensive days spread over three months, but the changes happen more quickly than when you’re working on your own exerting all your self-discipline which is hard when you’ve got so much else on.

We’d love to talk to you about what you’re trying to achieve in your life and whether one of our retreats will give you a kick-start. The next one starts on 1st – 3rd November so you need to get in quickly.

Blog

Why do business leaders find it hard to invest in their own wellness?

Recently a number of companies, Nike, LinkedIn and Bumble have announced that they are closing for a week to give their staff time to recover from the burnout caused by the pandemic, lockdowns and the negative effects of working from home. All well and good and the right thing to do, but what about you, the leader and owner of the business? There’s a lot to feel anxious about – hybrid working chaos, supply chains, staff shortages, inflation, OK let’s not depress ourselves too much! As a business owner myself, I know it is very hard to switch off from thinking and possibly worrying about the business and the future.

What would it feel like if you felt really rested and energised? What are the chances of that at the moment? Some of us have had holidays, but I was talking to someone the other day who had just come back from a holiday with the family (including granny and mother-in-law!) and he didn’t look and sound at all rested. You may have had a week in a tent in the indifferent weather we’re pleased to call summer in the UK. Not exactly the break you were hoping for.

Now the autumn’s here, how are you feeling? Ready for the upturn in the economy or anything the pandemic still has to throw at us? If there’s one thing that we’ve learned over the last year or so, it’s the extent to which the constant uncertainty and lack of control eat away at our resilience. Your holidays may have provided a change of scene and activity but may not have given you what you need to really renew and regenerate.

Why do business leaders find it so hard to invest in themselves and their health, mental or otherwise?

• They feel ashamed about asking for help especially as workplaces don’t support slowing down
• They often equate stress or burnout with a physical illness like a cold and think that a weekend away will sort it
• Investing in addressing burnout is a sign of weakness and that it’s best dealt with by working harder.

Left untreated, burnout can cause people to become depressed, anxious, and distracted, which can impact not only their work relationships but their personal interactions, too. 

Time to do something about it?

One of the best ways of dealing with it is to take ourselves out of the situation altogether.

It’s hard to admit that we need help perhaps because there seem to be so many other people who are worse off, and that we’re being self-indulgent. How many people depend on your being at your best?

Take time to regain some perspective, take a proper break. An ideal way of doing this is coming on our next retreat which starts on 1st – 3rd November. Finding your focus and direction and reconnecting with your purpose and values are core ways to restore mental balance and improve your resilience. Your business, family and friends will thank you.

Blog

Time is of the essence….

Is it just me or am I picking up that people are really struggling with managing time at the moment? I know that since the summer break I’ve been flat out. I’m also reading articles in the media about people doing 60 hour weeks, not taking breaks, checking emails late at night. What goes with that is an intense interest in productivity hacks such as getting up at 4am, not doing emails until 5pm, swallowing frogs….But wait – isn’t that just getting on to a productivity treadmill, to make you fitter for the other work treadmill to achieve what? What are you really trying to accomplish? Isn’t getting on that treadmill going to lead to burnout?

The problem with all the health and productivity hacks is that they look like shortcuts and could be silver bullets that have worked for other people. Even something valuable like mindfulness (which I’m not good at) can be a sticking plaster. With all of this, we’re merely snatching time for ourselves. 

What does your work require and what conditions enable you to be at your best? I would put money on it needing creativity, especially in these uncertain times, leadership as other people look to you for direction, and at the very least, your good mental health. For all of that, you’ve got to 
• give yourself time 
• allow yourself to step back 
• have time to think, go inside yourself to draw on your intuition 
• find confidence that actually you do know the answers or can work out where to find them
• that you can draw on all your valuable experience and knowledge. 

This is not something I find easy at all. I like fast-paced working environments, getting things done, ticking things off on my to-do list. However, I also know that to be creative, for example, to design a new retreat, I need to step away from my desk, which is what happened yesterday. As I relaxed, I had inspiration for something I had been thinking about and it started to fall into place. We have become conditioned to think that efficiency is the answer to being effective.

We need to become much more thoughtful about what kind of time we need to give to different parts of our jobs. Of course, much of it requires information gathering, analysis, intelligence and impatience, but to be creative, we have to be comfortable with a different approach to time, one which is characterised by patience, holding ourselves back and tapping into our intuition.

Don’t get back on the treadmill.

Keen to regain your time? Let us help you.

Places for our November retreat are limited so book now and allow yourself the freedom of thought and creativity.

Blog

Back To The Grindstone

Hopefully, you’ve had a holiday or at least a break which has left you feeling more restored. The kids are back at school and the old routine is kicking in. Or is it, as you vowed you weren’t going back to your old (unhealthy) habits? You might have been feeling a bit burnt out before the holiday but are feeling much better now. Over the break, you’ve had a chance to think about the months ahead with mixed feelings.

There are lots of opportunities, the business is looking good and you could find yourself being busy. With an eye to all of that, you’ve spent some time planning a fitness regime, getting more wearable tech and reading up about some productivity hacks. Getting up at 4am, leaving your emails until 5pm, swallowing frogs, here we come! But wait… isn’t that just getting on to a productivity treadmill, to make you fitter for the other work treadmill – to achieve what? What are you really trying to accomplish? Isn’t that going to get you back into burnout?

One of the things I realised after I had had my retreat week away on a Scottish island which got me over my burnout, is that I had to do things differently. One of them was lowering my expectations of myself, not trying to live up to other people’s expectations, for example, building a million-dollar business! The problem with all the health and productivity hacks is that they look like shortcuts and could be silver bullets that have worked for other people. Even something valuable like mindfulness (which I’m not good at) can be a sticking plaster. With all of this, we’re merely snatching time for ourselves.

What does your work require and what conditions enable you to be at your best? I would put money on it needing creativity, especially in these uncertain times, leadership as other people look to you for direction, and at the very least, your good mental health. For all of that, you’ve got to

  • give yourself time
  • allow yourself to step back
  • have time to think, go inside yourself to draw on your intuition
  • find confidence that actually you do know the answers
  • that you can draw on all your valuable experience and knowledge.

You don’t have to get back on the treadmill.

You might also be interested to read an article one participant published for us:  Click Here 

Our next 5 day retreat starts on 31st October 2021 – click here to join.  By booking a place you will start to feel better, have something to look forward to and a sense of taking control of your next chapter.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Spotify
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound
Cart Overview