Being flexible with your approach and your to-do list will still get done


I love a good book – a passionate English teacher instilled the joy of losing yourself in a novel – whether fact or fiction, it is an opportunity to take some time and immerse yourself in the written word.

BUT as we know, life gets in the way and often the best laid plans go awry – work, children, laundry, elderly parents, ironing, gardening, decorating, work, ironing, shopping, (did I mention ironing?). When do you find the time to sit and just delve into a book uninterrupted for an hour or so?

Now those with excellent time management skills may well put aside time to do just that. Unfortunately (as with exercise routines), I am one of those that goes into the MO of  “just a minute, I need to finish this first” and surprise, surprise, I never get round to it and end up frustrated and annoyed. And on the off chance I do, I then feel guilty for not doing the other stuff, mainly the ironing!

My husband (and our MD), Keith has discovered a love of podcasts.  Off he trundles with the dog for a good walk and a catch up with Brexitcast or some other entertainment seeping through the earphones.

But whilst I enjoy the odd podcast, it’s books I love.  I have recently downloaded an audiobook.  I have previously been a bit sniffy of these – not sure why, but it seemed a lazy way of getting to grips with a novel, by having it read Jackanory style.

But hang on, what was wrong with Jackanory?  Those of us of a certain age will probably remember the joy and fun of having someone bring a book to life whilst sitting in an armchair bringing to life the characters on the page.

So, I ventured into the downloadable audio book and what a revelation it has been.  I can cook, drive, paint the bedroom, take the sleeping grandson in his pushchair for a walk and yes, iron, whilst losing myself in the written and spoken word.  Historical novels, thrillers and autobiographies have accompanied me in my daily tasks over the last few days.

I have “read” 3 books in one week and am still on top of my to do list…..result!

Sometimes you need to find an alternative that works for you. It is easy enough to say you need to make the time for yourself: look after your mental and physical health: get a work/life balance:- the difficulty can be when you can’t see the wood for the trees and you think that there’s only one way to get the result you need.

Be flexible, be open to alternatives and find what works for you, and you’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish whilst still feeding your imagination and wellbeing.

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