"You have a brain in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr.Seuss
It has been a busy year for me starting our Street Food Business, starting my Blog, quitting my job, basically my life had a major reshape! One of the things that I hugely struggle with and I know that I’m not alone. is the elusive work life balance. With so much going on and the fact that I love what I do I often find it hard to switch off and get myself out of work mode. Like in a lot of businesses you get busy times and slower times. It was during our slower period that I remembered one of the reasons that I started this business, so I could not only do something that I love, but so I could have a life as well! I know, I know how naive was I?! Thankfully for me after taking a plunge into an industry that I have never worked in, I actually do love it. Everyday is different and every event is unique, which means that I always have fun at work!
Now this is going to sound strange so go with me… Sometimes I wish that I didn’t enjoy my job. I know what nonsense is that?! People wish everyday that they could have their dream job, wishing that they loved what they do, here I am saying I wish I didn’t!? Well that is because if I didn’t love it I could easily switch off, put work on pause and just have some me time. Personally, I love being creative whether that be in the Kitchen or when I write so often a big part of my job is doing what I love doing the most. However as many of you know, when you own your own business it isn’t all fun and games, there are definitely aspects of my job that aren’t quite so fun! We have established that I love what I do, sorry for rubbing it in! What about my life did I manage to get one? Well not quite but after I had some downtime I have realised one thing. The only person who could make time for me, was me. Which was when I realised I needed to get my s**t together!
Since I cannot physically add anymore hours to a day I had to come up with another solution. Brace yourself, I had to start organising my life. I know tragically anti-climactic, organisation, how boring. However, in a great way it really is a good thing because it’s free and everyone can do it. Now I don’t just mean organising your work time but organising your downtime as well. That is when I really started seeing a difference in my work life balance. My fiancé Ben works a normal 9-5 Monday to Friday job so when you mix that with a partner who mainly works weekends and evenings you’ll see why we needed to plan! So now we try and have a date night every week, and also plan what we do on just a normal Wednesday night. At the moment I’m doing it old school, with good old-fashioned stationery. Now don’t get me wrong my stationery is super cute, which sadly actually makes me want to write lists, I know sad. Make sure you check out Kikki.K and Paperchase their stationary is great. Maybe in the future I will sign up to some online scheduling tools; at the moment it is working for me, I think that there is something nice about not using technology.
I make sure that I make two separate plans for work and for my time, so even then I am making sure that neither one gets mixed into the other. You know from experience when and what makes you work best, which is why every schedule is different and personal to the scheduler. Personally, I like to do the stuff I don’t enjoy as much first thing, so everyday I get to end it doing something that I love. It's great to see a light at the end of the tunnel when you are doing something you don’t enjoy! Working from home can make it hard to structure your day, but I’ve found that making a plan has also really helped with this. With my day planned out I’ve also found that it has increased my productivity, knowing that once I’ve finished a mundane task I get to do something I enjoy. So technically no I haven’t added another hour onto my day but sometimes it feels like it. Another great but easy way to make your work life balance a bit is easier is to create a happy and positive workspace. I have pictures of my favourite things, a calendar right in front of me so I can see how busy we are that month and motivational quotes. The most important thing? The bed for my little fur baby, that is one of my favourite things about working from home. Having Brody by my feet to keep me company. It’s the little things that make a huge difference to your day. You know what motivates you and what makes you smile so surround yourself with these things. It’s surprising how much you can get done when you are in an organised space. Or recently I’ve taken my work to my garden. I’m a proper sunseeker so being able to work in my garden makes me happy as well.
Now I’m not saying anything new here, but what may seem unusual is that I also plan my downtime. We both lead such hectic lives and as I’ve already said at times I do have a problem with putting down my laptop! If I have specified time that I’ve said I won’t work then I wholeheartedly stick to it. So yes, it may take the romance of spontaneity out of it. If we are being honest and realistic the romantic spontaneity barely happens anyway! So why not instead of waiting for dates to happen, schedule them in? Then you get to focus on each other, plus you have something to look forward to. One of my recent posts was about some Summer London Date Ideas that I’ve got planned for Ben and I. What is funny is that although I know the likelihood of us doing all of these dates are slim to none. Just knowing that we are going to do some of them makes me smile. Now don’t get me wrong, not every date is going to be in London. Sometimes date night will just be a homemade candlelit dinner or a movie night in. Low key dates are sometimes the best nights, because it's nice to know that you both get that sometimes you need that. Especially if you are both bloody knackered!
The funny thing about this post, is that this won’t work for everyone who reads it. In fact, some people may find the above silly. I think the best thing to take from this is that everyone works differently. If you are happy with the results you are getting then you keep doing what works for you. If you don’t know what you think will work them why not try a few different methods, to see what works for you. If you are doing anything that works for you share your secrets! I love hearing what other people do to try and balance themselves.
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