Management tips: exercise the brain and know when not to work

For the past couple of months, I have been working out more than I have ever done before. I have spent a lot of time horse riding, biking, walking, and kayaking. And while doing so, and when by myself, I have been able to hear my thoughts, and reflect on my business and career.

While participating in a nine-kilometre mountain biking session two weeks ago, and admiring how my stamina has improved, I realised how one can progress on an athletic scale, and can do likewise throughout one’s career, and in business management, if the same mindset and steps are applied.

Just like when going for a run, or participating in a sports activity, work only when you are feeling productive and focused. I used to force myself to exercise because I felt I had to, and not because I wanted to, and I ended up not giving it all my energy and effort. And so I decided that I will kayak, run, or go riding because I want to and love doing so, not to because I have to exercise five times a week for an X amount of time.

And so when I started to bike, or do some yoga exercises, and then felt that I was not in the mood for it, I would stop. On the other hand, sometimes I would intend to exercise for an hour, but end up working out for two because I felt productive and focused that day.

Same thing applies to work.

We sometimes force ourselves, such as in my case writing or working on a project, because we have to, even though we are totally out of it and not feeling productive, and often end up not giving it our very best. But even if we are on a deadline, I have discovered that the best thing to do is get up, do something else, preferably something that is fun, and then come back when feeling focused. That way you are likely to do more than you expected.

Nonetheless don’t overdo things – avoid collapsing. As driven as I am, I have a bad habit. When I get so immersed in a project or even multiple projects at times, sleeping and eating are the least of my concerns. What often happens then is that I end up being so stressed out that I am forced to stop – for days at times – until my energy is restored.

If you are an entrepreneur or a driven hard-working individual, then you know how that feels. Sometimes our adrenalin levels will rocket and we do not know how to stop. And then when we do collapse or stress out. It is not the pain or illness that gets us, but the frustration of having to wait till we are better to get back on the wagon and continue working.

We need to realise that there will be times, especially in relation to projects with strict deadlines that we will not be able to afford time off. And so, as engrossed we are in our work, it is important to remember to dedicate enough sleeping hours, to eat healthy meals, and to indulge in non-work activities.

All of that is necessary to main our balanced energy level and our ability to be continuously driven and successful.

Embrace consistency. Horse riding and doing other sports developed into a habit, and became a part of me, and that is why my stamina improved and I was able to participate in that 9-km mountain biking session a couple of weeks ago.

The same applies to work. Many of my entrepreneur friends constantly complain about having to reply to emails that flood into their inboxes, and how time consuming it is to sit down and reply to each sender. But by avoiding the pile-up by timely replies to emails, I avoid that problem and the stress accompanying it. In business and in life, consistency is key.

Last but not least, get rid of extra baggage. In business, and in the office, extra baggage takes many shapes, and a large chunk of our time as well.

It could be that you are responsible for matters outside your work scope, or you are tied with things that you could delegate to your staff instead. Prioritising and delegating are essential, and help to enable you to get much done. Just like exercising, shedding that extra baggage will assist you in running or swimming more easily and reaching your destination faster.

Work, as much as we may enjoy it, can end up being very stressful. Work when you feel productive not when you have to, take a break, be consistent, and lose the extra baggage.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and fashion designer. Follow her on Twitter: @manar_alhinai


2pm: Maiden (TB) Dh60,000 (Dirt) 1,200m, Winner: Mouheeb, Tom Marquand (jockey), Nicholas Bachalard (trainer)

2.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh68,000 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Honourable Justice, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer

3pm: Handicap (TB) Dh84,000 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Dahawi, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

3.30pm: Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Dark Silver, Fernando Jara, Ahmad bin Harmash

4pm: Maiden (TB) Dh60,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Dark Of Night. Antonio Fresu, Al Muhairi.

4.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh68,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Habah, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson


2.30pm: Expo 2020 Dubai – Conditions (PA) Dh80,000 (Dirt) 1,600m; Winner: Barakka, Ray Dawson (jockey), Ahmad bin Harmash (trainer)

3.05pm: Now Or Never – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,600m; Winner: One Idea, Andrea Atzeni, Doug Watson

3.40pm: This Is Our Time – Handicap (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Perfect Balance, Tadhg O’Shea, Bhupat Seemar

4.15pm: Visit Expo 2020 – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Kaheall, Richard Mullen, Salem bin Ghadayer

4.50pm: The World In One Place – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (T) 1.900m; Winner: Castlebar, Adrie de Vries, Helal Al Alawi

5.25pm: Vision – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: Shanty Star, Richard Mullen, Rashed Bouresly

6pm: Al Wasl Plaza – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (T) 1,200m; Winner: Jadwal, Dane O’Neill, Doug Watson

Recipe: Spirulina Coconut Brothie

1 tbsp Spirulina powder
1 banana
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (full fat preferable)
1 tbsp fresh turmeric or turmeric powder
½ cup fresh spinach leaves
½ cup vegan broth
2 crushed ice cubes (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together on high in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. 

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024


Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).


Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).


Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).


Garlicky shrimp in olive oil
Gambas Al Ajillo

Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Serves 4


180ml extra virgin olive oil; 4 to 5 large cloves of garlic, minced or pureed (or 3 to 4 garlic scapes, roughly chopped); 1 or 2 small hot red chillies, dried (or ¼ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes); 400g raw prawns, deveined, heads removed and tails left intact; a generous splash of sweet chilli vinegar; sea salt flakes for seasoning; a small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


Heat the oil in a terracotta dish or frying pan. Once the oil is sizzling hot, add the garlic and chilli, stirring continuously for about 10 seconds until golden and aromatic.

Add a splash of sweet chilli vinegar and as it vigorously simmers, releasing perfumed aromas, add the prawns and cook, stirring a few times.

Once the prawns turn pink, after 1 or 2 minutes of cooking, remove from the heat and season with sea salt flakes.

Once the prawns are cool enough to eat, scatter with parsley and serve with small forks or toothpicks as the perfect sharing starter. Finish off with crusty bread to soak up all that flavour-infused olive oil.

The five stages of early child’s play

From Dubai-based clinical psychologist Daniella Salazar:

1. Solitary Play: This is where Infants and toddlers start to play on their own without seeming to notice the people around them. This is the beginning of play.

2. Onlooker play: This occurs where the toddler enjoys watching other people play. There doesn’t necessarily need to be any effort to begin play. They are learning how to imitate behaviours from others. This type of play may also appear in children who are more shy and introverted.

3. Parallel Play: This generally starts when children begin playing side-by-side without any interaction. Even though they aren’t physically interacting they are paying attention to each other. This is the beginning of the desire to be with other children.

4. Associative Play: At around age four or five, children become more interested in each other than in toys and begin to interact more. In this stage children start asking questions and talking about the different activities they are engaging in. They realise they have similar goals in play such as building a tower or playing with cars.

5. Social Play: In this stage children are starting to socialise more. They begin to share ideas and follow certain rules in a game. They slowly learn the definition of teamwork. They get to engage in basic social skills and interests begin to lead social interactions.

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