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24 May 2018

Notes on Making Time When You Love Being Busy



This post is in collaboration with Olivia Burton to celebrate their new semi-precious stone collection. 

I am a woman of many hobbies and a full time job: sometimes, being busy feels like breathing to me. 

I know it's currently frowned upon to give into the hype of being busy, but I am very much like a shark. I have gills.

Kidding.

If I stop swimming, I drown. And hey - that's okay! We're all different and weird in our own ways. There is something wonderful about the humdrum of having things to do, as long as you keep tabs and don't take on so much that you feel overloaded. I work full time in publishing, read prolifically, paint, run this blog, run an online magazine and do comedy in my spare time. I also write freelance on occasion. I always have things to do, but inevitably it can feel hard to keep up with it all some days and still settle down in the evenings to take a breath, or see friends. There's nothing wrong with a full diary, but making time to relax and finding the balance is an art that it has taken me years to get the hang of (and I'm sort of still figuring it out) and you're always the best person to plan out your own time. 

It may seem wildly old-fashioned to everyone with a smart phone, but using a physical diary helps me to plan out my weeks and months so I can easily see when there is precious free time to fill with friends, food or just something relaxing like an evening to myself with a book and a bath. I started using a physical yearly diary last year, and it's helped me hugely to schedule and plan out my months and weeks so I never forget plans with my friends and family among all the madness (and also so I never forget meetings at work, because apparently you have to show up to those.) There is something satisfying about seeing the week ahead, full of activities, tasks and being able to tick them off as you go. My diary has my entire life in it, from events to little thoughts and ideas. I still live in hope that I will leave it somewhere and it will be found, and returned to me, by Tom Hiddleston or Chris Evans and then (obviously) we will fall madly in love. I will not accept comments on this dream, because it is completely rational.

When it comes to keeping in touch with my friends, I refuse to let a busy schedule get in the way of catching up. My girls will attest to the fact that I regularly use my 40 minute walk home from work, and 20 minute train ride to call them and catch up. I book things weeks in advance and they mercilessly mock me for my keenness, but it means we always have something to look forward to, and allows me to prioritise seeing them in my free time because heck, it's already in the diary. For those really busy weeks, sometimes it's just a low key girls night in with a movie and eighteen maxi sized chocolate bars. Being able to relax together is real quality time, with no distractions to be seen - and it gives me a chance to slow down for an hour or two as well. Sometimes if we're both busy, we will just sit and work next to each other in the sun, or in a cafe. 

Another thing that helps me hit two birds with one stone is a regular exercise regime. Not only is it great to unwind and burn off some steam in the gym for a few hours a week, but the routine and energy that I get from it often leads to my most productive days so I'm not wasting time during work hours. There is something wonderfully empowering about setting fitness goals and achieving them, whether it's cutting down your time for a 5k run, or even just managing to work out twice a week. I find this is a great time to listen to any podcasts that I want to catch up on too, so I can leave my morning commute for reading the very sizeable stack of books that I hoard. Sure you might end up being the girl laughing to yourself on the treadmill, and reading Jane Austen in all kinds of contorted positions on a packed commuter train, but at least you're making time for the things you love.

Finally, as a writer who only really writes a few articles a month, I find it so easy to let it slip by the wayside. I absolutely rely on my daily journalling to keep my writer's mind fresh and churning so that when I have an article due, it doesn't feel like dooms day to sit down and start typing away. Even if you aren't a writer, sitting down for a few minutes every day and reflecting on how you're feeling is a fantastic way to avoid feeling overwhelmed and swamped in. It's an exercise in clarity, and mindfulness without the intimidating meditation aspect if you're anything like me and cannot clear your mind out completely no matter how many 'Ohms' you say. Writing is cathartic, free, and forces you to make some time for yourself and your own head. Sometimes my head drives me crazy, but even I appreciate that we should probably touch base once a day just to check everything is ticking along nicely.

Maybe you aren't like me, and your hands and feet don't get itchy for something to do, or someone to see, after two minutes of listening to zen music in the bath, but life is a little crazy for everyone in their own way. Finding those precious moments between all the madness, and filling them with things that make you smile, is how you find your balance. If you are like me, and you find a strange kind of peace in a busy week, then remember to make time for your favourite people and keep busy with things other than work in your free time - whether it's a night out, a night in or a phone call. Where there's a will, there's always a way.

Find my watch here.

x Camilla


3 comments:

  1. My only request if you do fall in love with Tom or Chris is obviously for you to document the whole thing so we can all live vicariously through you. I'm a big fan of a paper planner as well, but living in D.C. means I'm more likely to run into an old white politician than a cute actor. :(

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  2. i love being busy too

    gorgeous look, love the watch

    xx

    http://anoddgirl.blogspot.com.au

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