Helping You Define Your Lifestyle

Three Trendy UK Cities You Should Consider Living In

If you’ve ever thought about packing your bags, leaving, and starting anew somewhere else, you’ve probably felt overwhelmed with the choices available. Whether you’re moving away to study, or you just need to get away from your old life for a bit, the planet earth has definitely got you covered with prospective new homes. Today, we’re going to take a look at a few cities in the UK which are particularly inviting to outsiders who decide to set up shop there.

London

Ah, the big smoke. London is kind of like New York, and has about the same number of people living there. And, like NY, it also has a fairly cosmopolitan—and totally unique—makeup; because of this, it presents one of the most culturally diverse cities on earth. No matter what age you are, you’ll likely never run out of ways to keep yourself occupied; there are endless touristic sights to see, restaurants that cater to every palette imaginable, some of the best colleges in the world, and enough career opportunities to keep any wide-eyed youngster constantly motivated.

Whether you’re enjoying the world-famous Indian restaurants in Brick Lane, seeing the most exciting new bands performing in Shoreditch, browsing the extensive and unique wares of Camden Market, or bumping shoulders with celebrities in Soho coffee shops, you’ll literally never get bored in London.

Edinburgh

The capital of Scotland, Edinburgh, is an almost painfully-beautiful place. The neo-Classical and Georgian architecture of the New Town, combined with the medieval Old Town, make it one of the most amazing places to live in the world. In fact, many tourists who go there claim that it’s the most beautiful place they’ve ever seen.

Equally stunning in the dismal Scottish rain as it is on a gorgeous sunny day, Edinburgh is home to around four hundred thousand people. A large part of the population is made up of students, many of whom go to the world-renowned Edinburgh University. It also presents an exciting nightlife with nightclubs offering everything from cutting-edge electronic music to the heaviest of metal, a wealth of art galleries and museums which can be visited and explored for free, as well as an innumerable range of boutique stores, restaurants, and coffee shops.

Despite all this, because Edinburgh is only 102 square miles, you’ll never be more than 40 minutes away from the city borders, which are absolutely filled with lush green fields and places to relax. Whether you’re spending a day walking in the Pentland Hills, enjoying the beach at Seton Sands, or going on a daytrip to the lovely nearby North Berwick, you’ll always have options when you need to get away from the city.

Brighton

Brighton is a particularly unique town, in that it’s very small (it’s less than 32 square miles), and is home to only just over 285,000 people. Despite this, it is one of the most highly-regarded localities in the UK for the liberal attitudes and art-friendly culture which are consistent throughout the seaside resort. In fact, on a clear day, you can see the shore of France from Brighton.

The Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe are two of the biggest events the town holds each year, taking place in May and presenting an incredible parade of activities including pyrotechnics, music and visual arts, as well as ground-breaking theatre. Likewise, the frequent London to Brighton rides showcase one of the most dazzlingly large displays of minis and scooters that you’ll ever see, while food and drink related festivals (such as the general food festival and Fiery Foods Chilli Festival) mean that you’ll be able to enjoy a range of dishes as diverse as the cities population itself.

Particularly loved by students, Brighton is a great place to live no matter your age. The people there are considerably warmer and more open than those you’ll meet in London, and the location means that it’s one of the best places to catch some Summer rays in the UK. If you’re interested in art or music, you have to visit this amazing little town at least once in your life.

We hope that this small list has given you some ideas about where you’re going to move to next. The UK is filled with great places to live in, but these are our three favorites and we’re sure that you’ll feel the same if you take the time to go and check them out too!

The laws of meetings: How to maximise your business efficiency

It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a large or small company; views on meetings are largely universal. They’re often overused, inefficient, and generally a waste of time.

Of course, there are plenty of exceptions, but in a nutshell, meeting dynamics across the world can be reformed.

Taking this into account, when it comes to your own company’s meetings, how should you approach matters? Should you go with the flow and “become one of them”, or should you challenge the norm and take matters into your own hands? Suffice to say, today’s post is on how to achieve the latter.

Tread carefully with recurrent meetings

The software companies gave themselves a huge pat on the back when they allowed recurrent meetings to be scheduled at the quick of a button. In truth, this is a worthwhile feature for many meetings – but not all.

After all, while you might build a case for a weekly performance meeting, many other recurrent ones aren’t perhaps needed.

Now, before you suggest that you can simply “play it by ear” and decide when you get to the meeting, this is one of the easiest mistakes to make. After all, by the time everyone has arrived and discussed the matter at hand, regardless of how briefly, valuable time has been eaten away.

The moral of the story? Carefully decide whether your recurrent meetings really need to be recurrent.

Get the agenda out there – and make it actionable

There’s nothing worse than being called into a meeting only to find that there is no structure or agenda. In these cases, it often leads to a free-for-all where people can talk about anything and everything, regardless of how important it actually is.

Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but in general, an agenda is key. Not only does it give the meeting some much-needed structure, but it also allows you to assign actions to specific people. This, in turn, makes the meeting far more actionable and less of a time waster.

Stop people from going off on tangents

There’s always one person in every meeting that just can’t help themselves. They see the meeting as an opportunity to show off their knowledge, regardless of how relevant it is to the discussion.

While it’s important to allow some level of creativity, you also need to rein people in when they start to go off on tangents. After all, if everyone in the meeting starts to do this, it quickly descends into a free-for-all where nothing gets done.

Could a remote meeting do the trick?

It would be fair to say that we’re now well and truly in the age of remote meetings. Most of us are used to them now and like them due to how much time they can save us.

However, they don’t always work. This is particularly true if you want to impress new clients or perhaps need a whiteboarding session. In these instances, nothing quite beats the dynamics of a face-to-face affair. If you decide to go down this route, the obvious caveat is the knock-on effects. Whether booking that dreaded meeting room or ensuring your insurance obligations are up to scratch ahead of receiving external visitors, make sure you’re prepared for in-person meetings.

Keep it short and sweet

There’s no need to drag out meetings unnecessarily. If you can achieve everything you need to in 30 minutes, there’s no need to make it an hour-long affair.

How to Use Poker as a Mindfulness Practice

Most common mindfulness practices are fundamentally simple. Things like deep breathing, counted breaths, and short breaks and walks can help to calm us, clear our minds, and generate simultaneous states of relaxation and awareness. As much purpose as these small, simple practices have though, there are also some more involved activities that can assist with the development of greater mindfulness. And it may surprise some to learn that the game of poker is among them.

Gaming and Meditation

It is first important to understand that a link has been established between gaming and meditation in general. For a long time there were a lot of misconceptions about gaming as an active, almost violent practice meant solely for young people. But perceptions have changed over time. We now understand that people in all age groups play games of all kinds, and we further accept that a lot of these games have meditative qualities. Gamer testaments and a few scientific studies alike have indicated that the right game can have a soothing effect on one’s mental state.

This is the case with poker as well. A passion for many around the world, it’s a unique game that doesn’t necessarily fall under the umbrella of traditional “gaming” as we tend to think of the term. It is nonetheless similar with regard to mindfulness, however. Approached with intention, it can be a calming, almost meditative hobby for players.

Mental and Emotional Calm

When considering the game of poker specifically, one tends to think first of strategy, luck, and mathematics. In some sense, these are the building blocks of any given game of poker, and it will of course be important for any aspiring player to learn how they all factor in. However, what really helps successful players to win at poker is a sound mindset. The manifestation of a sound overall poker game requires that players learn to accept defeat and to avoid getting too high from a win. It demands reasonable approaches to betting and competition, clear-eyed social interaction, and the ability to operate without ego.

Add those factors up, and what success in poker really demands is mental and emotional calm. Players need skill and strategy to be sure, but above all else they need to be able to clear their minds of various pressures and shut out hasty impulses. This in and of itself is nearly a form of meditation, and certainly serves as a sort of training for mindfulness practice.

Focused Meditation

Beyond helping players to establish a general sense of mental and emotional calm, poker also leads to an ability to focus that, in its own way, is meditative. Generally, a focused meditation is described as the practice of focusing on something intently as a way of staying in the present moment and slowing down inner dialogue. It more or less means zeroing in on one subject to the exclusion of all else for the purpose of clearing one’s head — which is pretty much exactly what one has to do in poker! Even the slightest distraction can be a problem, and while the game demands a lot of attention it still makes for such narrow focus that one can clear one’s mind in a useful and soothing way.

Even given all of these benefits, poker does not comprise an entire mindfulness or meditation routine. For those interested in working on these aspects of personal wellness though, it’s always good to have one more option! Some will find this simple, popular card game to be legitimately beneficial.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like our piece on how to boost your energy, especially useful as we enter a new year and search for fresh motivations!