Many years ago, when I was working as a Graphic Designer my bestest mentor, friend and boss, taught me the value of Gold Time and I still place as much value on it today.
Gold Time is an unexpected window in your day. It is a cancelled appointment, a meeting that never is or an extended deadline. It could be someone offering to have your kids for tea or a friend running that errand for you because they are going that way anyway.
I love Gold Time and I was lucky enough to have some yesterday. The school day is always a rush. 6 hours sounds like a lot of time. It is not. Not when you have a zillion and one work things to do and you have high expectations of also sorting the chaos at home without kids present. Yesterday I had all of this to contend with plus I was geared up for teaching at the University for 6 hours with husband on pick up duty.
I took 5yr old to school (he went in perfectly – amazing!) and I dropped youngest at pre-school. In the car park I thought I would check my emails before setting off for work. A text pinged… “today’s meeting is cancelled and teaching does not start until next week, are you able to ring me this morning instead?”. A wave of ‘freedom’ washed over me. I was child-free with Gold Time!!!!!!! This was immense.
Driving home I made a decision to take a detour – to my fave cafe – where I would ring my boss straight away, notebook in hand. Now the Gold Time could begin. I ordered myself a tea and dialled my boss’ number. We had a lovely chat and things took an even better turn when I was given an unexpected offer that both motivated me and did my confidence wonders and it was then I realised I had been given Gold Time all week, the pressure was off! All in all a good start to my day.
So, I ordered another cuppa and my friends joined me. This is when I started to discuss my new blog (this one right here). And it dawned on me, well actually it dawned on my friends first, that I was justifying my being in a cafe with my friends and I was already time blocking my day in finite detail (again). And this is the exact reason I started the blog, to gain insight, impart knowledge and share solutions.
Yes, time blocking is good but taking time out for yourself, guilt free, when you rarely have this opportunity should be a priority for physical and mental health too. My Gold Time allowed me to do this and I spent a couple of hours to myself before heading home, where I decided to ignore housework and set up shop on my dining room table. I would normally go to my studio to work but I wanted to enjoy being at home in the peace and quiet. And I was productive. I didn’t open client work, I deemed this a waste of my Gold Time because it is already scheduled in to my week. I did some admin, which cleared my brain of clutter and I also worked on my marketing, which rarely gets a look in. And I did this guilt free. At 2pm I met my husband for a cuppa before walking to school together to pick our smiley little man up.
Do you have any Gold time suggestions or experiences? I know I have to work on a few things such as allowing myself to sit still or drink a hot cup of tea. But all in all, yesterday was a success and very Gold!
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