Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Let yourself be idle

I'm a busy person. I'm happiest when I have things to do, people to see. I don't get overwhelmed with lots to do I tend to thrive on it. And I'm pretty good at relaxing. I know when I've had enough of the world and need a hot water bottle, my bed and a good book.

You'll have to bear with me whilst I formulate what I'm trying to say here - this isn't a post about how great I am :)

Running my own wedding planning business means there's never an off day. Clients get in touch anytime, emails don't stick to 9-5 hours and aside from all that my mind rarely switches off from what I've got to do/ should do/ need to do/ want to do. What's more, my business is still under 18 months old technically, so there's always something new to learn. And with twitter, facebook, and a blog to keep updated there is always something to focus on.

But how good is it being busy all the time? For my career and my sanity?! If I'm always working when am I thinking things through let alone having time for a life. We all put meetings and deadlines in our diaries. But we don't tend to schedule in time to think about things for meetings and deadlines. Yes we prepare for them but do we think about them.

For those of you a little confused here, I'll try to clarify what I mean.

My sister is a philosopher (well, a philosophy student at least). And she spends a lot of time in bed. It makes her come across a touch lazy and we have had many fights about this in the past when I've got annoyed at the lack of bread/milk in the flat. Whenever we discuss it she claims that in order to be able to write her essays and not lose the train of thought, she has to have time to think. And idly think at that. To daydream, explore her mind and not try to do anything. She says that by not trying to get on with things her thoughts develop organically and she comes up with some of her best work.

Right so how does this apply to life as a wedding planner? My job doesn't quite allow the luxury of time in the same way. Can you imagine if I said to a bride I was in bed allowing my thoughts about her wedding to develop organically? Clearly this wouldn't be good for my business.

When I have a migraine, which I get about once a month, I am forced to spend a few hours in bed, often in the middle of the day. Of course I've had them out and about and when I have to work or can't get to bed I survive. But if I'm at home, working on nothing immediately pressing, I can slide into cool bedsheets, a flannel on my head and let my thoughts drift. And it's at these times I have the most decisive, clear thoughts about my business and often life in general. Okay so the codeine might help this daydreaming state but I think it's more about letting myself off the hook.

In a long winded way I am trying to say to all of you wedding professionals, brides and well, people in general that it is okay to stop once in a while. Stop thinking about everything you should do and do nothing. Dream, think, wish, whatever. Just don't put pressure on yourself and enjoy being idle. It won't hurt your professional and personal life, if anything it will help it as you'll slow down and naturally see what you're happy/unhappy with and what you want to do.

So take a leaf out of my sis' book, schedule some bed time in the middle of the day, close your eyes and let your mind wander...


  1. What a wonderfully calm and refreshing article! I really enjoyed reading this. Thankyou xx

  2. Yes, I steal about 15 minutes a day relaxing, and being put into a time frame when I can clearly think...it is when I'm doing the washing up in the kitchen. Some of my best ideas come in that period of time. Something to do with the calmness of the water..same hold true in the shower. Stolen moments of solitude, surrounded by water and no interuptions! ;)
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts today.
    Have a wonderful week.

  3. This is a really good post. I always feel so guilty about taking any time off, but sometimes I'm so tired that I spend a day at my desk and actually only have about 2 hours productive work to show for it. Yesterday I took some time to myself and feel so much better for it today - just because you have a busy career/life doesn't mean you shouldn't have time to yourself once in a while!

  4. Ha ha this post should be for me... sadly unlike your sister I find it impossible to switch off, just as well as Im working 7 days a week through wedding season! When november arrives I will happily take us off on a long weekend, leave my laptop at home and hopefully have no phone reception whatsoever!

  5. Daydreaming is essential for me (although I do try to avoid it at work!).

    Although abstract thinking does occasionally help.

  6. So refreshing to read! I go, go, go and then need to recharge...the only way for me is taking time by myself with no tv, radio, nothing...just silence to make my brain stop, focus and decide! I love my "Me Time" and I NEED it to be the person I am and want to be! Great post :)


  7. Glad I'm not the only one! Having a lovely day of 'me time', hope you fine ladies are too x


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