Cyran

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What to Wear to Work: Trench Coats

What to Wear to Work: Trench Coats

The Best Trench Coats For Spring

The trench coat is one of the most versatile pieces in your work wardrobe. It’s a wardrobe staple that you can wear forever. The weather is so changeable right now; one moment it’s lovely and sunny and the next minute it’s pouring down with rain. If you haven’t already, now is the best time to find a trench for Spring – wherever “Spring” is hiding.

My first ever trench coat was the Burberry Gabardine trench, I have literally had it forever. We all know Burberry and Aquascutum are well known veterans when it comes to trench coats. Here are some from the high street and beyond for you to consider for this season. I’ve included classic

 

 

 

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How I Have My Most Productive Days Ever

How I Have My Most Productive Days Ever

How to Be More Productive

With life the busiest it’s ever been and with so many ways to get distracted, spending time planning your day and preparing yourself up to be productive is one of the best ways to spend your limited time. 

Lots of us are trying to squeeze lots of things in to our already busy day. Things we’re trying to organise, fit in, balance and figure out, so there needs to be some kinda method to the madness if you’re going to be productive instead of feeling like you spent your day doing nothing significant to speak of.

How I Finally Kicked My Beat Procrastination Habit

The truth is that I was a terrible procrastinator. I knew exactly what I had to do, but I used to put things off and leave things ’till the last minute. Procrastinating isn’t going to help you achieve anything you want to. So I have spent a lot of time learning about why people procrastinate, how to beat procrastination and as a result, I learned how to be more efficient with my time.

I read books, I listened to podcasts, I spoke to people that I considered to be one of those ‘super efficient’ types, I read blogs and most importantly, I then put what I had learned into practice.

Taking action instead of procrastinating and repeating this a few times over finally meant that I have learned a new habit and I although I still procrastinate from time to time, I feel like I know what I am doing.

I recently wrote one of my most shared blog posts, 6 Scientifically Proven Ways to Beat Procrastination – I wanted to share with others what had worked for me, how I’d really learned how to stop procrastinating and get sh*t done.

How to be More Productive

How to Cope When you Don’t Have a Real Life Drill Sergeant (aka Life-Coach)

When you become an adult and you set out in the world on your own, unless you have paid for a life coach or enlisted the hope of an accountability partner, there is nobody breathing down your neck or cheering from the side lines, encouraging you to get things done. This can be a blessing and a curse. We all want freedom, but sometimes without some pressure we can all just coast and not get on with what we know we should.

When you’re trying to make it in your chosen career, working to create a successful side hustle, or learn a new skill, or achieve a goal – it’s all down to you to take action.

If you don’t get what you want done then guess what, nothing happens. Nobody is asking you where that piece of work is, nobody is emailing asking where you have got to with x, y or z and there are no KPIs to to report against. Nothing. If you don’t work, it doesn’t get done and then it’s just you – with no outcome and the thing you want still sitting on your “someday” list.

So seeing as I have goals I want to achieve, my beloved Poppy and husband that I want to spend time with, I had to figure out how to spin lots of plates.

How to Have the Most Productive Day Ever

This is What I’ve Learned About Successful People

Think about a successful person you know. Now think about what makes that person successful and you’ll likely discover that actually, they do not have super powers or anything necessarily remarkable about them (unless of course you are Beyonce?!). But the things that’ makes them special is that they have clearly defined their goals, have used their time efficiently and have created a habit out of managing their time well to move closer what they want, and have continued to take that action consistently.

So, successful people:

 “use their time efficiently”

+

“create a habit out of it”

+

“do this consistently”

= success

But nothing happens overnight or without effort. We live in a world where everyone wants things instantly. It doesn’t happen like that. One of my favourite quotes is:

“If you look really closely, every overnight success took a really long time”.

 

I’ve found that learning to use my time efficiently was achievable when I decided to put my mind to it. Creating a new habit after years of procrastinating was tough. Managing my time efficiently and taking small steps towards what I want over and over again  is challenging, but I’m doing it gradually (inbetween spinning all of the plates).

How to Be Productive

How to Be More Productive:

1.  Decide What you Want To Achieve

Another one of my popular posts, How I Set New Years Resolutions I Actually Achieve is a good read if you want to get started with goal-setting. 

You also don’t have to do this on a grandiose scale, this planning can be for the day. Decide what you want to achieve that day and get on with doing it. The act of planning on it’s own will have a huge impact n what you actually get done, trust me. 

 

2. Understand How you Currently Use Your time

How many times have you said or heard someone say “I can’t do A, B and C because  I’m doing X, Y and Z”? I’ve heard this so many times and I’ve definitely said it myself a few times. The truth of the matter is that we all make times for the things that we want to do. 

Do the maths. Calculate how you spend your time that doesn’t help you to achieve your goals:

– Watching Telly/Netflix/YouTube

– Scrolling through Instagram/Facebook/Twitter

– Chatting with friends about nothing in particular on WhatsApp/Phone/Facetime

I was definitely spending at least 2 hours a day on WhatsApp(!), a couple of hours watching the telly and the rest of the time on social media, doing not very much. This was in-between parenting or trying to keep on top of the household laundry/cleaning.

Review where you are spending your time and decide what’s really important to you and prioritise those things.

3. Eliminate Dead Time

Turn the commute or driving time into a useful time when you can either get something done or learn something.

I’ve been “reading” books and courses using Audible and have been listening to podcasts for years. They’re a great way to use otherwise ‘dead’ time when I’m driving, walking or at the gym. Just think, the radio plays the same music and lengthy adverts over and over again, so switch it off and learn something or catch-up with what’s going on in a specific niche related to your goals and really use that time the best way you can.

 

You can also listen to my new podcast, Not Wonder Woman with my co-host Mel called on iTunes or Stitcher.

 

4. Outsource what you can

This is my podcast co-host Mel’s favourite tip on how to be more productive and I’m inclined to agree. She doesn’t go grocery shopping and she doesn’t cook. I’m not quite there, but here are the things I have outsourced:

  • the cleaning;
  • the ironing;
  • cutting the grass;
  • washing the windows;
  • washing the car;
  • listing things on eBay;
  • blog photography; and
  • general outsourcing of bits and bobs (hiring a virtual assistant who knows social media)

The idea is to spend your time doing the things you WANT to do and will bring you closer to your goals and not the things you HAVE to do. Also, it’s ok that some things just don’t get done. If things aren’t outsourced and still don’t get done, it’s fair to say that those things aren’t a priority to me and that’s ok. 

4. Make a List and Categorise What You Need to Get Done:

Steven Covey the author of ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, has a great method to help you categorise the tasks that are on your to do list and determine the priority in which you do those things. 

The age-old to do list is a good productivity tool, but not on its own. Without a proper system behind it,  a to-do list is a never ending, out-of-control reminder that you’re not ticking things off quickly enough before a whole bunch of new things just get added to it. 

Prioritise those things on this list and have more control of the never-ending to-do.

5. Start Your Day Before it Starts You

Before you organise your day, it’s definitely a better use of your time to find out how best you work before setting yourself up for some sort of unworkable structure. Instead of dragging yourself out of bed at 5am if you’re going to be miserable for the rest of the day because you’re not a morning person, figure out if you’re more likely to be productive at different times of days than others.

I’m a morning person, but because Poppy wakes up early if I do, it doesn’t really work for us logistically. So I have to be a night owl and get stuff done when she’s in bed.

Lots of people say ‘start before the sun comes up’, but that also means going to bed at a reasonable hour, you can’t burn the candle at both ends (trust me I’ve tried, don’t). 

How to Be More Productive

6. Plan your day the night before:

It sounds so simple, but it’s been so beneficial for me to create a routine with the effect of eliminating some of the morning stress and start the day off on the best foot possible:

– I get all of Poppy’s uniform ready the evening before (I’m pretty sure all parents of school-age children do this?);

– I plan my own ‘uniform’ in my head for the next day (and pray make sure it doesn’t need ironing!);

– I write out a list of the things I want to get done work-wise the next day;

– I also write out a list of personal to-do’s that I want to get done the next day; and

– I sort out what I’m doing for lunchtime next day (Do I have time to go out for lunch and catch-up with someone? Or will it be working lunch?)


7. Use the Pomodoro Technique

I have actually used this system on and off since my exams and it works incredibly well and builds discipline.

If you haven’t already heard of it, the Pomodoro technique was created in the 1980s by Frances Cirillo and gets its name from the old style tomato timers (Pomodoro means ‘tomato’ in Italian) and this is the process:

  • Create your list of tasks that you want to complete for the day (be realistic)
  • Set a timer for 25 minutes
  • Get to work
  • Make an X on a piece of paper after the first 25 minutes – one of these is a ‘Pomodoro sequence’
  • After your first 3 Pomodoro sequences, take a 3 – 5 minute break (check Instagram, chat on WhatsApp, get a coffee, whatever you want)
  • After you’ve marked down your fourth ‘X’ on your piece of paper take an extended break for 15 – 30 minutes
  • If any distractions or thoughts arise during your Pomodoro don’t stop! Instead just write them down on your paper and schedule dealing with them during your scheduled intervals. 

The breaks are like a carrot and you feel like you’ve earned those moments of doing nothing during the day (for checking Instagram).

 

Being “too busy” is a decision

Let’s face it, there are so many things to be distracted by, not getting distracted should actually be rewarded with more than just a break to scroll through Instagram. Sometimes I feel like it deserves a bottle of champagne!

 

Being Busy vs. Being Productive

I worked at a large corporate where I had a colleague there who always stayed late. She was the first one in the door and the last one to leave. Everyone thought that she was super keen and really committed to her job. One evening when we both happened to be staying late, I recall her saying “just because I’m here late, doesn’t mean anything, I may I may not be very efficient or I may take longer to get my head around things…”.

This always stuck with me. Although I didn’t know exactly why she stayed (it really didn’t matter to me) her reason for staying later than the rest of us could have been for a number of reasons and not all of them were positive. She said so herself.

Don’t subscribe to presenteeism. Aim to be more productive not more busy. Forget what people around you may or may not be saying. Work smarter and not harder by having proper systems in place that help you get more done in less time by figuring out what works best for you.

There are people are there that are a hell of a lot more busy than you or I and they figure it all out somehow. Find out what you need to improve on and get on with learning how to improve it. We all need to start somewhere.

These are some of the books I’ve read and recommend reading some of these for more detail on how to be productive:

          

This is where I am at the moment, I was thinking of posting my daily schedule and actually listing how I fit in the blog and a work day, Poppy, making dinner, spending time with my husband and self care – if you guys would be interested in that, leave me a comment below or drop me message somewhere on socials.

 

Shop My Outfit:

Trousers – Zara, here 

Jumper  – Zara, sold out, on eBay here

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The Best Home Offices on Pinterest 2018

The Best Home Offices on Pinterest 2018

Create a Home Office that Encourages Focus and Creativity

The freedom to work from home is one of the perks of working in the 21st century. Regardless of how you’ve come to be working from home, having a home office beats working from your bed any day.

I’m in the process of designing my home office; when you move into a new home, the living spaces and bedrooms take precedence, but now the home office I need has to come next.

I want to create somewhere the inspires creativity and helps me to focus. I can’t yet decide between the lovely dark blues that are so on trend at the moment and something light and airy that will reflect light.

So what do you do when you’re looking for home decor inspiration? Pinterest of course! I have a Office Inspo board and I wanted to share some of the best finds with you: 

Follow me on Pinterest

 

Breathe Easy. World Green Building Council estimates that improved air quality and ventilation increase productivity by up to 11% and thermal comfort by 3%- which doesnt necessarily require fancy ventilation air conditioning and heating systems although these help too. Humble (we like that word) indoor plants dont just look nice; they also work quietly behind the scenes to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen #green #office #urbanjungle #productivity #sustainability #plants #wellbeing #health #office #workspace #work #happiness #humbleworks #design #interiordesign

The Workspace Stylist (TWS) | WEBSTA - Instagram Analytics

 

@maritfolland: We've decided to turn one of our guestrooms into a workspace. I'm looking into all kinds of styles, but think black wall as a base would be in touch with the rest of the house. It also give the workspace a calm feeling. Pic from pinterest

Спальня 18м2. - Галерея 3ddd.ru

 

@newdarlings always have some of the best home decor I've ever seen!

 

Home Office Inspiration pale grey decor with shelvingCredit: Ideal Home

Super minimal space - no distractions. Home office inspiration from Norm Architects

 

Home Office Décor

 

Transform your office into an inspiring environment with delightful mid-century lamps. Turn your workplace into a place with an exclusive design.

 

Con el color #Topacio crearás espacios llenos de luz. #Decoración #ComexPinturerías #Tendencias

 

Encontrei uma matéria muito interessante sobre cactos na decoração no blog Canto do Feng Shui e vou dividir algumas coisas que achei intere...

 

Eames Plastic Chair via skonarum.se- plastic, chair

☼ ☾

 

44 Home Offices To Inspire Creativity

black wall white wall

 

Follow me on Pinterest

 

These images were found on Pinterest, whilst reasonable effort was made to find the owner’s it was not possible to attribute the owners for all images, despite conducting Google Searches of the images.If any of these images belong to you please email cyran@corporatestylestory.com so that I can properly credit you.

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Why Having a Child Was the Best Thing for My Career

Why Having a Child Was the Best Thing for My Career


If you Google, “Why Having a Child Was the Best Thing for My Career” the search results at the top are are a mix of questions on Quora that go something like this: “I’m 30 and crushing my career, and want to have a baby. How screwed am I?” and posts like, “When Women Chose Children Over Career”. It’s disillusioning. Having a baby is not the end of your career and neither does everything have to take a nose dive before it turns up.

We planned to have our daughter and I didn’t actually think too much about the impact on my career, I knew some things would ultimately change for us lifestyle-wise but I saw no reason why they had to change for me career-wise and here is why:

 

I Challenge Myself More

The first reason why having a child was the best thing for my career, is that I had a reason to challenge myself right off the bat. I didn’t want to go back to the job I was in when I was pregnant. I knew I wanted a role that was challenging as well as flexible and the things that were important to me when I was child-free were no longer important to me career-wise when I had my daughter.

If you read my interview with Lisa from CityRunMum.com, you can read how before I was pregnant I was working in the legal team of one of the best-known brands in the world, friends and family thought I was mad to leave when I had my daughter, but I knew what I wanted. I wanted engaging work that I enjoyed, flexibility, a role with space for senior progression, to make a real difference to the business and no longer be a small cog in a big wheel. My role at that big-time brand couldn’t offer me that post-baby.

I left that company and went to work for a much smaller owner-managed company, who at the time, was making waves in the industry. I was given more responsibility as I was their only lawyer and it was a big change considering I joined when finished my maternity leave. Stepping up to take on more responsibility has benefitted me hugely in my career for obvious reasons, more exposure, more recognition, more flexibility as a senior exec and more of everything that comes with that, including more pay.

 

I’m More Confident 

Another reason why having a child was the best thing for my career is one of the most important. I’m more confident. I’m more confident now than I’ve ever been in my life and that may be down to age and maturity, I’m not entirely sure.

Having a child means that you have to make so many decisions that you’ve hadn’t considered before in your life. It’s no longer just about you – your choices impact you and your child and their wellbeing. Making decisions under these circumstances gives a certain level of confidence when you do it over and over again.

I’ve learned how to trust my own intuition over lots of unsolicited parenting advice, how to communicate with a non-verbal baby and make important decisions about child-care and education. When your child is thriving and happy you can’t help but feel confident in yourself – you’re doing an amazing job! That spills over into everything else. Career included.

Why Having a Baby Was the Best Thing for My Career

I Know How to Have Difficult Conversations

Ah the art of the difficult conversation. I rather welcome confrontation, and not the drama-filled conversation, but being able to confront a situation head-on and get things sorted is something that so many people shy away from and it does nobody any good. 

Since having my daughter I’ve initiated and been on the receiving end of difficult conversations with lots of people; nursery staff, doctors, friends and family and my bosses. If it’s a conversation about not giving my daughter too many sweets, questioning medical advise and medication, discussions about discipline, or talking to my bosses about what I need at work – things have to be discussed.

It’s no longer acceptable for me to skirt around issues or ignore them, I’m my daughters advocate, I need to use my voice for her because she can’t yet. As a parent I had to get comfortable being uncomfortable and that has only benefitted my in my career. A lawyer that can’t have difficult conversations is about as good as a Rich Tea biscuit in a cup of tea in my opinion – cultivating this skill this means I do better for my clients by having those conversations on their behalf too.

 

I’ve Learned How to Prioritise Effectively

You can hear my co-host and I discussing prioritising on our new podcast, Not Wonder Woman, here. With less time than I had BC (before child) I had to get better at managing my time if I was going to be efficient and get sh*t done. I outsource things that I can to make time for the things I want and need to do. Admitting that I can’t do everything at home has given me the insight as to how to delegate things effectively in the workplace too. 

Effective delegation is an important skill, lots of people (myself in included in the past) take on too much and buckle under the pressure of it all – trying to spin all the plates.  Learning when, how and to whom to delegate is necessary as a leader and I first learned how to do this properly as a mother.

 

I’m More Productive

I fit more into my days by maximising productivity having finally given up the terrible procrastination habit I’ve had since I was a student.

I have more of an ‘up and at em’ attitude seeing as I know I have less time to waste. Since having my daughter, there is a new commodity I’m chasing and it’s not money – it’s time. This is the single most important thing to me and I won’t waste it or have anyone else waste it if I can help it. I forget about being ‘busy’ and focus on being productive and efficient instead. I actually get stuff done instead of saying I’m going to do it or procrastinating.

Related post: How I Have my Most Productive Days Ever

 

I Make More time for Self-Care

Making time for self-care doesn’t just apply to parents, it applies to all of us. Even when I had lots of time on my hands before I had my daughter, I was partying socialising like most of us were, but I don’t think I was taking time to consider what I really needed.

I need to make time for myself so I can rest and recuperate and invest in my health and wellbeing. If I’m ill, feeling overwhelmed, or stressed there is a knock-on effect. 

Eventually, I’ve learned to be selfish and get what I need to manage a full schedule.  This has been the longest new habit in the making – nearly 3 years before I had a night away from Poppy. But small things like making and sticking to routine medical appointments, making time to meditate and exercise,  getting in downtime and prioritising little things like having my hair done and wearing nice pajamas, allow me to feel human instead of a machine on a perpetual treadmill.

Identifying when I may be feeling overwhelmed allows me to be more self aware. Getting what I need ultimately helps me to be more resilient which is a much needed quality anyone needs in this day and age for navigating your career.

 

I Started Blogging

Corporate Style Story is actually my second blog, I started a parenting blog when my daughter was one year old.

Unless women choose to stay at home after having their children, lots of mothers have returned to work in the UK a year after taking maternity leave, whether part time or full time. When I was back at work, there less opportunities for me to meet and connect with other women who have similar things going on as me. I needed to finish work and get back to looking after my daughter.

That first blog was amazing at helping me find other mothers online, to read their stories and advice and discover their product recommendations. I looked forward to Twitter chats twice a week and writing my blog (albeit sporadically). Blogging allowed me to connect with the mothers behind the blogs; savvy business women whom I still pick up the phone to now (you know who you are). I’d recommend blogging to any mother wanting to connect with other mothers in a similar situation to her.

If I hadn’t started my first blog, then I definitely wouldn’t have started CorporateStyleStory.com, this blog is turning into more things than I could ever imagine and as such this has been the best thing for my career. It allows my to be creative and use my business head at the same time, I’ve learned so many new skills and I get a lot of satisfaction from that.

 

I’m Happier

I’ve never been happier and I think that’s because I have all the things I want. Don’t get me wrong things are not a walk in the park every day and some times its really tough trying to juggle it all.

My daughter is my world and I’m so grateful to have her in my life. I’m sure I could have cultivated all of these qualities over time without having had a child, but it just so happens that for me, having her has made such a positive impact on me and my career that I wanted to share this to encourage women that having children can be the best thing that ever happened to your career. I don’t think women should think that it has to be one or the other. Assess the situation and decide what’s best for you. This post isn’t about encouraging women to rush out and have children willy-nilly, it’s about women considering their options and not thinking that having a child is detrimental to your career, it certainly isn’t considered that way for men. Motherhood is amazing gift. Having a child was the best thing for my career (which is obviously just one of the reasons motherhood is amazing) and it could be for you too.

 

 

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What to Wear to Work – Weekly Finds

What to Wear to Work – Weekly Finds

This week focuses on transitional pieces to add to your wardrobe for the (hopefully!) now changing weather. With the ‘Beast from the East’ descending over the UK last week bringing freezing temperatures and snow. I think it’s fair to say that everyone is well and truly ready for some Spring weather.

The stores are all carrying the new season’s pieces but the weather isn’t quite ready for bare legs and arms just yet. I’ve chosen a few pieces below will carry you over but will still be wearable in this transitional weather.

Have a great week everyone!

  1. English Tweed Dress, Winser London

Work Wear Style Outfits - English Tweed Dress, perfect for Spring

I’ve you’ve followed my blog or Instagram for a while, you’ll know that I love Winser London Tweed *heart eyes*. This gorgeous houndstooth English tweed in a truly classic styled dress is a perfect addition to your Spring wardrobe and I so love the pockets – they’re so underrated.

Spring Work Wear Outfit: Wear with tights, a blazer and black shoes whilst it’s still chilly and switch to nude shoes and forget the jackets when the sun decides to shine.

2. Victoria Blouse from The Working Wardrobe

What to Wear to Work - Weekly Finds

This is the perfect versatile Victoriana blouse, you can wear it with a pencil skirt or trousers to the office and it can easily see you through desk to drinks. I’m absolutely in love with the ruffles. As worn by the model, leather trousers also make this perfect for the weekend.

Spring Work Wear Outfit: Wear with trousers and a coatigan under the weather warms up and with a pencil skirt when it’s warmer.

3. Rene Bow Flats, Hobbs London

Rene Bow Flat

These are such a perfect addition to you work wardrobe, heels for work are quit easy to find, but good flats with a bit of character are another story. I think you can push the boat out a bit with flats. These would look fab with a pair of navy trousers and would also look great with a pair of blue jeans on casual Friday.

Spring Work Wear Outfit: Wear with pop socks under wide leg trousers or even with ankle grazers until it gets warmer and these are perfect to bare your ankles in when it gets warmer.

 

4. Straight Leg Black Trousers, Zara

 

Work Wear Outfits

 

The search for the perfect black trousers continues, these are a great staple for any work wardrobe outfits and at a great price. Plus, it’ll be time to bare the ankles hopefully soon, perfect with this trouser length!

 

Spring Work Wear Outfit: Chilly, with pop socks. Sunny, sans pop socks.

5. Colour Block Flare Skirt, Jaeger London

 

What to Wear to Work - Work Outfits

 

I love this style of skirt for the office and the subtle colour blocking detail will make this an on trend piece for your work wear wardrobe this season. 

Spring Work Wear Outfit: With a wool maxi coat and nude stockings or tights whilst its still cold or with a trench when it gets warmer.

 

6. Fishtail Pencil Skirt, Marks and Spencer

Fishtail pencil skirts a ultra feminine, if you usually wear skirt or dresses, try this fishtail for a different take. The nipped in hem before the fishtail flare is very flattering and creates the illusion of a smaller waist (if that’s what you’re after!) This is one that would go perfectly with the Victoria blouse and always with heels.

 

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