5 Share Friday

5 Share Friday 4 October 2019

Welcome to 5 Share Friday, where you’ll find 5 interesting reads, life hacks or lessons, tried & tested by me, each week.

Here’s this weeks!

Quote I’m pondering “People who can change and change again are so much more reliable and happier than those who can’t” – Stephen Fry

Productivity hack – I’m back to tracking my time as work has become rather full up. I’m using Toggl, a terrific app for any device, one that helps you track and trend what you’re spending time on (the most important activity to becoming effective again). Try it and see, you won’t regret it!

The 2020 recession is going to hit millennials hardestThis thoughtful, well-documented article on how the warning signs of the last 18 months, plus the debt and the failing of capitalism for the younger generation are still not something many people realise or are prepared for.

10 ways to better manage meetings Some great tips here, including tracking who does the most talking & using the info for creating effective future meets. (there’s even a fun web app I’ve now used called ‘Are men talking too much’)

Book added to my Christmas list – Stillness is the key by Ryan Holiday. Yes, it’s only 81 till Christmas! I’m looking forward to this gem and James Altucher has helpfully written an article to see why you’ll want it too.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend doing the things you enjoy with the people you love.

Missed last weeks 5 Share? Find it here.

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5 Share Friday

5 Share Friday 27 September 2019

Quote I’m pondering “If you’re not stubborn, you’ll give up on experiments too soon. And if you’re not flexible, you’ll pound your head against the wall and you won’t see a different solution to a problem you’re trying to solve.” Jeff Bezos

Favourite app – I heard about BrainToss from a David Allen conversation with Tim Ferriss. Photo, talk, type and it sends directly to your inbox. It’s amazing for getting more organised.

On getting a good nights sleepHow I finally learned how to sleep is a sometimes harrowing, often inspiring read about a woman’s struggle and the ultimate cure for insomnia. If you’re wondering on how to get better sleep, this is a must-read, I’m trying some of the tactics described and it’s already improving (like not looking at the clock and getting out of bed if it’s more than 20 minutes of being awake).

12 rules for life – I finally started reading  Jordan Peterson’s best selling book. I shouldn’t have left it so long, it’s a cracking set of rules that are far more than rules. If you like the content of this 5 share each week, you’ll definitely like this book.

On being a life long reader – The Atlantic wrote a piece on life long readers. I like to consider myself an avid reader and it’s interesting to learn the influences that turn a person into one. My mum read a lot and I remember reading a lot as a child too. Here’s a little snippet …“When I’m sitting there on my couch, reading a book, and my kids are doing their own thing, I like to think, ‘I’m parenting right now—they can see me reading this book..”

I hope you have a fantastic weekend doing the things you enjoy with the people you love.

Missed last weeks 5 Share? Find it here.

If you like this 5 share, please share with others. You can also get notified by email every Friday, simply sign up using the signup box on this page.

5 Share Friday

5 Share Friday 16 August 2019

Quote I’m pondering“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman

Music for focus – I’m still trying out various music to work to and have used up 3 of my 5 free sessions at Brain FM. It’s so good I’m signing up for a year ($47) after my trial. Try it for yourself, they have focus & productivity, relaxing and sleep modes, it’s fantastic!

Favourite new app – is a free privacy app for your iPhone or Android. It replaces the connection between your phone and the Internet, ensuring your connection is private. Basically like a VPN, though with speed on your side.

Does the truth matter anymore? – A recent post of a photograph showing wolves trekking through the snow, described as demonstrating excellent leadership led me to an insightful article about how our news media are no longer trusted to filter the real facts from the fake facts.

It’s a terrific read and gives many real-life examples around Facebook, newspapers and digital journalism.

Best LinkedIn articles ever! – Shameless plug, I’ve been writing about living and working in Denmark. It’s a humorous look at being an expat in the land of happy. Check it out and see what you think.


I hope you have a fantastic weekend doing the things you enjoy with the people you love.

Missed last weeks 5 Share? Find it here.

If you like this 5 share, please share with others. You can also get notified by email every Friday, simply sign up using the signup box on this page.

For other blog posts on work and life go here:

Notes from a Small Country

Now that goat is shaved

“Now that goat is shaved!” said one of my colleagues as he glanced towards me, looking over his monitor.

“Er what?!” I replied.

I was exclaiming happiness at the chance a conversation might begin, more than I was about trying to understand what shaving a goat meant.

Culture shock

When I moved from the UK to Denmark, I wasn’t prepared for quite how lonely work would be in the first 6 months.

My wife also wasn’t prepared for how lonely life would be as a stay at home parent.

In the first week in our new home, we had neighbours popping around with flowers and greetings.

Then nothing…just nods from afar and their fully booked calendar for the foreseeable future.

What we hadn’t realised when relocating to Denmark was that Danes are laser-focused on their time in and out of work.

Don’t forget the goat

Hang on, what about that shaved goat? – Turns out it’s a Danish idiom about getting the job done.

All cultures have idioms. In the UK we like to say things like ‘Bob’s your Uncle’, does anyone know what that means? (Congrats to the first person who can explain what that means in the comments).

Back to loneliness…For Danes, it’s not unusual for social time to be booked up weeks or months in advance.

For us, that meant no more ‘Fancy meeting up for lunch tomorrow?’

It’s now more like ‘Let’s meet for lunch, how does next month look?’

Cloudy with some sunshine

In the UK we chat about the weather, what TV shows we’re watching and complain about the traffic jam that made us late for work.

This could be with a person in the elevator, at the coffee machine or a colleague we sit next to.

It doesn’t matter who, what matters is there isn’t an awkward silence.

As a Brit, I don’t do well with awkward silences.

What I’m learning is in Denmark work means work. There’s no time for chinwagging (bonus points again for anyone willing to translate that in the comments).

Outside of work, it’s similar and not uncommon for a closed network of just 5 or 6 close friends, no room for additions.


‘How’s your week been? I hope the travel went well with no delays like last time? Wanna meet & walk the dogs tomorrow morning?’ – Me

‘Yes’ – my neighbour

‘How is Bertie? Is he ok with the other dogs? Did he eat his food and enjoy his walk?’ – my wife

‘Yes’ – our new dog sitter

Those are real text messages from our first few months in Denmark.

I look back now with a smile, though at the time we were amazed at the lack of response and wondered if we’d somehow upset them.

We hadn’t.

It’s not that Danish culture is rude or unsociable, quite the opposite.

It’s just that unlike the USA or UK, the culture is more exclusive and purposeful.

Machines are productive, people are effective

I used to work to the above statement.

Not anymore.

In Denmark people aren’t just effective, they’re productive too.

I pride myself on focus and the ability to get things done. Yet I’m still learning from my Danish colleagues on how to get more out of my day.

Like anywhere else, not everyone is effective & productive, though the Danes who are can easily fit an 8-hour workday into 6 hours. They do this through focus and cutting out ‘unnecessary’ interaction.

Greg McKeown wrote a book called Essentialism, I wonder if he spent any time in Denmark?

I’ve never seen such essentialism at work by default, by so many people, it’s admirable.

1 year on

I’m still a sociable introvert. The work environment hasn’t changed me, in fact, it feels slightly changed, as in a little more sociable since I started.

I’m silently watching people as they focus, talk and get things done.

I’m seeing things getting done in a way that my UK and US colleagues can only read about in books.

My wife and I have a small group of friends including socialising with a small number of terrific people from in and out of work.

Machine or human?

Have you thought about how productive and effective you are? What do you do in your day that can be cut so that you achieve more?

Achieving more is great at work and it also gets you more time outside of the workplace with friends.

I’m still learning this art, yet I know one thing for sure…

..It’s possible, some of the happiest people on earth have it nailed.

I hope you enjoyed episode 3 of Notes from a Small Country? Please give me feedback directly or in the comments. Which part was your favourite? What do you want to see more or less of? Other suggestions? Let me know!

See you next week for Episode 4.

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Marcus Purvis leads software engineering teams at Unity Technologies, the realtime development platform of choice for video games, movies and more. He’s also learning to write inspiring content on LinkedInMedium and here at

Originally published as part of LinkedIn newsletters here: