Travel Uncategorized


We are off to Japan! Land of the rising sun, sushi and some pretty epic skiing. I’m taking a break from the spreadsheets for now; the only thing I’m going to be analysing from here on in is the snow depth and my route up and down the mountain. H is super excited, having missed out on the Gap Yah; I am excited too but of course I’m playing it cool. H will freely tell you that the most excited she’s ever seen me was when Monopoly Deal arrived through the letter box. Well it’s a good game alright!

When life gives you lemons, bugger off to Japan!” – C Brook

Playing it cool in Tignes – first time in a helicopter

I first heard about skiing in Japan 20 years ago, watching ski films on VHS over and over and since then it has been a destination on the bucket list. The quantity and quality of the snow I’m told are hard to beat. I think I’m going to need a powder skirt (it’s a jacket, not a ski outfit for women). They receive over a metre of snow a week on average!

We will be working at Hopi Hills, a ski lodge close to Kiroro ski resort on Hokkaido, the north island of Japan. Not sure exactly what we’ll be doing yet, but I expect shovelling a lot of snow will be required. If they ask H to manage the farm ostrich I fear she may have a word or two to say.

The self-taught Japanese is coming along and we have nailed the numbers 1-10, hello and thank you. All we need to learn are the words for “backcountry”, “double black diamond” and “apres” and we’ll be good to go.

H will be living off bananas as it’s basically the same word used in Japanese. Given that we’ll be doing a physical job and skiing most days, I’m sure the energy will be much needed.

Next stop Tokyo on 11 Jan. Sayonara for now!

Blog Productivity Skills

The 15 Minute Journey

I’ve given myself 15 minutes to write this and publish it. I’ve started the timer and time is ticking away. The aim is to see for myself and to show you what can be achieved in a short space of time on a daily basis. So I start the timer on my phone for 15 mins and turn off all notifications, distractions and start writing away.

There are things that take more than 15 minutes to complete for sure, but there also things that with a small, consistent, regular effort that will produce big results over the long run.

So this is my 15 minute journey. To see how I can learn and improve skills, by spending 15 minutes on them everyday.

Like some of you I imagine, I start things with the best intentions. Studying for exams at school, I would get all my textbooks ready, write out revision plans with a view that I would do well in these exams (this time). I’d maybe start with a big revision session and burn out within a day or two. Now I did ok at school, but if I’d approached it in a different way, tackling it in a small amount each day, I believe the results would have been far better. It would have been less stressful too, knowing that I’d made a small effort each day. Instead, I had a lingering feeling that I hadn’t done any revision that day and so I stopped myself from doing fun activities because of that. It was a downward spiral of inaction.

Back to the present day, and within the last two weeks, I’ve focused on doing 3 things every day for at least 15 minutes a day. Slightly random yes, but these three things are: handstands, online poker and building a website Don’t ask me why, but I’ve been trying to master the handstand for the past two years; reading books about it, watching Youtube videos and even going to handstand clinics! My handstands ok, but not great, I can freestand for a few seconds. Handstand videos to follow…

Online poker I took up at the start of 2019, but again I have read books and watched videos (no poker clinics yet!), but not played it consistently over the year. Poker is a game of skill, strategy, psychology and risk management. Although the rules are simple, to become good at it and win over the long run requires learning and developing each area of the game. But it also requires a consistent effort to practice, track how you are doing and feed this back into how you play. Equity curve tracking my P&L to follow…

I’m also building this website a little bit at a time. Yes it’s crap at the moment, but it’s a start and the ball is rolling. A couple of years ago I took out a book in the library about how to build websites in html and CSS (coding languages). I spent several hours in that library learning a few basics and started to think (dream) about different sites that I could build and how the business idea was going to make me a fortune. I took the book away from the library and barely touched it again. I’d burnt myself out by trying too much too soon. Much better would have been to chip away at it and keep things moving. Better website to follow…

This has taken me a bit longer than 15 minutes, but I’ve moved from just thinking about it to just doing it.

Where are you at on your 15 minute journey?