Do you allow time to do absolutely nothing?

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At my recent hairdresser appointment, I sat comfortably and almost drifted off to sleep whilst she styled my hair. It was absolute bliss and I could have happily sat there all day.  It brought me back to a time when I went to the hairdressers just for a wash, dry and style. I was a student then and only had myself to focus on.  I was more than capable of washing and styling my hair but I enjoyed the pampering!

The thought that came to my mind was;

“I am enjoying this. How often do I sit back and do nothing, absolutely nothing?”

It is rare for me to be doing very little, especially when in my home. I am kept on my feet with two young children. The housework, cleaning and washing never ends. This is despite having a husband who works alongside me.  By nature I like to be kept busy – to keep on going, sometimes even when I feel tired. I am trying with all my will to break this habit of pushing my body. I am almost at the point of accepting that I will never beat housework or any other work in the home for that matter.  It is not a race or a competition – I have nothing to prove to myself or anyone else. 

I confess that when watching a film, I might just be browsing on the Internet unless the film is so good it captures my full attention. I stopped watching soaps several years ago because a) I found them utterly depressing b) I did not want to expose my children to the loose living so often displayed in soaps and c) I wanted to make better use of my evenings.

So back to this doing nothing (obviously not all day), the society we live in is so fast paced. We can access information almost immediately on the Internet. We can reach people all over the world via social media in seconds.  We do however have the choice to switch off and be non contactable for some time just as we were living 20 years ago and beyond.

I tell myself over and over, everything in this world will continue ticking over if I step back as and when I feel the need to.

How often do you sit back and watch the world go by?  

Do you have particular times of the day/week when you cannot be reached?

Paperwork: how do you deal with yours?

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Now we are at the start of autumn, it just might be the right time to de-clutter.  There is something about autumn; the orange and brown leaves dropping from the trees, the rich coloured garments that adorn clothes shops, the array of scarves designed to keep your neck warm and you looking chic. Can you tell this is one of my favourite times of the year?

If you have children, you will feel my pain with regards to the countless number of letters and paperwork that arrives home in their school bag.  Every week there is some form of activity taking place where we have to sign a form and pay a small fee. My daughter has a drawer which I sort through every few months. I could not bring myself to do this task during summer as quite frankly we were having too much fun on family days out. Oops – did I just say that?

Utility bills are usually sent at this time of year giving a breakdown of your monthly payments for the following year. We have folders (in various colours if I may add) for incoming paperwork.  They are labelled:

*Banking 
*Health
*Important
*Utility bills
*Mobile phone
*Work
*Car

I endeavour to sort through this paper work say every three months (yes me, not my husband bless him). We only keep information for the last six months. If we need to go further back than this, we can call the organisation or log onto our account (where relevant).  We have a shredder than shreds up to four documents at a time. It instantly becomes hot and then has the nerve to switch off to cool down!  I have resigned to cutting documents with sharp scissors and placing them in the rubbish bin. 

So, what is your approach for dealing with paperwork in your home?

Do you allow paper to pile up or do you read, action and shred/file?

2016: Planning and Reflecting

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What a week this has been!

I drafted a blog as I always do on Thursdays, saved it (or so I thought) and was unable to locate it in my draft folder. I obviously accidentally deleted the draft before backing it up.  Not good at all. Drafting another blog was the last thing I wanted to do on a Sunday afternoon after being out at church for six hours.  This is the second time I have lost a draft and hope it will be the last. 

My focus this week is how has 2016 been for you so far?  Have your plans (assuming you made some) panned out as you had hoped? 

I had a number of expectations for 2016; most met, some will be carried over to 2017.

Read the bible in a year
I am on track to completing the bible by December. Four chapters a day is doable even with a busy schedule. 


Develop within worship ministry

I lead worship every six weeks. Prior to this I was comfortable being a backing singer. I have been challenged and whilst I do not always enjoy it, I know it is needed.

Work promotion
I applied for a secondment role in February this year and was not appointed.  Soon after, an opportunity to act up for a few months came along. I reluctantly took it wondering how it would help to move me forward.  In May, permanent management roles were being advertised, I applied and was successful. 

Develop as a blogger
I receive one or two new followers per week. I continue to post new content once weekly.

Publish my mini-book
I have been looking for a publisher to assist with grammar checking and printing.

Network more on social media 
I signed up to twitter early this year and found it overwhelming to begin with. 
LinkedIn and Facebook are my favourites. My blog is linked to both of these.

Quality Family time
We planned all our summer holiday day trips and enjoyed quality time together. I drafted an itinerary which worked well.

How do you approach making and keeping to your goals? 

What lessons have you learnt along the way?

Consistency – is it underrated?

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Consistency means stability, discipline and reliability. It means sticking to what you have set your mind to, even when you go off track, have little support from friends and family or you resent the sacrifices you have to make (whether financial or giving up your free time).

Consistency is not always easy, hence why some struggle to maintain this in their working and social lives. Consistency could mean carrying out tasks or projects and receiving no recognition for your efforts because a) nobody has taken the time to acknowledge you or b) you are working behind the scenes and are therefore unseen.

I will list just a few definitions of consistency taken from the Collins Dictionary;

1. Agreement or harmony between parts of    something complex; compatibility

2. Degree of viscosity or firmness

I was speaking to a friend last week about consistency. As funny as it may sound, I posed two questions to myself;

“Would I still blog on a weekly basis if I had no readers or followers?”

“Would the incentive and passion remain?”

From the bottom of my heart, I would continue to blog as writing is my passion. I write as much for myself as I do for others. I find it therapeutic. However like every other person I would feel deflated at receiving no feedback. Perhaps I would try to “put myself out there” far more than I do now. I would consider sending links to friends and regularly posting about my blog on social media.

If you are more of the adventurous “I will try anything once” type you may have signed up to a number of hobbies and activities over the years. Deciding to give up a hobby only has a direct impact on you therefore I view this as very different to committing to entering into a small business with a partner or perhaps starting a course that will cost you thousands in fees.

You have to make up your mind from the onset what your expectations are before embarking on a new challenge.  It is always best to decline taking on a task or commitment than offering your time, money, services and then back tracking.  

How do you maintain consistency in your line of work/business and personal life?