At the start of the year I wrote an ambitious post about working less and living more.
It sounds great, right? But do the steps I planned actually work?
Since it’s just passed the middle of the year and the birthday month for both Oh Darling Days (can you believe the blog is four years old?!) and I, it seems like a good time to reflect on the last six months…
1. Quitting the Popularity Contest
I made a conscious effort to spend less time updating social media accounts. I realised that, the more time I spend trying gain fans, the less time I had for anything else.
At first, when I looked at bloggers who tweet up a storm and have a small army of Facebook fans, I questioned my resolution. But, even with my ‘less is more’ social media strategy, gorgeous submissions have kept coming in and I’ve had the privilege to welcome awesome new blog sponsors.
2. Cutting the Fat
I wanted to ‘cut the fat’ and reduce time spent on admin. By being transparent about the blog sponsorship pricing and using email templates, I managed to reduce my email admin time by half. Yay!
If you’re looking for ways to work less and have a more time for yourself, I recommend reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. This book inspired me to try some smarter, faster ways to work so that I have more time to do what I love.
3. Focusing on Love
If you don’t love and believe in what you do, how can you expect anyone else to love your work?
This is something my Mr often says after I’ve expressed self-doubt about a project I’m working on.
I’ve realised that, in order to love working on Oh Darling Days, sometimes I have to say ‘no.’ I’m working on not feeling guilty about it, and I’m sure there are some people who don’t like me because of it, but we all know that trying to keep everyone happy is futile. Try it – say no to projects that don’t inspire you and you’ll have more time for to do what you love. It so liberating!
4. Swopping Mindless Distractions for Meaningful Activity
I used to blog stalk. I’d admire other blogger’s writing and design style, ideas and be awed of the number of blog posts they managed to publish in a week – and then I would feel like my blog was a little less cool in comparison. I stopped doing that.
I realised that, whether you blog stalk or compare your number of twitter followers to someone else, it’s just a bad time-wasting, self-defeating habit. And habits can be broken!
Try the ‘cold turkey’ approach and spend a weekend or a week on a digital detox (no social media).
5. Seeking the Sensational
And while we’re speaking about digital detoxes… If you want to feel renewed and inspired, stop looking at your phone!
I spent a long weekend on a digital detox and it changed the way I spend my free time. Now, when I’m out and feeling fidgety, instead of pulling out my phone to find out what Twitter peeps are doing, I either take photos of the beautiful things around me or pull out my small sketchbook (which is almost always in my handbag) and draw. And instead reading tweets aimlessly, I always have a good book to read (In fact, I’ve been reading so much that I’m calling 2014 “My Year of Books”).
FOMO (fear of missing out), spurred on by social media, does not exist if you have better things to do.
But if I can’t convince you, watch this…
Doing Less To Do More
Okay, now I don’t want you to think that I’ve it all figured out. There are so many aspects of my life that I wish were a little more organised – from my messy drawers to my night owl habits (so unhealthy) – but I feel like I’m figured a few ways to do less of those time-wasting activities I used to think were important.
I believe that making a list of things I wanted to do this year made a big difference. All these little time-saving tricks have allowed me the time (time I didn’t think I had) to embrace my inner bookworm, join an art class, and work on building my photography portfolio. It’s been a fun and rewarding half of 2014.
So darling, you’d love to save time and do more of what you love, read 5 Ways Do Less & Live More, and let’s make the next six months fabulous!
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*Image credit: My Mr took this photo during a recent escape to Swellendam. Yes, I’m the girl who can’t get a tan :)