Dear Reader,

Who are you taking into the shower with you? I thought the title of this month’s Inspire might get a few new readers wondering what on earth this is all about!

More morsels of information at the end of this Inspire about....

  • FREE webinar recording: Your Goals For 2014: Enjoy the journey and the destination Listen to the recording here
  • The 66 Day Challenge - transform difficult interactions into productive working relationships Just £66 inc. VAT. see here for details of the second programme.
  • How could coaching help you to achieve your goals? Take one of my free Coaching Audits.

If you enjoy 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

Who are you taking into the shower with you?

What has showering got to do with work? You may well be asking this question. The idea for this month’s topic came from a section in a wonderful book called ‘Living In The Moment’ by Anna Black titled ‘Who are you showering with?’. Which got me thinking: how many times have I been in the shower but my head has been elsewhere, thinking about the day ahead, the difficult conversation the day before? How many times have I brought into the shower with me people whom I would rather leave outside the house, rather than in the shower with me?

I mentioned this idea to a coaching client, who said ‘Oh no, I’ve been taking X to bed with me when I really need to leave him outside my bedroom door’ or perhaps even at the office door.

What happens when we bring people and work home with us? When we can’t leave work at work, even if it is mentally rather than physically, it starts to encroach on our home and social life and it can result in any or all of the following:

  • Disrupted sleep because we cannot switch off, which results in lower energy levels, moodiness, decrease in concentration and effectiveness at work. Click here to see a previous edition of Inspire or more about the consequences of lack of sleep.
  • Conflict at home if family (and friends) feel like they never get a look in.
  • Lack of ‘down time’ can lead to increased stress levels which, again, can have a knock-on impact on performance.

And the opposite is true, if we have good quality down time in the evenings and at the weekend we return to work feeling energised, refreshed, relaxed and raring to go.

‘Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone.’

Louis L'Amour

Leaving work at work Last year one of my coaching clients had been through a major organisational change which took out a layer of management, resulting in a demotion, a cut in salary and a very unhappy individual. He worked from home in a regional role and was spending his evenings and weekends either worrying and feeling down about work or catching up on emails and work, which was impacting on his family life and his levels of contentment and stress levels. 

After the first session with the help of writing daily ‘gratitudes’ (see here) and using other psychological techniques, he decided to focus on enjoying his family life at the weekends and started to play tennis again mid-week. When he came back for his second session, he said ‘everything has changed, even though nothing has changed’. Which is actually a common comment from my clients because the situation which was causing them so much stress and unhappiness in the past is the same but by using simple techniques they have transformed how they feel about themselves, their lives, and how they approach their working and home lives as well. Email for more about my free coaching audits to find out how coaching can help you.

What are the ways in which we bring work home? There are obviously times when we physically bring work home to do. However, it is the more subtle ways in which we bring it home:

  • In our minds – when we cannot switch off our minds either about the past or the present. The subtitle of Anna Black’s book is: Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. Simply BE in the present.
  • In our bodies – tension, holding onto the pressures and stresses of the working day see here for the difference between pressure and stress.
  • In our emotions – if we are stressed, anxious, angry or frustrated about work or we might be low, depressed and fed up about work. Either way it impacts on our home life, even if you live alone.

Now obviously if you are excited by work, feeling full of enthusiasm, you might not resent intrusive thoughts about work. However, if work is intruding into your home and social life and causing you problems then you might want to do something to transform this.

How do you bring work home with you: physically, mentally, emotionally?

'Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.

Conscious breathing is my anchor.’

Thích Nhất Hạnh

How is technology encroaching on our home life? I was talking to another coaching client who mentioned the following ways in which work was encroaching on home life:

  • Checking emails while watching TV in the evenings.
  • Using the mobile phone as an alarm clock and then being disturbed by the ping of text and emails coming through during the night.
  • Waking in the night, checking the mobile to see what time it is and noticing emails and texts that have come through.

Someone recently told me that one of the bits of technology (if you can call them that) that would disappear from our homes in the next decade would be alarm clocks as people use their phones instead. But I suggested to my client that she gets an alarm clock and turns off her mobile phone as an aid to getting a better night’s sleep. Perhaps alarm clocks will still have a place in our bedrooms helping us to an undisturbed night’s sleep.

What can you do to stop technology encroaching on your home life?

What to do if you need to do work from home or if you work from home? Having worked from home for the last 23 years I am disciplined about keeping work in the office and to work hours, although I have flexibility within a structure. However, like everyone there are some times when you need to take work home or do work at a weekend, or if something is on your mind:

  • Prioritise
  • Structure
  • Manage your mind and mood

Have to bring work home - re-order and change your mindset I like to practice what I preach and, on the whole, keep weekends for R&R, family time or doing other activities. However, sometimes the nature of work means that I need to do some work at home or very occasionally run a workshop. If you find yourself getting annoyed when work encroaches like this, you can end up being your own worst enemy – being annoyed, frustrated, resentful, feeling it hanging over you during the weekend. If it results in your mood and happiness, and perhaps sleep being disrupted, then when you get to do the work, your performance is likely to be effected and you don’t do such a good job, and it has also effected your enjoyment of the weekend.

So how do you change your mindset and experience of this? We all have maps of the world within our heads and these are a nested hierarchy like an organisational map. Sometimes our lives do not fit the order that we have in our brains, which can cause undue pressure and stress. When this happens we need to re-order so that we can reduce the level of stress and threat we are feeling. For example, if your map of the world involves putting your family first and you are suddenly faced with a project which is going to eat into family time, without re-ordering you can end up feeling very frustrated and stressed by the situation. However, if you re-order and decide that for X number of weeks your focus will be on the project and then you can re-focus on your family, it helps to reduce your stress levels.

‘In the end, just three things matter:

How well we have lived

How well we have loved

How well we have learned to let go’

Jack Kornfield

Enjoy the journey and not just the destination If you are looking for techniques and ideas as to how to manage your mind and mood in order to switch off from work, and enjoy your home life, then listen to the recording of my free webinar, Your Goals For 2014: Enjoy the journey and the destination here which has more hints, tips and inspiration to help you to do this.

Free Coaching Audit – finding out how coaching can help you

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.

Email or call me on 01865 377334 to discuss your coaching needs. Here is how one of my clients last year benefited from coaching:

‘I sought coaching to address some personal and professional dilemmas with which I felt completely “stuck”.The coaching approach provided practical ideas and strategies to help me to move forward as well as a space in which to reflect on my own thoughts and ideas.I was surprised to discover how many of the problems (and solutions!) lay in my own way of thinking about things, rather than in external situations.I enjoyed Melanie’s style.I found her to be warm and humorous.She is willing to be with you both as a professional and as a fellow human being, sharing her own experience.Overall, the sessions were both enjoyable and very beneficial.’ Clinical Psychologist


The 66 Day Challenge 

Transform difficult interactions into productive working relationships see here for details. Just £66 inc. VAT.

If you say, ‘Yes’ to one or more of the following questions ….

  • Are you dealing with clients or colleagues who run rings around you?
  • When you communicate with some people do you feel like you’re speaking a different language?
  • Do you wonder how to handle sales conversations for fear of losing sales?
  • Are you struggling to manage staff or associates’ performance?
  • Do you deal with suppliers who do not seem to understand your needs?

…. then The 66 Day Challenge is for you. At £66 inc. VAT it will support you in transforming the difficult interactions you have in your life into more productive, constructive working relationships.


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


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