Category: advice


This is the 5 minute rule of procrastination as I use it. I’m sure it has been written about many times before but this is my super simple version.

When your brain is exploding with millions of things to do and you are in a hurry, one way to go is to do nothing and feel paralysed (often happens to me). Another way is to try the 5 minute rule.

It can be applied it 2 slightly different ways. First; get just 5 minutes of that horrible task that youve been putting off, done, Second, See how many things you can get done in 5 minutes.

The first way allows you to make a tiny start on something that is hard and you have been putting off. You never know, you might find it isn’t so bad once you get started and go on to do more. If not, you will have made a start.

The second way can get a room tidy, the bed made and a bin emptied, a tricky email sent, a call you have to make, or your make-up done and your bag packed for the day. Go as fast as you can with this. You can get a room straight or a desk tidy with a couple of bursts of 5 minutes.

Because all you are facing is 5 minutes it’s so much easier to make a start.

I would love to know your procrastination solvers, so share them in the comments if you would like. Susi xx

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How to get the right skin products for you in 3 easy steps.

Have you ever gone up to the skincare counter and asked for a new face cream and found after a couple of days that it just wasn’t moisturising enough or it was too rich?

That’s because knowing your skin type is only a small part of the problem.

There are 3 main skin types: Oily, Combination and Dry.


Lots of large open pores, blackheads especially on the forehead, nose and chin, and some spots. A layer of grease on your skin by midday and your skin is fairly often shiny and can be a little thick in texture.


Finer, drier skin on cheeks but open pores on nose, forehead and chin and some shine or oil on skin, especially on your nose by midday or tea time. This is the most common skin type.


No shine on skin. Often feels tight and sometimes a little flaky. Your pores are mostly quite tight and small and your skin is a fine, smooth texture.

The next thing to know is what your skin condition is.


Feels irritated easily by most products and reddens easily when exposed to many products. Make-up can make it feel irritated or suddenly very dry or sore. Sensitive skin can be caused by using skin care that is too harsh or perfumed for you. Exhaustion, stress and worry can make your skin easily irritated too.


Skin roughly over the age of 40 that may show lines around the eyes especially or have sagging in the skin tone.  Although everybody’s  skin  gets to being “mature” in time, some lifestyle habits can worsen it, such as over exposure to the sun, too much booze, cigarettes  or unhealthy food.


Can have the look sometimes of being silvery. If you look closely in the mirror and gently press your skin you see a lot of very tiny lines all over your face.  Dehydration can be caused by not drinking enough plain water, too much salt in our diets, not enough fruit and veg, having the heating on when its cold (although we’re all going to, right?) and even air conditioning.


Very angry spots with yellow heads coming up frequently, very open pores, blackheads, may be very oily. It’s caused by fluctuating hormones and is most common in teenagers though it can occur at any age. The very first thing to do with acne is to see a doctor in order to find out what you are dealing with and to explore options.

When you know this you can go to the next (and best) bit.

What is your concern? Or: What bothers you about your skin the most?

For example, my skin is combination, mature and dehydrated. My concern is the mature part, I’m not very bothered about the combination part, but I can’t use too many heavy creams without it getting a bit blocked. So I use cleanser  for normal skin  or dry skin, exfoliate once a week with a scrub, a little clay mask once a fortnight and moisturiser  for dry, dehydrated skin and a night oil for anti-ageing to keep lines at bay. This takes care of the little oiliness that I have but addresses my concerns with ageing as my main focus.

So what bothers you? Is it lines? Worry about it getting older? It feels tight? It’s really greasy? Firmness? Sagging under the eyes? Wrinkles around lips? Be honest with yourself because it really is important that you know what you want to work on.

Remember these items as you learn about your skin and remember that knowing your skin will help you choose the right skin care first time.

Happy Shopping!

By the way, I love to hear how you get on so go ahead and share your own tips or questions,  or if you found this useful, please do leave a comment.

Ps. My new book with lots more helpful information is available here

How to do that Important Task, cont.

Yesterday I wrote a highly sarcastic (but extremely truthful) version of my day when I will do almost anything and justify it too in order to not do something that I dearly need, or want, to do.
It’s startling how many people have resonated with it. Even though they don’t do all the things that I do in order to put things off and feel like they have accomplished something, they all find one thing or another to do.
Today I’ve had a fantastic and positive morning, answering all the comments that have come in on the blog and on Facebook and feeling really good about it, until my brother very kindly pointed out that this ISN’T FINISHING MY BOOK! He’s quite right of course.
I do know that the one way to end procrastination is to sit down and just do the thing that you want to do and let the other tasks go for a while. Not forever, but for a while. Because when you do the thing you really want to do, you do actually feel a lot better and will still get to the other tasks.
This is a really cool blog http://zenhabits.net/do/
that is great to explain why we do it.
So on that note, I’m off to finish editing my book. Or move a desk.

How to Get That Important Task Done

Working from home, especially when you have an important task to get done can be really tough. Here are some tips from my experience to help! Please do share any others that you know of.

Start the day bright and early.

Clear off your desk and leave only your computer and a pad and pencil ready. You notice that your desk is very grubby so you take the opportunity to polish it thoroughly and wipe down your laptop so that it’s all nice and clean.

Put all the papers to one side that you have cleared off the desk and notice that they are sitting in a pile of cat fluff. Decide to take the opportunity to run the hoover around so that you have a pleasant clean working environment with no distractions.

Hoover the stairs and under the bed while you are at it.

Make a healthy breakfast to aid concentration. Catch up on twitter while you have eat it. Read 20 links and say hello to everyone you know. It’s important to be connected and to network. Share a picture of your breakfast.

Time’s getting on, so hop in the shower so you start the work day refreshed. As it’s a big day and you want to feel really good while you work, put a conditioning mask in your hair and exfoliate your body thoroughly. Doesn’t that feel good?

Notice that your toenail polish is very chipped. You’re going to be in all day so you might as well quickly sort that out. Put on lots of moisturiser and re-paint your toe nails. (If you’re a man you can skip this step if you want to).

Get dressed with care. Remember you’re at work! Try on 6 outfits. This take so long you remember that it’s good to have a de-cluttered bedroom. Take an hour to sort out the surfaces and put things neatly away.

Wonderful, you have a clean, tidy bedroom. Go back to your desk.

Sit down.

Notice the time. It’s now lunch time and you know you can’t concentrate when you’re hungry so get a nice sandwich. Something nice and healthy. Take a picture and share it on Facebook. Tell everyone you are working hard at home today and it’s all going really well.

Nip out to the shop to get more chocolate biscuits.

Sit down to really appreciate your cup of tea and relax and be present for a few minutes before you settle down to work.

Wake up with a cricked neck.

Make a fresh cup of tea and quickly check twitter and your email. 3 people have retweeted a picture of your lunch so take care to thank them for the RT. This is very good manners so be sure not to forget.

Also there’s an important email inviting you to barbecue, it’s so bad to be late with responses to invitations so you must quickly reply. It  does mean that you need to double check your calendar and make sure all the episodes of the mentalist and the latest Doctor Who are scheduled. Also book in another day like today so that you can continue with your important task.

You realise that it’s now 3 o’clock and you only have 2 hours left (you really want to stick to a strict work day) so you quickly sit down and open up the document you are working on. Now that everything is clear, you can really concentrate.

When you look at the document you decide to quickly check the To Do list and find you need to send an email. Best to be on top of things, so you check with 3 people the details of the conference and then reply. Organise your email folders so that you have a new one for the conference details.  This is wonderful. You’re making real progress today.

Get back to the document. Almost immediately you realise that there are some facts that need to be checked so you dive right in and get on with your research.

Half an hour later the alarm goes off (you really want to be punctual today) and its five o’clock!

Well done you’ve done it! An excellent and productive day.

Check in to Twitter and Facebook to share your good news.


How Not to do Your Taxes

I’m procrastinating again. This happens when there’s too much to do or think about and at least one of the things is scary (taxes) or needs concentration, like a website or a blog.  Usually when I do this I just put off what it is that has to be done, but today I can hear the argument between the different voices in my head. Sound familiar?
“I know I’ve got to do my taxes but I really don’t want to
I haven’t rung Mary back! And I’ve got to be ready for work in the morning, and there’s all that cooking to do for tomorrow night and when will I bake the pies?!!
I could watch TV. Surely it won’t matter for an hour, and a nice cheerful film will help; and I can always work tonight
Is it really so urgent?
Surely it makes more sense to finish off a website? That’s been wanting to be done for the last month? They must think I’m mad or hopeless not to get back to them yet! And I really should get that website done, though I’m not sure what to put on it.
The house is a mess; I’ll concentrate better if I clean it.
Anyway the bed’s not made, what if someone came in?
The tax bill will be big; I don’t want to think about it, I’d rather eat some chocolate. My hair need doing, I look like a skunk
Why don’t I pack ready for the morning, that’s productive isn’t it?”
And then the other voice, that I can sometimes find, is the voice of a sensible friend or two, one of whom lives in Malta. Whenever I’ve spoken to them in the past in this state this is the lovely calm advice I get.
“Just get on with doing them, make a cup of tea and just sit down and do it. You’ll feel so much better for it and then your mind will concentrate better on things like the website.
Yes the websites important but the taxes are far more so, they’ve got to be done now.
Just think about that huge sigh of relief when you close the folder and it’s all finished.
Don’t worry about the house today. You’ve got to clean properly tomorrow for the party so leave it ‘til then. No point doing it twice.
It takes you 30 minutes maximum to prepare for work. You can do that tonight.
You’ve got all afternoon tomorrow to bake pies and they don’t take long at all.
Forget about your hair and ask a friend to do it for you next week. You’ll enjoy it a lot more when your work is done and it will feel like a treat. And you will be able to relax a bit because this wont be hanging over you!
Go on, get on with it. Call me in an hour when it’s well on its way. Just think by tonight it could be done!!”
Its time to do the taxes.
By tonight it will be done,  and I will really enjoy that great big sigh of relief.