with the line between our personal and professional lives blurrier than ever, we asked Rhea Alton from J&PR how she makes time away from technology to fulfil her passions.
I love stationery…..pretty pens, pads, organisers. Many of them end up hidden in drawers or at the bottom of bags but one organiser changed the way I did everything!
I bought a passion planner. An organiser that encourages you to create a passion plan - just like a business plan, but for your personal life.
How I had never thought about the fact that I planned out everything in terms of my work and my home life, my meals…..but never things I was passionate about or wanted to achieve in life…..now seems odd.
The planning encouraged me to write down everything I wanted - from the small to the completely crazy, and without too much time to think about it...because when it comes to being a busy business owner overthinking is basically part of the package.
What I wrote ranged from funding a new hospital wing to getting fit and healthy.
You are encouraged to pick a goal that would have the most impact on you in the next few months and then work further on that goal to work out the steps you need to take.
And then those steps go in the diary. They don’t stay on the paper. They are booked in. Official.
Because that’s the only way someone like me listens to them.
If I am working alone on my computer I don’t make a cup of tea, or stop for lunch. Sometimes I’m still there when the sun has gone down and the only light comes from my screen.
But if my diary shows I need to take a step towards a goal, if it is booked in, I will do it. Because it is part of the plan, built into my day, and I know if I do it I can achieve something I am passionate about.
And it works in other ways too. During the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, my passion was to make sure my children came out the other side without having spent 7 million hours on computer screens - which is hard when the home-learning was on a screen and a video call with their friends was on a screen and in their downtime, they either watched TV or played their iPads while I worked!!
But, I had a goal. Breaking down that goal led to realising I would need to make the time a few days a week to be with them, guiding them in something. Then breaking it down further I gathered ideas of what I could do. Then I put them in the diary on certain days.
Lockdown was tough and I couldn’t always stick to the plan - but it was there, and when I was taking that time away from my screen to give them time away from theirs….I was much happier.
And much more productive when I returned…
I want my business to be successful and for my clients to really value the services I provide.
I want to do something that makes me laugh every week, but also relax and explore with my family, travelling the world and discovering new places.
Now, I plan for both.
Rhea Alton is Managing Director at J&PR - a full service public relations agency working with clients across Shropshire, the West Midlands and beyond. J&PR are also working towards becoming a techtimeout accredited employer. Find out more about our accreditation here.