Working from home between December and July has been genuinely great. I get asked on an almost daily basis whether I miss the law and when I’ll be going back. I’m asked if I miss the challenge and the sense of achievement; I’m asked if I miss the social side and the structure. To be very honest it’s the structure I don’t miss at all. Having lived my work life in 6 minute units I really don’t miss the structure of a traditional working day at all!
For those of you who don’t know – most lawyers charge their clients for work in 6 minute units. If it takes 4 minutes to send an email the client gets charged for 6 minutes, 10 minutes on a call, a 12 minute charge. Very basically lawyers get rewarded by their employers if they hit their ‘hours’ targets and this means you have to record what you are doing every minute of every day. This means your day is incredibly structured, it means you feel guilty when you go out for lunch, when you make a brew, when someone wants to chat to you in the kitchen; you genuinely think if I take ten minutes having this conversation I might not hit my targets for the day and someone will notice. At one of the firms I worked at, the time recording system actually prompted you at the end of the day – do you really want to close this system down as you haven’t recorded enough time today! Yes really!
People who haven’t had this strange time recording pressure can’t really understand it, but even now, 6 months out, I finish a job I am working on and try to ‘record’ that job and I am still surprised (happily so) when I don’t have to. I also move onto the next job quickly and I guess efficiently. Being a lawyer has left me with a sense of not wasting time. I am usually doing something and am terrible at relaxing. Working from home, has in a way, made this worse as there is no working day. I am typing this at 9pm having just finished some legal consultancy work and whilst some photos I processed earlier are uploading; why do one thing when you can do 3 – oh and the Olympics is on as well!
So in an attempt to try and slow down a little I have been doing two things.
Firstly I have been writing down the jobs I need to do in my new unique planner. The logic behind this (apart from actually crossing things off a list which I love) is that if I am checking what I have to do in a paper diary I am not picking up my phone again! I am not starting to half draft the post I need to write, I am just writing the heading. I love this planner. It’s A4 size and I was torn when I ordered it (and still am) whether it would be too big. An A5 size would fit happier in a handbag, although there would be less room to write in it and I do need a lot of room!
I love that you could upload your own images to personalise the planner more, although as soon as I saw their new Union Jack design I knew that was what I wanted. As the planner was going to start in August during the Olympics (the planners only start at certain months through the year) it also seemed like fate!
You can add loads of different pages in and you can add photos to specific dates. I didn’t want to spend ages doing it so only chose birthdays and our wedding anniversary, but I think the idea is really sweet – as do the kids who squealed when they saw theirs! At £24 I think these make a lovely gift too and I am loving mine.
Secondly I am taking the time to have a bath! Me having a bath raises serious questions in this house. Is it your birthday Mum? Are you ok? Why are you not having a shower?
I’ve not always preferred a shower, but a bath has for a long time seemed a luxury. When do people find the time, you can’t blog, answer emails or edit photos in the bath without running the risk of dropping said phone into the bath. So for now, when I am trying to find the time to slow down, having a bath is a perfect phone (and therefore work) avoidance strategy, it means I need to slow down and not multi task.
I’ve also discovered Olverum Bath Oil. Just a couple of drops of this in a bath means I sleep incredibly soundly when I go to bed. It doesn’t necessarily put me to sleep but somehow it keeps me asleep. I’ve also given a bottle to a very busy stressed out friend to try, who swore nothing could help her current insomnia, but this seemed to. A couple of drops on her wrist was deemed the perfect amount to relax her and help her sleep soundly through the night.
The 10 Essential Oils Within the Bath Oil Are:
- Lemon Peel
- Siberian Fir Needle
- Exotic Verbena
The bottle is only little and could seem quite costly at £23.50 for 25 baths, however if you use two drops on your wrists before bed, I can see this lasting a year! If you fancy giving it a try you can buy it here.
So for now I’m going to put the computer down, go and have that bath and maybe even have a Gin!
NB: I was sent the planner and the Olverum to review but all views and opinions are my own.