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There comes a time when you need to take a fresh approach to things and so I’m relaunching my blog in a different format, and I’d ask you if you’re interested to go and have a look at my new WordPress page which is where I’ll be showing off my wares from now on.

Thanks for your support and your interest…

James Altucher

I got an email at 5 in the morning that made me angry. It pressed every button. It accused. It threatened. It cc-ed people. It attempted to make me feel guilt. It attempted to make me feel fear. I can go on.

I started to type a response and then I stopped. I’m not so great that I can always stop. Sometimes I respond. Sometimes hellfire breaks loose from the carefully constructed dams.

But I’m trying to get better. We find our strength deep in the valley of our fears.

Sometimes the best thing to do is: nothing.

Many productivity books tell you what you can do MORE of in order to achieve goals, purpose, success money, etc. But MORE is hard to do. I’m already busy. Now you tell me I have to make a to-do list with six things that make me feel grateful on top of it? I can’t do it all.

You need to eliminate first. You need to be a productivity minimalist in order to be a success. The key is to find the easy things you can chop off where you can at the very least do nothing instead of doing things that actually DAMAGE your productivity.

Here’s a checklist I use for when to do nothing:

Do nothing when you’re angry. Some people think anger can focus emotions, but it doesn’t. It’s like focusing on a kaleidoscope. You’ll walk straight off a cliff. Anger is a roadmap off that cliff. You have to wait until it settles down and you get perspective. Time is the morphine drip that soothes the anger. Then you can act. Anger is just an outer reflection of inner fear. The fear might be correct, but the anger blurs it.

Do nothing when you’re paranoid. I initially wrote “fear” here. But fear can focus. If you’re in the jungle and there’s a lion on your right and an apple tree on your left then you better run as fast as you can back where you came from. But often I’m not afraid, I’m paranoid. I imagine a chaotic future filled with misery and hate and homelessness and loneliness. My best bet is to sit down and picture a more realistic future, one based on the fact that almost 99 percent of what I’ve been paranoid about in the past never comes true.

Do nothing when you’re anxious. Why did they call at 5 p.m. on a Friday night and say, “We HAVE to talk. Well, I guess you’re not there. Talk Monday?” Ugh! I hate that! Why 5 p.m.? What did they have to say? I should call her house line. I should write. I should drive up and visit (“Hey, just stopping by! So, uhh, what was up with that phone call?”). There is nothing that is ever so important it can’t wait. And if it was that important, then it’s a roadmap to you and not the situation. It’s an opportunity to say, “What about my life can be rearranged so that this one thing doesn’t throw me off so much? What things can I change?” And then have fun changing them.

Do nothing when you’re tired. I was trying to figure out something on the computer the other day. It was both very technical and related to money. First it was 1 p.m. Then it was 6 p.m. Then, against all my rules for a “daily practice,” it was midnight. And I was no closer to figuring it out. I was tired. My eyes were blurry. I was taking ten-second naps on my computer. A week later I still haven’t figured out what I needed to figure out. But right then, because I had invested this time into my “learning” and I was tired, I wanted to keep going. My wife Claudia peeled me off the keyboard and marched me upstairs. Sleep hygiene is the best way to improve productivity in your life. Not beating your head against a computer.

Do nothing when you want to be liked. How many times have I gone to a meeting? Taken a trip abroad? Made stupid investments? Written an article? Done did doing does? Just so someone would like me: a mother, a father, a friend, a reader, an investor, a customer, a stranger. Answer: a lot of times. Too many times. And it works. I put in the input (flattery, attention, false love) and get out the output (false love back). And continue to live the illusion in search of the dream, in avoidance of the nightmare, ignorant of the reality. Do I make any money this way? Do I feel a sense of accomplishment? In my 25 years of business: Never.


That’s my checklist. If I feel any of these conditions occurring — like a sniffle in the night that turns into a flu by morning — then I stop. What do I do when I stop? I do nothing. I read a book. I write. I watercolor. I take a walk. I sit and do absolutely nothing.

Think about when you’ve been happiest with your life (and if that’s not a reasonable goal then what is?). Is it during those moments when your thoughts have been frenetic and all over the place? Or has it been those moments when your thoughts have been calm – the depths of a peaceful ocean instead of a stormy surface.

It’s when we are in touch with the magic of our silence that we find our inner creators and can change the universe.

caanSetting yourself apart from the crowd is vital when you are looking for that new job. This applies for all stages of the recruitment process – you want to ensure that your CV is at the top of a recruiter or hiring manager’s pile, and that your interview shows you in the best possible light.

People looking to fill a role will be looking for that something special which sets the very best candidates apart. To give yourself the best opportunity, here are some very common mistakes and phrases which you should try to avoid in those all-important interviews

I don’t know

Interviewers will be looking to stretch and challenge candidates during the course of the recruitment process. The best way of dealing with the tough questions is to do your homework. The importance of research cannot be understated – you should know about the company, and be prepared for anything you will be asked about your own CV. Of course if there is a question which you are not expected to know the answer to, or if you are genuinely stuck, don’t make things up or try to bluff your way through. Move back into your comfort zone, relate the question back to something you do know and take on board any new information you are given. But as I said, proper planning and preparation is essential.

What’s the salary?

The salary is always a tough point to discuss with a new employer, especially at the interview stage. There is a time and place to bring it up, and the first interview isn’t always the right one. At the same time, you don’t want to get too far down the process and not know what the salary is. Initially you should have a good indication of the remuneration from the job description. The chances are that the interviewer themselves will ask you what sort of salary you are looking for – this gives you the opportunity to talk about it and negotiate the best deal for you.

How many holidays do I get?

Companies are on the look-out for people that are motivated and willing to put in the necessary effort. They want staff to be ambitious, driven self-starters, not people who are just looking for an easy life. If you want a fulfilling career and the rewards that tend to come with that, then you have to be prepared to go that extra mile. Of course you are perfectly entitled to perks, but try to avoid talking about things like holiday entitlement straight away, because it can give off the wrong impression.

I dislike my current company

You never want to turn the tone of the interview negative, even if you may be having a bad experience at your current job. All this does is make you seem like somebody who is difficult to manage. If asked why you are leaving, focus more on your ambitions for the future and what excites you about the job you are applying for.

I don’t have any questions

I have written before about candidates needing to ask questions themselves in interviews. You want to show prospective employers how keen you are to get the role. The research you have done may have thrown up some interesting facts that you can ask about, or you may want to know about the scope for personal development. You may also wish to get some more information about your role or the working culture – either way it is important that the interview process is not one sided.

The Good Governance Institute (GGI), with our partners Capsticks, has been commissioned by NHS England to carry out a major piece of work to assist with the on-going development of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). The work has been designed and will be overseen by a task and finish group of the NHS Commissioning Assembly CCG Development Working Group made up of CCGs from around the country.

Between March and mid-May, 2014, GGI will work with CCGs and other stakeholders to help develop:

a language for governance that works for clinicians, lay members and other CCG staff and their stakeholders
thinking around the outcomes when good governance is in place
This work will involve specialist governance experts at GGI, Capsticks and the Cass Business School in London.

On this website you will find information about this work, and how you can become involved.

Good Governance Institute | http://ow.ly/ukQzy

ImageSue Moore has been appointed as the Chief Operating Officer for the Trust. Sue is currently the Managing Director of Good Hope Hospital at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust responsible for transformational work with the frail elderly population and is currently responsible for communicating and engaging with local patient groups and other external partners.  She started her clinical career as a radiographer and has worked as a Divisional Director of Operations and Performance within the NHS. Sue comes from Burnley and has shared with me that she has been a life-long Burnley Football Club fan! Sue brings with her a wealth of experience and I am confident that she will have a positive influence on the organisation as we look to progress and develop over the coming years.

On her appointment Sue said: “I am passionate about enabling people to live their lives in as normal a way as possible and supporting people to be cared for out of hospital. It’s a pleasure to be invited to work with the Trust and I am really looking forward to returning to Lancashire.”

Sue will formally take up her post within the Trust early in the new year and I would like to express my thanks to Jon Tomlinson who is providing us with excellent leadership and support in the interim.

Rheumatology Team received an award for excellent care at the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society Healthcare Champions AwardsDr Elizabeth Macphie and Preston’s Rheumatology Team received an award in the House of Commons for excellent care at the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society (NRAS) Healthcare Champions Awards.The team based at the Minerva Health Centre in Preston were among 10 winners from across the UK to be awarded for the excellent and compassionate care they provide to people with the Rheumatoid Arthritis. The awards recognise healthcare teams who go that extra mile to listen, care and educate their patients about their condition, options and next steps in their care pathway.

Dr Elizabeth MacPhie, Consultant Rheumatologist at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

“It is a real honour to accept this award from The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society after being nominated by our patients. The rheumatology service in Preston has gone through enormous changes since transferring from the hospital to a community setting three years ago. This award reflects the hard work of all the members of the rheumatology team and their commitment to providing a high quality service.”

The award was presented at the Macmillan Room in the House of Commons by The Home Secretary and NRAS Patron, The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

Nominees speaking of the team said:

“We commend the quality of care that we receive and the dedication and kindness received from all members of the team at all times. We are treated as individuals, with empathy and humanity; in fact we believe that the service we receive is second to none.”

Commenting on the NRAS Healthcare Champions Awards Ailsa Bosworth, Chief Executive, NRAS said:

“Many congratulations to Lancashire Care’s Rheumatology Team on winning this Award through your passion and commitment to providing such excellent care in RA. Once again I am enormously impressed by the dedication of our health professionals in RA and so proud that for the fourth time, we are having the opportunity to celebrate the good work of our Healthcare Champions. I would like to thank all those who wrote in with their nominations and applaud all our winners for their professionalism and excellence of care.” 

– See more at: http://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/communications/Latest-News/News-Articles.php?id=283#sthash.xVDRQxFV.dpuf

The Early Start Team has won a national award for their dedication and family centred approach.

The Early Start Team was awarded the Nursing Times Award at the Grosvenor Hotel in London where hundreds of health professionals attended for the announcement of this year’s winners. The team won the award in the Child and Adolescent Services category which recognises teams or individuals who demonstrate evidence of a family centred approach to care and commitment to ensuring that young people receive age appropriate care.

Lynne Braley, Network Director for the Children and Families network at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“I am so incredibly proud that the team has won such a prestigious award and been recognised nationally for their hard work. The team provides a valuable service to local families and by working closely with parents to build on their parenting skills; they ensure people have the confidence to provide the best possible care to their children.

“Early Start recognises the importance of early intervention and giving every child, in every community, the best possible start in life. The fact that the team has been awarded for the work they are doing in a real accolade and I hope they are extremely proud of this fantastic achievement.”

The Early Start team develops trusting and sustained relationships with families in Blackburn with Darwen who require additional support from early in the antenatal period until their first child reaches the age of two years. The programme ensures families receive proactive advanced parenting support to minimise the future need for specialist services.

Jenni Middleton, Editor, Nursing Times, said:
“The winners of our Nursing Times Awards have shown that they are able to innovate to achieve better outcomes for patients. Their work is focused on doing things differently to enhance patient care, safety and experience. We receive a huge amount of entrants for these awards and to be shortlisted is a fantastic achievement, but to be chosen as a winner shows that you are at the top of your game and providing exceptional care. We hope other nurses and trusts emulate these projects and they lead to wider recognition of the huge contribution nursing can make to healthcare. My congratulations to the winner of this award.”

– See more at: http://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/communications/Latest-News/News-Articles.php?id=281#sthash.MQ74h1Nt.dpuf

News Articles.

The Minister of State for Care and Support was inspired following a recent visit to early intervention in psychosis services in Lancashire.

Norman Lamb visited the Early Intervention Service in Accrington to talk to families and service users who have benefitted from the service and the work they do. The service has three teams covering the whole of Lancashire and specialises in working with individuals aged 14 to 35 at risk of, or currently experiencing, first episode psychosis.

Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support said:
“Improving mental health care for children and young people is a priority for me. It was fantastic to see the work of Lancashire’s Early Intervention Service (EIS) and to meet the people who are benefiting from this specialist care.

“We know that most lifelong mental health problems can start to take hold by the age of 14 and that early interventions can help people manage their condition or recover completely. This is why we are investing more than £450 million to improve access to treatment and why I want to see a fairer society where equal care is provided for mental and physical health problems.”

Chrissy is a carer and speaks of her experience with the service:
“The Early Intervention Service has been incredible for us and got us out of a horrible dark hole from the point where our daughter has been suicidal but coming through this process has enabled her to go to work, she is getting married and turned her life around. The service has been a massive security blanket for us.

“Mental health is not a 9-5 illness, we have been able to phone at weekend and they have helped me to get my head around what is going on. For a very bright person to be hearing and seeing things we have come across prejudice from our own family. It feels like being diagnosed with cancer or a terminal illness would be more acceptable. The service has helped my daughter to gain self-respect, live with her illness, take ownership of it and have a future. I am eternally grateful to the staff in the service who have been inspirational and a great support. This has been a journey that we would never want to be on but we have got through it.

“It was great to meet Norman Lamb, he really listened and does care. He is passionate about getting the message out there that mental illness should not be a stigma that people have to carry around.”

Dr Warren Larkin, Clinical Director for Children and Families Services and Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the EIS service at Lancashire Care said:
“It was a real pleasure to welcome the Care and Support Minister into our service. His continued personal interest and support for what we do means a great deal to our staff and service users and his kind words have made a lasting impression.”

Dr Chris Clayton, Clinical Chief Officer at Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group said:
“As the lead commissioners for mental health across Lancashire acting on behalf of all the CCGs in Lancashire, we have been a strong advocate of early intervention services in mental health, particularly psychosis, and improving patients’ access to psychological therapies.

“We are therefore delighted to commission this service from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, and particularly thrilled that the minister has taken such a keen interest in visiting the service.”

The Early Intervention Service (EIS) is one of only two psychosis services in the country to be selected by the Department of Health as a Demonstration Site for Increasing access to Psychological Therapies in Severe Mental Illness (IAPT SMI). The project was recently awarded additional funding which will allow the service to continue to demonstrate excellence in the care of people experiencing psychosis and to share their innovative best practice in increasing access to therapies for people experiencing psychosis and their families.
– See more at: http://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/communications/Latest-News/News-Articles.php?id=280#sthash.f6FeE4qm.dpuf


By Sooraj Shah
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT) has reduced its printing costs by 30 per cent, saving £200k in the process, since it implemented Canon’s Managed Print Services (MPS).

The trust selected Canon after a tender process in 2010, as the organisation reviewed its printing costs as part of its agile working policy.

“The managed print process was really important because it enables everyone to work anywhere and to print stuff wherever they’d like. It is about flexibility and improving the way we work, as well as saving money,” Dave Tomlinson, director of finance at the trust told Computing.

LCFT selected Canon as its MPS provider in 2010 after going through a procurement process as part of its agile working policy. Although Tomlinson declined to comment on which other providers were looked at, he said that Canon stood out because the trust believed it would get the support it needed after the deal was made.

“They had the best understanding of what we wanted to do, and understood the whole cost of the entire process which was important for us,” he said.

“If you’ve got a piece of kit which could leave a whole load of people screwed if it fails, then the responsiveness and fault fixing, and ability to get the right equipment which is heavy duty and stands up to wear and tear is really important,” he added.

The implementation has been staggered as part of a three-year programme, across 130 of the trust’s sites. Tomlinson explained that this was so the staff could make the best use of technology and not create more issues than those that are being solved.

“It was important we did this the right way with experts on the individual sites, putting all of the effort into training. So we had a lengthy phasing approach but you could tell there were significant improvements from early on,” he said.

The main challenge for the trust was the cultural changes for the people.

“Inherently people see a change like this as a loss of control. They used to have their own printers, and now they’ve got to use the local printer, and they can’t print colour when they want,” he said. “If a printer or multi-faceted device goes down, automatically people respond with ‘oh look at that’. You have to get behind it; the pros and benefits do outweigh the cons.”

One of the key ways that the organisation is saving £200k in costs is to make it a standard option to print in black and white, and print on both sides of the paper. This will also help to reduce its paper consumption by 40 per cent, and decrease its colour output by 15 per cent.

The key benefit to Tomlinson is the ability to print from anywhere at anytime.

“It means that I can go to my nearest printer, log in and pull off all the prints I want there and then. So I could be working at home and do all of my work there, and then come in to the office and do a load of park printing,” he said. “Clearly you have to manage this appropriately as there might already be a lot of documents printing from someone else but it means you’ve got better flexibility, far better controls of the consumables, and you can set the standards.”

LCFT is planning to enter the third phase of the MPS implementation and is due to complete the rollout to the trust’s final 25 sites this month.