I wrote this blog whilst sat on the beach watching my dog digging like his life depended on it – I can assure you it doesn’t. I had a week off last week and I didn’t go anywhere but I needed the time, I needed the time not only to get some things done some time for me, some time out and most importantly sometime where I had no deadlines or time limits attached to it apart from a couple of appointments if that makes sense?
It’s the first time in a very long time I was able to take my dog out and actually enjoy the walk without needing to get back for a coaching session or an appointment or something else that demands me to be in a certain place for certain time and it felt really quite lovely. It’s also made me realise that however good I am managing my time which I obviously need to be doing the job that I do, there is very rarely an opportunity to just be, to not have those time constraints and I think that’s what I enjoyed most that week, I was busy I did have things to do but on the whole I did them at my own pace in my own time and perhaps enjoyed the moments just that little bit more.
I think we’re all very well aware of how important time out is – finding time, creating those opportunities sometimes seems just far too difficult and admittedly sometimes impossible. One of the opening lines I commonly hear from new clients is “if only there were more hours in the day” or “I wish I was more productive with my time” and I think we’ve probably all felt like that. There is no easy fix and I would be earning a lot of money if I could solve that problem! What I do work on with clients is ways to snatch back time in the day, sometimes that’s just minutes literally-10 minutes here 10 minutes there a chance for a cuppa and a brisk walk round the block or standing in your garden and taking a deep breath. Other times we find the areas where people are perhaps not being as productive as they could therefore losing valuable downtime.
My coaching is a great way to do a bit of an audit about how you balance both your work and home life and maybe look at ways to improve the balance. I love it when a client comes back to me very happy with the fact that by jiggling and juggling, by changing some habits, they are experiencing the benefits of having some space in the day. Sometimes it’s a case of looking at how we spend our time, the pressures we put on ourselves to be productive and reframing the narrative giving ourselves permission to not have to be perfect – there is no such thing, far more important to be balanced.
As I write this, I am signing off for the Christmas break and I intend to do just that, have a break. I am looking forward to not making endless arrangements, to going for long spontaneous walks, to phone calls with friends and family that are not slotted around zoom sessions. I plan to read, take baths in the middle of the day if I wish and recharge those batteries ready for whatever 2022 has to bring!
If this sounds idyllic – let’s be real, I will also be cooking and cleaning and taxiing and generally juggling stuff for my family BUT my Christmas present to myself this year is the gift of time and I plan to make sure there is time for me amongst the usual family needs & requirements even if it’s 5 or 10 minutes here and there. Time for us all to slow down (it looks like that might be enforced for some of us anyway) and congratulate ourselves on surviving another year during a global pandemic and top up the energy reserves where we can.
I wish you and yours a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year, I hope it is all you need it to be and I look forward to catching up again in 2022.
If you are struggling this Christmas, please do not sit in silence, there are fabulous organisations that are at the end of a phone to listen if you need them;
Samaritans – call for free 116 123
National Suicide Prevention UK – 0800 689 5652
CALM – 0800 58 58 58
There are also various online chat facilities and websites that have not only more details but other ways to contact someone if you need urgent help or support.