WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO?

As children are back to school and routine is restored, October brings an air of normality.

But do you find you have more time to pursue your creativity or less?

YOU TIME

Anything that brings us joy is usually a treat. It’s something special that we look forward to. A box of chocolates, a massage, watching our favourite film, going for a meal with friends, a nice bottle of wine with a loved one, a book curled up in bed, a long soak in a bubble bath, a duvet day with your pet.

All moments of joy.

Some you’ll share with others, some will be time just for you and you alone.

Writing is one of those such moments for me.

Your creativity may come in the form of painting but It’s still much needed you time. A time dedicated to doing the one thing that brings you joy!

People or things will always compete for that time we’ve reserved for our pockets of joy. I call these – Time Takers.

TIME TAKERS

Time Takers aren’t always people, they come in all sorts of disguises, but all have one thing in common, they need you, but you don’t need them.

They can be jobs that need doing, places you have to go to, commitments you don’t need, want or enjoy.

Feel free to make your own list, as this will be invaluable in taking that time back in the future. Here are some examples to kick start you off:

• Your boss asks you to do over time.

• Your partner wants you to entertain their friends.

• The dog needs a walk.

• The school needs a volunteer.

• Family is coming to visit.

• There’s a course you must take.

• A friend wants a gossip.

• Email & Social Media notifications keep going off.

• Your Sister needs a babysitter.

• Your Dad needs help with the gardening.

• Your Mum needs a lift to the hospital.

• The housework/decorating needs doing.

All feel they urgently need attending to, and all are worthy, loving acts, but you don’t have to be the one who attends to them all, all the time.

Doing too much can feel like you’re being stretched beyond your limit, and this scattering of time and attention, anywhere and everywhere, can result in you going nowhere and doing nothing fast.

It’s about learning to say ‘No’ without feeling guilty or upsetting people, and like anything else, it gets a lot easier the more you practice saying it.

We need to practice saying ‘No’ more often to others, and stop saying ‘No’ to ourselves and our creativity.

The problem isn’t not having time, but how much time you choose to use on your creativity, with the time that you do have.

We should never neglect or underestimate the importance of time for ourselves and our creative pursuits.

Self expression releases tension and negativity and  helps us to relax and feel free to be our true selves.

Book that time in your diary now, at least an hour a day to indulge in creativity.

Let friends and family know this is YOUR precious time to create, and you need to be left alone in peace and quiet, in your own space.

You could be daydreaming, conjuring up ideas, not necessarily physically creating anything.

The point is everyone including you, needs to respect this time.

I write about U Time in my first parenting book The Confident Parents’ Guide to Raising a Happy Healthy and Successful Child, it was vital for me as a mumpreneur, to have this time for me every day.

It’s not a luxury- it’s a necessity!

If you’re interested in hearing more about U Time and you don’t have the time to read, you can now put your feet up and listen to the audio book on Audible and iTunes.

Writing is my U Time treat.

I could choose to use that U Time to do something else, like binge watch a box set on TV, but that wouldn’t bring me as much joy as creating my own.

So, if you want to be a writer / painter/ dancer/ musician / crafter/ knitter /culinary creative /candle maker….. use your precious U Time to do it!

Looking at my writing practice as something that I choose to do for me, helps me to appreciate and understand it for the real joy it is.

When I view this time as precious, I can’t sit there, staring at a blank screen swearing at myself for not writing enough words.   I simply sit there and appreciate the time I’m affording myself to do so.

Yes, I have an intention to write an article/blog/book, always, but if that’s not writing itself today, I’m still going to enjoy this time as part of my precious life.

I’m not going to waste my time.

It’s only a waste of time if I’m sat there angry and frustrated.

I may have quiet periods of contemplation but instead of berating myself for them, I ask myself;

‘What could I write about today just for the joy of it?’

If there was no pressure to achieve 1500 words today, what could I write about?

Could I channel my negative thoughts and emotions into my writing practice and write about my frustrations as they occur, in the moment?

I’m still writing, and those words and minutes will add up to U time well spent.

Every sentence is practice.

Every sentence is without restraint.

Try it yourself and you’ll find; every stroke of that paint is given life, every stitch will have a chance, every note exists in that moment, as all creativity, the good, the bad and the ugly, is being freed from within.

There’ll be no blank page, ball of wool or silence harassing you anymore, unless of course you want U time to reflect, think and daydream – and that’s all good too.

I know from coaching parents on making daily U Time a priority, that finding an hour is not easy for everyone.

I still don’t know exactly why that is, as we all have 24 hours in a day, but I’m constantly met with reasons why it’s impossible to do or excuses of why it won’t happen or work.

Time is precious – waste it wisely 🙂

If you can’t find one hour in your day for you to enjoy your life, then your life needs looking at. You either need to plan your time better or get rid of unnecessary ‘Time Takers’.

You deserve your time more than anyone else.

That’s why its called ‘Your Time’ and not ‘Their Time.’

Creativity isn’t to be rushed but savoured.

If you’re writing a novel enjoy the story unfold in its own sweet time, get to love and know your characters so that ending the story is not the only goal. If you’re writing to get published and make money, and there’s a deadline, then you’ll have to pick up your pace to stay in the race. But writing for money, and writing to express your creativity, are two different things.

One will be about perfecting for others, while the other will be a messy out pouring of joy for you.

If you’re happy to write for enjoyment, with the possibility of getting published and maybe making some money, then your mind will be freer and your words will flow faster.

Being creative is an end goal in itself because it helps us to relax and feel free.

So why aren’t you?

Grab your notebook, pen, and a cuppa, and let’s see where you’re spending your time.

WHERE DOES YOUR TIME GO?

Where is your time going and what are you doing that’s more important than spending time on your creativity?

Try this simple exercise; make a list of all the things or people you spend your time on each day. Next to them, put how many minutes or hours you dedicate to each one.

Here’s a rough guide fill in the bank with the number of hours you use on each one or minutes.

YOUR LIST:

  1. Sleeping – hours
  2. Work – hours
  3. Housework – hour
  4. Time with my children -hour
  5. Studying -hour
  6. Writing /Reading – hour
  7. Having a bath -hour
  8. Hobbyhour
  9. Watching TV / Social Media – hour
  10. Time with friends/partner – hour

It’s impossible to segment each activity/ person into a time slot, as our time usually interlinks with more than one.

This ‘Where Does Your Time Go?’ listing process, highlights time given to a particular person or purpose and physically shows how we do have enough hours, we just need to choose what we feel is important to do with them.

Physically seeing where most of our time is spent, and where time for creativity is lacking helps us to change how we use our time, making it easier  to swap watching TV or social media for your creativities.

LESS IS MORE

It’s not about finding more time to pursue creativities, It’s about finding time for you to do less.

It’s about being able to sit and gaze out the window at the world, while you have a coffee daydreaming or plotting.

It’s doing less of those unenjoyable things, so you can spend more time doing things you do enjoy. 🙂

Muma, keep Creating,

Em x

Write Now or Not Right Now?

We all have dreams and desires in life.

For most of us that’s what they stay, far off dreams or longing desires unfulfilled.

I know right now reading this, you can think of one thing you’ve always wanted to do, be or achieve.

But for whatever reason life has gotten in the way?

You may have a number of reasons why you can’t achieve your dreams and desires right now.

Maybe you are waiting for the children to grow up?

Maybe you need more money or more time?

More knowledge, education or experience?

Maybe someone else to help you?

Maybe inspiration to strike or motivation to move you?

But I can guarantee you that in ten years’ time, you will still have one or more or maybe all, of the above to stop you realising your dreams.

How do I know? Because just like you I have too.

Ten years ago, I set out to write a book.

In that ten years I’ve had two children to bring up, two businesses to run, hundreds of other children to care for, family tragedy and illness, home extensions to contend with and about twenty different educational courses to complete.

Now my young children are teens. I’ve still got my businesses doing well. I’ve gained a massive amount of experience, caring for so many different children and seeing therapy clients. I’ve overcome the loss of loved ones and family illness. My home extension along with all my educational courses are complete.

Yet one thing remains unfinished…….

Yes, my manuscript.

Don’t get me wrong its finished in so far as its written. In fact, I’ve enough material for four books. Its just I’m still editing it. And editing it. And yes, you’ve guessed it, still editing it.

I’m waiting for it to be perfect, then I’ll wait for the perfect time. And then well quite frankly, if I keep waiting that may never come.

Striving for perfection in an imperfect world is impossible.


Perfectionism is the weed that thinks it’s a flower.

Perfectionism is the weed that thinks it’s a flower.

So, lets waste no more time striving for it!

As Charles Darwin was quoted as saying;

‘A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.’


What do you need more time to do, be or have?

Tick Tock Goes the Clock!

A clock tick for all of us, silently somewhere. And one is ticking now for you.

One day it will be too late to; travel the world, spend more time playing with the kids, to write that book, take that study course or do that job.

Too late to find that relationship that you’ve always dreamed of.

And too late to tell someone you are sorry or that you love them.

Too late to be the real you, the person deep inside that you know you can and want to be.

And too late to live the life you deserve to live.


Now is the time to act. Today, this minute, is the only time you are promised.

Joan Rivers while she was alive, was once quoted as saying

‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present!’


The past is gone; the future is not guaranteed, but today, everything is possible.

‘No time’ – Is an excuse.

‘Later when the time is right’ – Is procrastination.

Now is the time to act, before our fears of time running out become a reality.


Time Stands Still for No Man or Woman

It’s ironic how time only stands still, when something catastrophic happens in our lives.


Someone we love dies.

We receive a diagnosis from the doctor.

Our partner leaves us for someone else.

We lose our job or home.

Suddenly, it’s like we are frozen still in time.

For once, we stop being busy doing nothing, and become still.

Bewildered by how everyone else is still busy around us, getting on with their lives, oblivious to what is happening in our world.

Abruptly we wake from our dream or nightmare, crashing back to reality with an urgency, to do those things we always wanted to do, but just never had enough time.

We are all just waiting our whole lives for;

The time to be right.

To be ready.

To be old enough.

To have enough experience, knowledge, support, money or time!

But when is the time ever right?

When will it be the right time for you to follow your dreams, and live your life the way you want to?

What are you waiting for?

Mind Your Own Business

Mind your own business and you’ll see results. News, social media and so and so next door, is nothing to do with you. Focus on where you are going and don’t get side tracked by other people’s lives.


If you want to be an artist, paint now!


And never repress your dreams as unachievable right now. If you want to be a dancer dance now, if you want to be a singer, sing now, if you want to be an actor then act now, if you want to be an artist, paint now, and if you want to write, write now. Or whatever else it is, that you are yearning to do, have or become?


If you want to be a singer, sing now!

Another quote I love is by Audrey Hepburn;

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible’

You got this!

Just start right now and never doubt yourself. Leave that for others to waste their time doing and know that if others are doubting you, it’s because of their own unfulfilled dreams, that they’ve buried through fear.

Still feeling de motivated or struggling to get started on your dreams and goals?

Don’t worry, we all need a cheering squad sometimes. Unfortunately, the people we tend to turn to for support, such as family and friends, can unintentionally influence us to go off course.

And even after ten years, I still feel uncomfortable when I receive those blank stares and awkward silences, whenever I admit that I’m writing a book.

But don’t give up!

When you find the right person to be accountable to, your commitment and success ratio will increase considerably.

You’ll lose that weight, find that dream job or partner, or get that book published!

You are imperfectly perfect for that role but if you want motivation and inspiration, then follow my blog for a weekly boost or let’s make friends on social media and support one another along the way.

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