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Recovering Workaholics can help you create a life full of so much more than just work.
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Volume 21 | July 2008 | Making the most of Living in the Present

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Courses | Coaching | Partners of Workaholics


Part 1 - Welcome!
Part 2 - Recommended Read
Part 3 - Products / Special Offers
Part 4 - Feature Article - Making the Most of Living in the Present
Part 5 - Media Interest
Part 6 - Organizations - Learning the Lessons of Time
Part 7 - Support for Partners of Workaholics
Part 8 - The SaVVy Club - The Bane of Business Travellers

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Part 1 - Welcome!

Dear Recovering Workaholic,

Welcome to this our twenty first newsletter for Recovering Workaholics.

  • How happy are you with the balance between your personal and work life?
  • Do you make the most of every moment?
  • Are you planning to have a life once you give up work but are prepared to settle for second best in the mean time?

Every moment is precious, even when you are working long hours it is possible to appreciate the moment and make it count.

  • Do you enjoy living in the moment?
  • Do you find yourself constantly being affected by your past?
  • Are you so goal driven that there in no time to enjoy the journey in the rush to achieve the next goal.. and the next?

Time is a precious commodity. When you consider that a life time of 70 years has around six and a quarter million hours. Not a lot when you take out the time necessary for sleeping, eating, washing, shopping and working.

Each moment is precious and whether it relates to the past, the here and now or the future it is important to live each moment to the full.

This month’s article offers strategies to help those of you who put your focus too heavily in the past or in the future and in doing so neglect to maximise the wonder of the here and now.

If you would like some help to deal with any of the issues raised in this newsletter please contact us directly.

Recovering Workaholics is a growing concern. We offer 1:1 coaching, and training to facilitate those who want a truly satisfying life. Understanding what drives you to work to the point where love, happiness and fulfilment have become the poor relation is the first step to creating a life you truly love. We can help you work towards achieving your "dream" life.

We provide support for those facing retirement or who have recently retired, ideal for those who want to embrace a new stage in their lives. Redundancy can be a very stressful time, let us help you make the most of the opportunity it offers.

Call today and take the first step to work- life passion on (0)1708 703 959.

If you know of anyone who would be interested in working with us please let us know by contacting us on info@recoveringworkaholics.com or phone on (0)1708 703 959.

Make 2008 the year when you took consistent action to make a positive difference to the quality of your own life and for those who work with you. Call today to sign up for a free no obligation coaching session and take the first step to the future you deserve!

With best wishes,

Gina Gardiner
Helping you create a life you love!

Recovering Workaholics
Tel in the UK: 01708 703 959
Tel International: +44 1708 703 959
Email: gina@recoveringworkaholics.com

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Part 2 - Recommended Read

WINK by Roger Hamilton


by Roger Hamilton

Buy from Amazon.co.uk

Wink is a modern day parable of wealth beyond words. The book offers the keys to finding wealth. The keys are in the story behind the story, a lesson behind the lesson. To find the keys you need to become better at seeing. You will aleays get what you see. Reading the book with enable you to see things a little better and ultimately help you find the keys to your own wealth.

Time is your greatest asset, and your wealth awaits so don’t waste another minute. Read the book and grow rich.. it will change the way you will approach success in life.

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively by Gina Gardiner

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion)

by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

This book offers lots of practical strategies for managers to help get the very best of their staff as individuals and as a team.

Everything in the book has been tried and tested in a variety of organizations; it is a distillation of over 30 years experience of developing leadership at every level.

The book does not attempt to teach grandmothers or grandfathers to suck eggs, but offers tried and tested principles, strategies and ideas which have been proven to work.

Time, energy and money are all very precious resources and all three seem to be in short supply for most busy managers.

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) can help! Dip into it if you are facing specific issues or use the comprehensive approach to underpin ongoing and sustained individual and team development.

It has relevance for experienced managers who want to share good practice as well as for aspiring leaders who want to develop and deepen their leadership skills.

The book covers a wide range of issues including

  • Developing strategic vision
  • Creating your dream team
  • Creating a ‘Can Do’ culture
  • Effective delegation
  • Holding people to account
  • Developing a solutions approach
  • The power of anticipation
  • Giving positive feedback
  • Having those “hard conversations”
  • Managing stress for you and your team
  • Creating a good work life balance

How YOU Can Manage Your Staff More Effectively (And Pave The Way To Your Next Promotion) will stand alone but you will find it useful to use it in conjunction with the companion book Kick Start Your Career.

Kick Start Your Career by Gina Gardiner

Kick Start Your Career

by Gina Gardiner

Order Book Online - £15

Download e-Book Now - £15

This book is designed for new initiates into the business world and graduates who are ambitious and want to create a successful career for themselves. It is a no nonsense, jargon free manual, full of practical ideas and strategies to support the development of leadership from day one.

These books can be ordered via our web site at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.

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Part 3 - Products and Special Offers!

We have produced three CDs designed especially for you to tackle the most common problems that seem to affect many of our members.

They are available now to buy as CDs or as downloadable MP3 files from www.recoveringworkaholics.com/booksandcds.php.

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Relaxation CD 1 - A Spanish Theme

Take time out of your busy and stressful day to relax.

True relaxation is known to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, clear the mind and leave you feeling alert, refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of your day with renewed energy and vigour.

"A Spanish Theme" uses a mixture of guided imagery and deep breathing exercises to take you on an intensely relaxing journey.

Stress is sited as the cause of over 500,000 days of absence a year in the UK alone. It represents a huge cost in both economic and personal terms. In order to deal with it we must first understand what it is and what causes it.

Where stress is detrimental people are often in situations where they feel they have little control. Sustained exposure to such negative situations can have serious implications for the health and well being of the individual and ultimately for the organization as a whole

Relaxation is a powerful tool to combat stress. Learning to take time out, to truly relax has been proven to lower blood pressure, improve mental acuity and reduce stress.

Our Relaxation Tape with a Spanish theme is the first in a series of relaxation tapes created by Gina Gardiner associates.

Using visualization, guided imagery and deep breathing exercises take time out of your hectic day to unwind, de-stress and relax!

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Beat Insomnia CD - Retrain Your Sleep Pattern Without Drugs

Sleep is vital to our health and sense of wellbeing. We need it as much as we need food and water and the air we breathe. It is during sleep that the body rests and repairs itself. Good quality sleep leaves us feeling refreshed, re-energized and ready to face the new day. 

Insomnia affects most people at some time during their lives. For many it is a passing phase caused because of a stressful event in their lives. For chronic sufferers it becomes a way of life. Although it is not life-threatening it can and does threaten the quality of life for many sufferers leaving them frustrated, exhausted and feeling low.

"Beat Insomnia" uses deep trance techniques to help you retrain your sleep pattern without drugs.

Use "Beat Insomnia" to get a great nights sleep and make Insomnia a thing of the past.

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You
PRICE: £10.00

Order CD
Order CD Online

Download MP3
Download MP3 Online Now

Confidence Building CD - Creating the Confident You

We all feel less confident in certain situations. This CD is designed to help you feel confident in any situation. It uses tried and tested NLP techniques to help you develop the confidence you need to tackle new social situations or when giving an important presentation or interview.

  • How often do you wish you felt more confident? 
  • Do you worry about social events or standing up to talk in front of work colleagues?
  • Would you like to live your life feeling that you are in control?
  • Do you have butterflies in your stomach that feel as if they are wearing hobnailed boots when you have to go to an interview or a meeting?
  • Is the voice in your head telling you - you can't do it?

Developing confidence is about much more than learning to do an activity better.

It is about changing how we feel about ourselves and dealing with our thoughts and beliefs.  It is about facing the things we fear and being curious about why we fear them.

Use "Creating the Confident You" to learn to push through the fear and create a world of limitless possibilities, where you are in control of your own destiny.

We expect the following titles to be available later in the year.

  • Relaxation CD 2 - A Country Theme
  • Relaxation CD 3 - Sky

For any further information or advice about CDs contact
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone 01708 703959

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Part 4 - Feature Article

Making The Most Of Living In The Present

Time is a precious commodity. When you consider that a life time of 70 years has around six and a quarter million hours. Not a lot when you take out the time necessary for sleeping, eating, washing, shopping and working.

Each moment is precious and whether it relates to the past, the here and now or the future it is important to live each moment to the full.

Too great a focus on the past means that the present and future are short changed. Too little and the lessons that experience and living can teach us are likely to be missed.

Too great an emphasis on the future and we waste the precious gift that each current moment offers.

Too little thought about the future leaves us ill prepared to deal with life’s challenges, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and financial. To know the needs of the future and only to enjoy the moment is feckless in the extreme.

There needs to be a balance. Use the past to teach us the lessons for the present and the future. Plan sensibly for the future but learn to enjoy the present and to make the most of every moment.

Here are 10 strategies which help you get the most out of each moment. They don’t expect you to find more time in your over stretched day but help you to make a conscious choice about how you use the moment and feel about it.

Step 1 - Start your day by taking 10 deep breaths

Start your day by taking 10 deep breaths in to the count of 4, hold for 8 and out for4. As you do so say to yourself, “It is a new day. I choose to be happy and look for the beauty and wonder within the day.

Step 2 - Choose a different sense to focus on for the day

Choose a different sense to focus on for the day and as you go through your normal day make a conscious decision to notice:

a) What you see – look for colour, pattern, texture, form, contrast etc. in all that you see. E.g. As you notice the rain making a pattern on the windscreen of your car or the train window

b) What you hear – be conscious of the sounds around you, at home, travelling or at work. Notice the variety of sound, the volume, harmony or discord.

c) What you feel – notice the texture underfoot, the feel of a soft jumper or shirt on your skin, the feel of the razor as you shave, or the moisturiser you put on your face, the silky sin when you give someone a kiss

d) What you smell – the coffee, or smell of bacon frying, aftershave or conditioner on clothes, the pungent smell of cleaning materials or the smell of someone hot with exercise

e) What you taste – bitter, sweet or sour

Think of the language you would use to describe it.

Step 3 - Smile at people

Make a conscious decision to smile at people. Notice their responses, expect none but enjoy it when people smile back.

Step 4 - Take 10 minutes to simply be

Take a short time out from your busy day – 10 minutes to simply be. Sit still and let your thoughts go where they will. Start with the intention of being curious about where your mind wants to take you.

Step 5 - Be aware of the physical world around you

Be aware of the physical world around you. Look for the weed which has grown out of a crack in the wall, watch the clouds as they change shape. There is no need to make new time for this simply be conscious of things in your every day circumstances. Be open and curious.

Step 6 - As you eat be conscious of the aroma and taste

As you eat and drink anything be conscious of the aroma and taste, feel the texture in your mouth. Try to identify the different ingredients within a dish.

Step 7 - Have a conversation about the day

Instead of watching TV, have a conversation about the day. What you have noticed or been curious about. Be equally curious about their day.

Step 8 - Make a random act of kindness

Make a random act of kindness during the day to a complete stranger. It doesn’t have to be anything big but it needs to be unsolicited and with out expectation of any return. Let someone out into the stream of traffic, opening a door, helping someone carry a bag. No matter how small it will make a difference to the other person’s day, and to yours.

Step 9 - Notice something someone has done for you

Take the time and trouble to notice something someone has done for you and thank them. Even better if it is someone whose efforts usually go unnoticed.

Step 10 - Collect gratitudes

Collect gratitudes. As you lie in bed just before you go to sleep think about at least 5 things you have been grateful for within the day. They can be as simple and small or as grandiose as you choose.

Make every day count for you and for others.
Live this day as if it were going to be your last.
Live the experiences of the day and be determined to enjoy it.

If you need help,
why not work with a coach to take control of your life and make it outstanding!

If you would like a free 30 minute coaching session to explore how you could improve the relationship you have with yourself contact me on info@recoveringworkaholics.com

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Part 5 - Media Interest

Radio 4 Woman's Hour

Some of you may have heard the feature on Woman's Hour on Thursday 25th April which focused on the difficulties that living with a workaholic creates. If you would like to hear that feature please visit the BBC web site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2008_17_thu.shtml

If you are aware of anything interesting in the media relating to work life balance please let us know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com.

Also, if you see anything about our organization in any publication not mentioned by us we would be very much like to hear about it on info@recoveringworkaholics.com.

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Part 6 - Organizations

Learning The Lessons Of Time

As an organization it is important to get the perspective of time right.

The Past

Organizations which stay focussed on the past are unlikely to succeed in the long term. Because something has worked before does not guarantee that it will service your needs in the future. Some organizations continue to use methods which have outlived their usefulness because no one takes the time to review whether they are still working.

Others fail to learn the lessons the past offers them. Understanding how to evaluate current practice and determine what needs to be changed is skill fundamental to ongoing success.

It is as harmful to change too much as it is too little. Many national institutions have fallen onto the trap of identifying a problem and then bringing in a process of change which does nothing to solve the original problem and in many cases makes things even worse. They have got caught up in the myrrh that because it is a change it must be better. There is too little care gone in to defining what the real issues are and the baby has got thrown out with the bath water. The process is repeated as each new administration comes in. Departments get reorganized, job titles get longer and the fundamental problems remain.

The Present

Organizations which focus only in the present are missing out on the experience the past has to offer and are likely to miss the benefits of anticipation.

Too much focus on the present and an organization will be left fire fighting and being reactive. This is a very costly approach which leaves staff feeling frazzled and stressed. It leads to staff absence, a high staff turn over and an over dependence on agency or temporary staff.

Reflecting on present performance is critical. It needs time taken off the treadmill of activities and needs to be done at both an individual and organizational level. There need to be a culture of development rather than blame and an expectation that people will be accountable for their actions rather than covering their backs.

Time needs to be taken to consider present performance by asking:

  • What are we doing well?
  • How do we know?
  • Where is our evidence?
  • How do we compare to similar departments or organizations?
  • When we are doing things well lets acknowledge them and celebrate.
  • If others are doing better – ask what can we learn from them?

It is then that we can start to think about the future

Once this is done and the answers are evaluated it is time to plan for future action. Starting with what would the ideal look like? - (so you know when we have succeeded) and what will be the milestones on the way?

  • What could be even better?
  • What do we need to have in place to achieve it – staff, resources, training, infra structure?
  • What will be the cost of changing?
  • What is the cost to our organization if we don’t change?
  • What are the potential benefits if we do?

The Future

If you always do what you have always done
you will always get what you have always got.

Creating success is the easy bit. It is sustaining growth and success over the long term which is the real challenge. If you look at the “Best Companies” lists over the years you will see that many companies who achieve a listing do not stand the test of time.

It is because they are unprepared or unable to anticipate the needs of the future. They see no reason to change and have no vision for what will be required in the future.

Think of the tactics used by the best football or hockey teams. The player sends the ball to where they anticipate their team member will move to, looking for the space and opportunity. If they sent the ball to where their team member had been at the point of the decision, the ball would be lost to the other side.

Business is no different. The pace of change has never been faster. Technological developments, global communication and travel mean that only those organizations who can anticipate the market will survive long term.

You have heard the saying “the only thing we can rely on is death and taxes” well in today’s life there is a third constant and that is change.

This is not about making changes for changes sake. It is much more about creating a vision for a future where you strive for ongoing success and then identify what needs to be done to achieve it. It is about being creative and curious, being open to the possibility that things could be better if…

Sustained success is dependent on effective planning and anticipating future needs. The principles are the same for personal planning and creating the strategic vision and plans which will underpin the ongoing development of a large corporation.

The most successful organizations are able to plan for anticipated needs rather than to plan for the present. If you only manage for the ‘here and now’ by the time the plans come to fruition they will have a limited impact as the time has ‘been and gone’.

Anticipating the use of resources and buying when the price is low, planning large projects to coincide with a quieter work period, maximizing the use of your infra structure by increasing the working window and encouraging flexible working times can increase the profitability of your department or organizations.

In work as in life you need to get the balance of time right. Learn the lessons of the past, value and enjoy the present and anticipate the needs of the future.

If you would like to work with an Executive Coach contact us at
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or through

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Part 7 - Support for Partners of Workaholics

We publish a monthly newsletter designed for the partners of Workaholics.

You can subscribe to this by going to

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Part 8 - The SaVVy Club®

The Bane of Business Travellers - LHR Syndrome

A well known but little talked about ailment is affecting many business travellers. It’s something often suffered in silence. But finally, there is a cure for Lonely Hotel Room Syndrome. 

Your friends are probably envious of your work induced wanderlust. "What are you moaning about?" they ask as you look crestfallen when yet another trip looms on the horizon. They don’t understand that the only sight seeing you get to do is through the grimy window of a train or taxi cab dashing from one meeting to the next.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

There is a simple cure - go out and experience the wealth of culture around you. A pre-organized social event is perfect. No organizing to do, just turn up and enjoy. They are the ideal way to meet likeminded travellers. Just think of the networking opportunities.

Next time you’re heading to London for a volley of meetings, don’t spend your evenings alone with only the remote control for company. Get out there and enjoy what the City has to offer.

Kim Rix
Founder and CEO of The SaVVy Club®  
London’s first boutique social events club.

For more information, please visit
or call 0870 005 6225.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

If there are any topics you would like covered in future issues please let me know on info@recoveringworkaholics.com or complete the feedback form at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/enquiryform.php.

What do you think?

Warmest wishes,
Gina Gardiner


For any further information or to discuss your coaching needs contact
info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).

Gina Gardiner recognized by "Investors in People" as creating an "innovative and exemplary training program for emerging and middle managers" and by Ofsted as an “inspirational leader”. Her experience includes that of “Change Management” and in supporting organizational leaders in developing strategic vision and creating a “can do” culture.

If you aren't a subscriber already, please sign up to receive the next issue of the free monthly Recovering Workaholics newsletter at www.recoveringworkaholics.com/freemonthlynewsletter.php.

You may copy or distribute this newsletter,
provided that full credit is given and the following copyright information is included.

Copyright © 2008 Author : Gina Gardiner - www.ginagardiner.com

For any further information or advice about Recovering Workaholics contact info@recoveringworkaholics.com or
phone in the UK 01708 703959 (or International +44 1708 703959).