Dear Reader,

Are you suffering from overload? This seems to be a challenge for a number of my clients at the moment, so I thought it was time to write an Inspire about it. I actually wrote this edition of Inspire months ago but decided to write about other topics instead. Then the other day, with a busy week ahead of me before my holiday, I was feeling rather overloaded (!) and I thought, ‘I need to get on and write the October Inspire before I go’. I turned to my file and found that this was already written, proofed and ready to go!


More morsels of information at the end of this Inspire about
  • Moody Blues vs Mighty Motivation – I will be talking on this topic at two events in October:
    • 4N lunch at The Bloxham Mill, Wednesday 16th October 12 – 2pm, click here and
    • Late Breakfast, Thame on Thursday 17th October 9 – 10.30am, click here.
  • How could coaching help you to achieve your goals? Take one of my free Coaching Audits



If you enjoyed today’s edition of Inspire, please feel free to share it with friends and colleagues. They can sign up for free at


Best wishes



Melanie Greene

Are you suffering from overload?

What is creating the overload? Whether it is the 100s of emails which sit in our inbox, the back to back meetings, the plethora of networking meeting choices (certainly if you live in Oxfordshire!), keeping up with people on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the huge wealth of activities you and your children might be involved in, outside of work. When do we have time to do our ‘real’ work; sleep, eat and have some downtime?

In 2006, I wrote an Inspire about the difference between stress and pressure and how to keep in the ‘zone of optimal performance’ (click here to read the newsletter). This is where we feel energised, stimulated, stretched but not strained and stressed. Keeping this in mind, it does seem even more vital today to find a way to deal with this potential overload when there are so many options and opportunities available to us.

If less is more, then where does that leave us? When designing a workshop or presentation I always keep in mind the expression ‘less is more’. It is so tempting to cover too much when you feel passionate about something but the wider you go, the shallower people’s experience. We seem to have got caught up in the idea that ‘more is more’, more followers on Twitter, Facebook, more meetings, more emails, more activities for the kids. Thinking that somehow ‘more’ will improve our working and home lives. But we end up with surface relationships, spreading ourselves too thin and, perhaps, becoming a ‘jack of all trades’.

As I write this, I am aware that having joined 4Networking for 200 days (they had a great introductory offer), there is a temptation to rush around going to lots of different groups, meeting lots of people but not having the depth of conversation which will lead to creating strong connections with others.

In thinking about ‘less is more’, I am reminded of the following quote, which whenever I read it leaves me with a sense of peace:

‘Along the way to knowledge,

Many things are accumulated.

Along the way to wisdom,

Many things are discarded.

Less and less effort is used,

Until things arrange themselves.

Harmonious action maintains control:

Exertion upsets the balance.’

Tao Te Ching

What happens to your brain when you are overloaded? When it comes to work and, carrying out higher order mental functions such as solving problems, making decisions, writing reports, dealing with challenging interactions, our brain needs a ‘clear head’, literally a clear space to operate effectively. See my 2012 Inspire on ‘The link between your brain, energy and performance’, click here. When we try and cram too much into our working day and our lives, it decreases our performance. There is a fine line between being stretched and strained.

‘Learn to distinguish between straining and stretching yourself

- the former leads to injury, the latter to development’

Anne Dickson – A Book of Your Own

How to deal with overload – the big picture It is easy when you are feeling overloaded and overwhelmed to lose sight of the big picture and start shuffling around pieces of paper, meetings, priorities, rather than stepping back to see why you are doing what you are doing:

  • Ask yourself, ‘why am I here?’ This might be about what is the main purpose of my role/job or why am I doing this job in the first place. A recent coaching client was taking a step back and thinking, ‘Am I on the right track here? Do I really want to be doing this for the next 20 or 30 years?’ Given that we are all probably going to live much longer and we are likely to have working lives that are longer than our parents, it is important to do something that we value and enjoy. If you need assistance with this then email me for information about my free coaching audit.
  • Decide on your ‘Big Rocks’ What are the essential things you need to focus on both in and out of work – if you have colleagues and a family you might want to discuss this with them and agree on the main focus for your time and attention. Click here for an explanation of Big Rock Theory of Time Management
  • Remember the 20:80 rule Part of deciding on your Big Rocks is the 20:80 rule that 80% of your results, success, output comes from 20% of your actions. In fact, it is usually found that 20% of sales will account for 80% of profits. See Richard Koch on this YouTube clip explaining this: click here. He talks about creating ‘more from less’, finding the ‘vital few in the trivial many’. Focusing on the essential tasks that are going to create your success.
  • 20:80 rule in your family life This also relates to out of work: most families say that they want a happy and healthy family life, yet if you look at the activities they engage in probably 80% is about activities which don’t lead to health or happiness. So talk to your family about the 20% that you each want to focus on.
  • Raise your life state Having read Michael Neill’s ‘The Inside Out Revolution’, he says that it is important not to make life changing or big decisions when you are in the least resourceful place to do that. If you are feeling overwhelmed, do something to help you to take a step back, get into a good frame of mind to look at things in a logical and wise way. One of the benefits of coaching is that it gives you the space and the techniques to do this. Email me at for more information about my coaching programmes and to take my free coaching audit to see how coaching could benefit you. Or take a look at the back issues of Inspire, which have lots of hints and tips to help you with this: click here.

'The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand.

They are the moments when we touch one another.'

Jack Kornfield

How to deal with overload – the details Some of these points have been mentioned in previous editions of Inspire but they are worth listing again:

  • Look at emails at set times of the day to control their interruptions – unless your job is managing the emails that come in! For example, 9am, 2pm and 4pm.
  • Scan the list of emails to focus your time and attention on the essential ones.
  • Unsubscribe from mailing lists which do not help you with your job, either directly or indirectly. For example, Inspire might indirectly help you by giving you food for thought each month and inspiring you to take action to become happier, more efficient and effective, in which case it is helping you to do your job!
  • When you are not dealing with your emails quit Outlook so that you are not distracted by the pinging of your emails coming in.
  • Cut down on the amount of meetings, or their length Discuss with colleagues which meetings are actually contributing to the success of the business/organisation. It is amazing that with good chairing of a meeting how much can get done in a short period of time. It can be a matter of ‘less is more’, you become more focussed when there is less time.
  • Clear your desktop and your desk to create some ‘mental space’ for your brain to think clearly about what it is doing.
  • Do nothing for 2 minutes I’ve introduced many times in Inspire and one my clients now uses it regularly and finds it a useful way to calm down their whole system. If you think that you don’t have time for it then you definitely need it!

‘My cup runneth over may in some contexts be a declaration of disaster.

Emptying it fully is as important as filling.’

Anne Wilson Schaef

While looking for quotes I came across TS Eliot, The Rock, which seems very appropriate for this topic:

‘The endless cycle of idea and action.

Endless invention, endless experiment,

Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness.

Knowledge of speech, but not of silence.

Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.

Where is the life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

For the full poem click here.


Moody Blues Vs. Mighty Motivation

I was called Moody Melanie when I was growing up in my family and was at the mercy of my moods for much of the first three decades of life. Come along to one of the following talks to find out how you can master your mind, manage your mood, and lead a happier and more productive life:

  • 4N lunch at The Bloxham Mill, Wednesday 16th October 12 – 2pm, click here for more details. 
  • Late Breakfast, Thame on Thursday 17th October 9 – 10.30am click here.   


Free Coaching and Training Audits – helping you to decide what development you need

Free Coaching Audit If you are running your own business, working on your own, or struggling with working within an organisation, then coaching can support you in tackling the day to day issues you face. The free Coaching Audit is designed for individuals who are wondering whether coaching will benefit them and wanting to think through what they want to focus on during a coaching programme. The Coaching Audit involves the following:

  • You complete a pre-coaching questionnaire and return it to me.
  • We have a 45 minute telephone conversation to discuss your needs and what coaching might be necessary to meet your needs. I make sure that you get something practical from the free audit.
  • I send a proposal of what training, coaching or counselling might be suitable.
  • You make the decision as to whether you wish to proceed.

Free Team Development Audit If you are a manager of a team, this is a new service to help you to review your team’s performance and think through what development they might need. The Team Development Audit works in the same way as the Coaching Audit above, but with a questionnaire which is focused on you, as the manager and your team.

Email or call me on 01865 377334 to discuss your coaching or team development needs.

‘You cannot teach people anything.

You can only help them to discover it within themselves’.



Do you want speakers for your business network event? 

I speak at a range of events, and always make sure that the talks are interactive and practical, with people learning something that they can directly apply back at work. Recent talks have included:

  • Managing Challenging Interactions
  • Mastering Your Inner Critic (based on my book)
  • Changing Habits of a Lifetime
  • Learning From Your Mistakes
  • Managing Your Mood and Motivation
  • Your Brain At Work


Listen to recordings of my free webinars

Over the last few years I have conducted free webinars (and you can listen to the recordings by clicking here) on the following topics:

  • Your 2013 Goals: Enjoy The Journey and The Destination
  • Mastering Your Inner Critic
  • Changing Habits of A Lifetime
  • Learning From Your Mistakes

Recordings are approximately 30 – 40 minutes with a PowerPoint presentation to go with them.


For more information about Inspire Transformation visit our website: or call Melanie on 01865 377334 or email and follow Melanie on Twitter: MelanieInspires.


Why not share Inspire with colleagues and friends? If you know of anyone else who might be interested in receiving Inspire for free, pass this on to them or they can sign up on my website:


Melanie Greene
01865 377334