Another little gap from me in writing. Why? Because I've been doing more project planning and delivery than normal. Although in that time I've also had a great new member of the team start over at my social enterprise which will allow me to now start focusing back on delivery with Voice and building plans for the Youth Network.
The past month or so has allowed me some time for reflection. The week between Christmas and New Year was also the time I truly relaxed a bit for the first time in a long time. I was on emails and actually took on some checking of this here Voice over the Xmas holidays. But in general, I had far fewer emails than normal and I didn't spend large chunks of time at a desk all week. But most importantly, I wasn't worrying about projects, clients or the world ending (2016 has fulfilled my lifetime quota).
Of course I still had responsibilities, but most of my wonderful team and colleagues were off. I had some positive funding news before Christmas and was awaiting more in January, but there wasn't anything I could be doing with.
Yes there are still things on my to do list, there always will be. But nothing that couldn't wait. I've realised it was very important to have this time. Generate some head space. Relax, not just my being, but my mind. Of course spending some time with my family and my wife was something I thoroughly enjoyed. And something I'd not done enough. I feel like this simple statement may seem ageing - I've still got a young persons railcard (just). But whatever age we are, we should never forget family, and must appreciate the support they give us everyday to be who we are.
Why does this sentiment help if you're doing your Gold Arts Award? Well, Gold is about independent learning and leadership. You actually can't be independent if you don't have some sort of safety net. Be that friends or family. Sometimes even good colleagues!
You need to help them understand what doing your Gold means to you and how they can help - even if it involves asking them to let you make your own mistakes so you can learn from them.
Independent learning isn't about being on your own, it's about taking responsibility for yourself, delegating to others, and surrounding yourself with supporters and ideas.
Leading your own journey to achievement and leading a team is what will get you your award this year.
I meet too many people who give up because life gets in the way. Sometimes you need to take a break, take stock. But if you want something then you have to work for it and make time.
How do you make time? Here's a few options to find some:
- Prioritise tasks: What can you do now that makes life easier next week? Can you send out some emails that you know will take a week to hear back from? It's not about tackling the bug stuff first, it's about lining your ducks up.
- Can you spend time preparing an info sheet, which then saves you time repeating yourself to lots of people who could instead read about your project, read about the questions you have for them, or even read why you're requesting tickets to their show? A little now for a lot later.
- Can you use 'dumb' time? Not down time, a chance to relax as above is important. But do you just sit there on the bus or the train? Could you prepare emails, write a budget, brainstorm?
- Can someone else do it for you more efficiently? Sometimes delegating takes time to explain, sometimes it means you can spend time on other priorities and another person can complete the task quicker than you could.
- Is it necessary? Spend less time on things you don't really need to do, especially things already done by others - find templates or places to start rather than begin again.
- Make a plan. Factor everything in. Be realistic about how much time you have and how much time others need to get back to you. Planning ahead reduces the time you spend chasing, worrying or finding last minute solutions which may involve lots of calls!
Make 2017 your year. Take control of your own opportunities. Achieve your Gold Arts Award!
P.S. Use the Gold Hub - it will inspire you and offer ideas that save you time!
- Image Credit: Giphy Studios