Work and play

They’re both important.

We live in a society where it’s not uncommon to find people almost competing about who works the hardest.

Working a 9to5.

Doing overtime.

Working a 9to5 then a passion project 5to9.

Staying in the office till late.

Being self employed and working 7 days a week.

Coming into the office at the weekend.

We hear about working hard all the time but we rarely hear about play. There’s emphasis on resting from the work. But I’m a big believer in work and play.

I don’t believe in working for the weekend as though those 2 days are your reward for slaving away for the 5 days prior.

My ideas on work and play aren’t about a work life balance but more about just enjoying life as a whole.

So yes, meet your deadlines, impress the clients and do great work but also enjoy it.

Getting more money for less work

If the service you offer doesn’t require you to be there in person then there’s a chance you can get more for doing less.

Take a coaching service for example.

Say you have 8 clients who all have a total of 4 one hour sessions a month costing £55.

That’s 32 hours a month earning £1760

But what if you batch your sessions and make them online with 2 groups of 4 but each session now lasts 1.5 hours and now costs £50

That’s 12 hours a month earning £1600

But now lets see one group of 8 with a weekly 2 hour session at £55.

That’s 8 hours a month earning £1760.

Imagine working a quarter of the time but earning the same amount, if not more.

It’s not about being money hungry but simply having an awareness that the amount you earn isn’t dependent on how much time you spend working.

Avoiding the issue

It’s easier than you think.

If you watch and observe the way people behave you might notice that they avoid the main issue and instead focus on the small things that do not in-fact make the big difference.

Take for example the habit of procrastination. A procrastinator might end up feeling like they don’t have enough time to get things done. And so by making time the issue, you might think that the solution is to give them more time.

But all that happens is that extra time is still not enough, it’ll probably never be enough because the issue isn’t time, it’s procrastination.

That’s the thing that needs to be addressed anything else is just avoiding the issue

Everything must go!

There’s a lesson in almost everything.

How much stuff are you holding onto that doesn’t feel good.

Think about who or what you’re following on social media, what are you subscribed to, the contents of your closet or home space.

How does it make you feel?

If it doesn’t feel good, why not?

Furthermore, why are you still holding onto it?

A think a bi-annual (if not seasonal) life cull is a useful way to ensure that you’re only letting the good stuff stay. It’s important to be strict when you cull or else you end up keeping things for no real reason, you have to be honest with yourself about what you actually want or need in your life.

Do you need those slingbacks from 6 years ago that you’ve only worn once?

Do you need to keep following that stranger who is friends with that super hardworking, inspiring and stylish woman (who is also a stranger)?

Or how about that book you know you’ll never read or those old bedsheets that are just taking up space?

If it’s not something you use, know you will use or doesn’t serve any purpose in your life aside from being clutter then there’s not much use holding onto it.

When you’re going on a journey, you can’t take everything with you.

Problems and solutions

A simple but useful exercise

Get a piece of paper and split it in 2 (or create a word document or excel spreadsheet). On one side write all your problems, the big, small and in-between.

Then the other side come up with a solution to each one.

In my experience, I’ve found that this lowers the feeling of overwhelm because once your problem has a solution it’s no longer such a big deal.

The problem could be that you’ve been feeling really tired lately. The solution to that could be getting more sleep by going to bed earlier or eating more nourishing food so that you have more energy throughout the day.

Or perhaps you don’t have enough time to work on your side projects. The solution could be to commit to setting 1hr aside every day. And to cut out or reduce other things that are taking up your time that aren’t important like Netflix.

Once you’re done you’ll have an action plan in front of you and if those problems are really bothering you’ll do something about it.

1000 and something days ago

Can you remember where you were at in life 3 years ago?

Did you have a job?

Where did you work?

Were you happy?

How were you spending your free time?

Where did you live?

What were you reading?

What were your life goals?

Who were your friends?

Who were you dating?

A lot can change in 1000 and something days and in a ‘Go, go, go!’ society it can be easy to overlook just how far you’ve come.

Maybe you went from working part-time in a cafe, pretty happy with life, reading sci-fi and dating a dreamy guy who took you on picnics and twirled you to beautiful music.

But now you work full-time in HR, you’re not particularly happy, you have live in an expensive apartment in the city and don’t make time for the things you enjoy.

Things could be better, worse or maybe just different.

And if looking back makes you realise you’re not happy with where you’re at, why not do something about it.

Life changing habits: Focus on yourself

Probably the most obvious life changing habit of all, yet in this society with the prominence of social media in our everyday lives it can feel almost impossible.

How do you engage with the content of strangers without getting sucked in and forgetting about you?

I find that disconnecting is key, as in closing the app or logging out.

But it is also useful to make time to ask yourself the important questions like: How does this make me feel? Or is this a valuable use of my time?

The balance between focusing on yourself and what others are doing should always heavily be tipped in your favour.

I feel much better doing hand embroidery, going for a walk or drawing than I do focusing on the lives of strangers.

It doesn’t better my life to know that you had poached eggs on avo toast for breakfast or that you just bought another pair of Manolo Blahniks.

But don’t get me wrong I enjoy that kind of content a lot but I shouldn’t be focusing on others more than myself.

The same way you could with great ease spend an hour watching YouTube videos or 30 minutes scrolling Instagram should be the same way you spend time on yourself.