11 quick tips to make ‘walk-and-talk meetings’ work for you

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Knole Park during a WATM (Taken by the author)

This was my view the other morning as I talked to a supplier in India about service changes in 2021.

Just before that, I’d climbed up the hill while confirming the plans for an upcoming virtual-away-day with some colleagues.

Both these conversations achieved what I needed, and the specific outcomes were as good as what I would have achieved sitting in front of my screen at home.

However, I was a mile or so away from my desk getting the added benefit of exercise, fresh air, and the exhilaration of discovering this inspirational view.

I’ve advocated walk-and-talk meetings since March…


Some home-office tips based on what works for me

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So, in the UK we’re back into Lockdown 2.0 and realistically for office workers we don’t expect to be back in the office until well into next year. Even once we are in many cases it will never be five days a week again. That, combined with the fact that walk-and-talk meetings are going to be increasingly limited by the weather, temperature and lack of sunlight we really all need to have a great desk set up.

I’m no expert, beyond of course the 2000+ hours I’ve been doing it this year, but here are thoughts on what I’ve done…


Post-Covid how will we evolve away from the enforced used of online webinars?

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Photo by Felicia Buitenwerf on Unsplash

Just a quick thought, but one I’ve been reflecting on since Jessica Spungin gave me the opportunity to meet with her London Business School MBA class for a discussion on Innovation Strategy last week.

What does the virtual teaching situation mean for mature students — doing MBAs or executive MBAs? And how will things change once physical teaching reopens?

Much has been written about how the lack of being at school and university is impacting pupils and undergraduate students, in terms of quality of learning, personal development and mental health. If one assumes these factors are relatively less problematic for…


Get more emotion into your messages — another actionable tip from ‘Realistic Life Management’

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Messaging incessantly on your phone is by now a norm across most ages, genders and cultures. Plenty of people are sending 100s of messages ever single day. But for the ones that really count we’ve all had experience of where the nuance was missed or the emotion too weak of the undercurrent misunderstood.

Why not overcome this with zero effort at zero cost?

You can record and leave audio messages that travel just like a typed message. You can use with an individual or to a group.

How to do this?

It’s easy! See below. Press and hold the microphone you see below (near…


Save 150 calories every cup — another actionable tip from ‘Realistic Life Management’

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Photo by Mae Mu on Unsplash

My parents drank their coffee in the form of strong expresso. I never liked that growing up so never really got into drinking coffee myself.

Ten years ago when switching jobs I started. And rapidly made up for the lost years. Leaving aside the volume of caffeine, 3–5 lattes worth of milk a day was not a great idea!

Cutting the long story short, after explaining to my friend Bryan (bestselling author of Do-A-Day) that I found black coffee to boring he suggested I add cinnamon instead of milk.

I’ve never looked back!

While it is of course a totally…


An actionable work-from-home tip from “The WFH Survival Handbook”

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Photo by Dylan Ferreira on Unsplash

We’re all spending hours on video calls these days, often with multiple people in them. But how much are we actually paying attention?

With screens and cameras in different positions it’s often the case people aren’t looking you in the eye. Equally, most people have got into the terrible habit of doing emails or looking at other things during the duller parts of the meeting.

As such, as a speaker — whether making a 60 second point in a committee meeting, or talking at the screen for 20 minutes as part of a webinar — it can feel very lonely…


Remove the “abs” not “and” frustration with this actionable productivity tip from ‘Realistic Life Management’

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Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

So, I’ve no idea why Apple did it, or why they haven’t yet fixed it, but some months back a mistype of “and” started becoming “abs”. Most of us are using auto-correct a lot of the time even without realising it, so when it “goes wrong” it can be really frustrating.

I thought it was just me but I’m increasingly seeing it in other people’s messages. As such I’m sharing my fix.

At the moment iOS doesn’t allow you to edit specific auto-corrects — it appears built in as a standard for everyone.

There’s obviously the possibility of turning off…


Make typing on your phone easier and quicker with this actionable productivity tip from ‘Realistic Life Management’

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Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

This tip is based on experienced with an iPhone but is relevant for Android phones.

Think about the number of times you write the same thing: in a text message, when filling in a web form, or when posting a comment in Facebook or LinkedIn.

Sure, you’re pretty awesome at typing fast, and if you’re using the sliding keyboard you leave your thumb-tapping friends in the dust.

But you can go one better and while it takes a few moments to set up you’ll earn that time back rapidly.

It’s called Word Replacement

You’re surely aware of it, and will…


A simple tool can help deal with one of your work-from-home challenges

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Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

According to my work contract my place of employment is a medium-sized desk in large London skyscraper with an impressive view. For most of this year, along with so many others, my actually place of employment has been a small-sized desk with a view of my driveway.

This is not another article on the challenges of working-from-home, the need to get out for walk-and-talk meetings, or the importance of a good desk set-up. All those points are well covered elsewhere.

This is a short, sharp share on how we overcame one of the surprising lessons of lockdown:

None of us…


Give yourself more time with this actionable productivity tip from ‘Realistic Life Management’

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Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

However you look at it there are only 24 hours in a day; that’s 168 a week. Remove the time spent sleeping and working and the numbers already getting pretty small.

(Note, this is not an article on how to sleep fewer hours or work more efficiently. The first is typically a mistake and the latter is a constant theme that requires a far longer post.)

Shave off time from the more banal things

One thing we could all benefit from is reviewing the (usually) necessary things we do that we don’t get enjoyment from and working out how to automate them to some extent.

That automation can…

Paolo Cuomo

I write about working-from-home, achievable improvements & realistic lifehacks. (My work on sustainability, insurtech & quantum computing is at @paolotalkstech)

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