I was early for a meeting in Bristol a few months ago, this meant that I had an hour or so available to me that was “free”. Being a fan of Starbucks  coffee this was an hour during which I could enjoy a tall triple shot Americano and sit down with my thoughts. I didn’t have any reading material or my computer so I sat with an empty page in a notebook in front of me, pen in hand and pondered.

Within minutes I’d written down a question, the answers to which became increasingly uncomfortable as I filled in the blank with different words. The question was

“What does my ……….. say about me?”

My list of blank fillers started off with words like: car, desk, garden, appearance, shoes etc. It then progressed to attitude, use of time and other probing areas! By now the list has grown even longer than the original one in Starbucks and has spawned ideas that will be explored in future blog posts.

For now I’d like to highlight three habits I have developed over the years that contributed to a more profitable hour:

  1. The habit of arriving early at meetings. This habit was formed over a decade ago and is one I have maintained. I learnt to build margin into as many areas of life as possible and implemented advice I’d heard from John Ortberg that said, “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”
  2. The habit of carrying a notebook with me everywhere, all the time! I fell in love with little notebooks called moleskins many years ago and still use them.
  3. The habit of asking questions that disturb. I have never been afraid to ask such questions even though the answers are nearly always challenging.

My life is improved for having developed these habits. I believe that your life would also improve if you worked on building margin into timekeeping, carried a notebook with you always and challenged your thinking with disturbing questions.


What habits have you developed that have had a positive impact on your life?


The views expressed in this post are those of the author only and are not necessarily those of I Planning Wealth Management Ltd. All material in this post should be considered as general information only and should in no way be construed as a recommendation of a specific product or course of action. Each circumstance is different and professional advice tailored to your circumstances should be sought from a qualified financial adviser.