Mood Poetry

Pick a mood right now. Write a poem about it and share the poem with someone.

I opened Twitter on Friday and my friend Zoe Mounsey had posted up a Stop Doing Dumb Things Card. This one:

Pick a mood right now

Here is the poem Zoe wrote to accompany the card.


Thinking, thinking, overthinking
What if? what next?
Fear of the unexpected
Thinking through the worse case
Hoping for the best case
It doesn’t help
But it keeps me busy
Worrying and worrying

Great stuff! I love the poem and I’m left wanting to know what happened next…?

I thought I would reply, and here’s what I sent back to Zoe.


The idea is a spark
The conversation oxygen
Action is the flame
Light a fire in your life

There was a positive reaction to both pieces of verse on Twitter, and I thought I’d share them with you here today. If you fancy adding a poetic contribution in the comments – it would be lovely to hear from you.

Take a walk

Last week we shipped more Stop Doing Dumb Things cards in the UK and to the USA. Some of our very first shipments have arrived in the USA and Canada, and the feedback from people is lovely. Thank you.

Salima Nathoo was kind enough to pop a photo montage of her cards on Facebook and I’d like to share it here.

Salima Nathoo Stop Doing Dumb Things

Salima picked a couple of her favourite cards, and today’s blog post is about one of those, the one that says ‘Go for a walk with someone. Set up a walking meeting with some colleagues’.

Salima’s choice reminded me of our Facilitation Jam earlier in the year when Martin Couzins invited us to take a walk in the freezing cold at Greenwich Park. The different surroundings led to all sorts of interesting conversations, and different perspectives.

I’ve written previously about the importance of walking around as part of wellbeing, and Salima pointed me to this short (3.5 minutes) video by Nilofer Merchant about walking meetings.

Once you’ve ordered your set of Stop Doing Dumb Things, why not go for a walk with someone and share a few ideas about how you can make work better.

Have a great week.


On Mondays for the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring one of the ideas from Series one of Stop Doing Dumb Things. If you’d like to get your hands on the full set of Stop Doing Dumb Things cards, click here for more details.

Have Lunch Away From Your Desk

As if sitting in front of a screen for hours at a time wasn’t enough – lunch time comes and what do you do? Head out to the nearest sandwich shop, grab something uninspiring to eat, and….take it back to your desk! Research from the BBC in the UK and Right Management in the USA has shown that nearly two thirds of people eat at their desk every day and many feel guilty for leaving their desk for a lunch hour. The research in the USA also links lunching at your desk to higher stress levels and a reduced ability to be creative.

There’s more information and research out there than you can shake a stick at, including this great read by Kerstin Sailer that shows people are more effective in their work when they take regular breaks, but we resolutely choose to sacrifice this golden opportunity to break bread together and share a conversation, in favour of being a desk slave or trying to impress the boss with our frantic schedule. The word company comes from the Latin language, and it means ‘to break bread together’.

A friend of mine in the military tells me that having a meal in the army mess and sitting alone, let alone at your desk, is not an option. When it’s time to eat, people come together to share a meal, to share companionship, and to share conversations and ideas.

Here in London it’s a beautiful sunny warm Autumn Monday, so if you can, take advantage of the weather, go and sit in the park and enjoy your lunch. Whaterver you decide, please, please, don’t do this. Thanks to Mervyn Dinnen for spotting this lunchtime travesty.