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Winter warnings – by Jo Haigh

Jo Haigh

Jo Haigh

Do you experience what I have called the winter slow down? I don’t mean that business as such is slower. In fact I am as busy with opportunities as ever, but as the nights draw in, less gets done in the time frame than it does in the summer months.

I have always suffered from what is now termed SAD and know I have to make a special effort to be motivated during the dark mornings and early evenings.

The call of the warm fire side and a hot coffee are always very appealing and as such, pressing work matters don’t always appear as urgent, as they might on a lovely summers evening or bright morning when it’s just psychologically easier somehow to make those difficult calls, write that complex report or make that challenging decision.

I have tried with some degree of success those light machines that duplicate natural light, but for all the technology, the only real way to deal with this is self-motivation. If I am entirely honest, for me that’s not really a massive problem as often the bottom line is, that if I don’t do it nobody will so it simply won’t get done.

I am a high achiever. I came from a family of them and partly I believe that is due to an overly generous amount of sheer stamina I have been blessed with (some may of course say cursed), so I simply can’t leave anything unfinished no matter how tired I am, how fed up I am, it has to be done. I think I was in part born this way. In my experience people are either very driven or not. The most debilitating things related to being successful is laziness. Of course some people recognise they are and simply are not prepared to do anything about it. The people that really annoy me are those that genuinely don’t believe they are lazy, they just expect things to happen for them.

There are in my opinion 3 kinds of people; those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that say “what happened”.

If you want to be successful make sure you fit into the first category.


Jo Haigh is head of FDS corporate finance services and the author of The Financial Times Guide to Finance for Non Financial Managers. You can reach her at


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