Working Hard vs Working Smart

Working Hard vs Working Smart

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

Last Summer I was introduced to a new business idea and jumped in as I instantly saw the amazing benefits from it. One of the key things I picked up on quickly and have a developed a much bigger understanding for is the idea of working smart as opposed to working hard. I had never heard of this principle really before, and if I had, I certainly didn’t know what it meant. This meant that I had a new understanding of how I needed to make essential changes in my life to achieve the things I really want and exactly how to get there. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you don’t have to work hard because obviously to achieve anything in life it needs dedication, but there is definitely a difference between working hard and smart and working just hard to get nowhere.

The idea of working smart is mainly about the choices that you are making to further and better yourself in life. There are so many options around in our modern world and we really don’t have to settle for anything less than we desire anymore. However, one thing that definitely is true, to work smart and achieve your goals you have to be in business.

I have always been extremely passionate about business. Basically, I have never had any yearning to be bossed around by someone. I am fiercely independent, incredibly strong willed and ultimately, probably very unemployable. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a bad employee… if someone gives me a task, I will do it and I will do it well, but I just simply always have an urge to take over the show towards the end of my time somewhere. I used to think this was going to be my biggest weakness and downfall in life, but then I started my business and realised anything is possible with dedication and a clear outlook of what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.

Career Paths

So, let’s talk careers. I am going to be straight with you, I have never really known what I wanted to do. This meant that in the end my sensible voice inside focused much more on all the things I didn’t want to do. I figured that if I didn’t fall into doing something, I didn’t want to do then it was much more likely I would find what I did. Funnily enough, it worked out pretty well. I pretty much fell into doing what I do and absolutely adore. Social media has been a passion of mine for a long time, so landing up working in it, being able to run a business as well has been a huge blessing. Which leads me on nicely to my now much newer business in social media which is social marketing role which has obviously stemmed from my other business.

If you don’t know much about social marketing, I am going to briefly explain it now. Social marketing is a business model whereby you partner with a company, get all the benefits of running your own business and zero of the negatives! The idea of it is basically all about sharing, talking and networking. Something I already do! You have to partner with a company you love, which I do, and you have to authentically share, which I have been doing for years on here. So, win win for me!

My advice when deciding on a career path is going to come in the form of bullet points:

Really evaluate what you are good at and what you enjoy doing

What do you actually want out of life? Is that career going to get you there?

Will this career fit around things that may come in the future, such as a family?

Does this career give you the potential to grow within the industry?

Are you going to be well rewarded for your hard work?

Is it REALLY what you want to do?

5 Year Plan

This is a relatively new concept for me but something I have started to religiously refer to; my five-year plan. Back before starting my social marketing business I was asked the question ‘if you keep doing what you’re doing now, where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?’ I had a bit of a light bulb moment and suddenly felt quite nauseous. The truth was I felt extremely scared because I felt suddenly worried that what I am currently doing isn’t going to get me to where I actually want to be in five years’ time. So, I decided to make a change and jump into a new and exciting opportunity. Would you have done the same?

Plan of Action & Realistic Goals

So, I’m going to keep this one short and sweet. A goal without a plan is just a dream. For every goal on your list, make yourself a master plan for how you are going to achieve each one and get to work. Otherwise, you will definitely regret it.

Beneficial Hobbies

So, this one for me is very personal. I started my blog as a hobby back when I was 15, just because I wanted a space to share my love for fashion, food and everything in life that was just for me. I now owe everything I currently have to that hobby I decided to embark on when I was 15. There are so many things in my life that I have now because of it including: my social media management business; my social marketing business; many of my now Instagram friends, a strong working ethos knowing that dedication is extremely important, a space where I can still be creative and many many blog opportunities that have just been incredible. It really has been a blessing for me and my life. So, when I say beneficial hobbies obviously, I am not talking just about a blog, but something that you consistently show up to do that is going to positively benefit you at some point in your life.

Working on YOU

The main thing I have taken away so far from my social marketing company is the importance of always working on ourselves in order to put us in the right headspace to focus on our business. Working on you can come in a lot of forms and will almost definitely be different for a lot of us. My ‘working on me’ includes a much healthier and more balanced diet, regular exercise, everyday reading, personal development audios in the car, small everyday changes such as herbal tea instead of a coffee etc… The main thing to take away from this is that it is about incorporating healthier things into your everyday life until they become a much more stable part of your routine. Working on you has to be consistent in order to gain any benefits.

So, let me ask you, do you think what you are currently doing is working hard or working smart? And, if you keep doing what you are doing now, where do you think you will be in 5 years’ time?

P.s. time for a change and a new adventure? Leave me your details in the contact form below and I will get back to you with the answer!

 

Shop this Post:

Dress – New Look

Coat – Lipsy

Boots – UGG Australia

Belt – Gucci

Bag – Louis Vuitton

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

 

4 + 2 =

How to really switch off this Christmas

How to really switch off this Christmas

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

This may seem like an odd thing to be talking about, as generally at this time of year it seems quite easy to switch off from work and relax, however I have learnt in recent years that it doesn’t quite work that way. Most of the time, when we take time off work, we usually are going somewhere or have plans. Christmas is different, as it is an unusual amount of time to be at home, with family, not actually having much to do besides seeing people, travelling, eating and lots of drinking. I used to find that I would use this time to catch up on work and my to-list with the things that just never seem to get done when leading a busy life. I have now learnt that in order to start the new year off on a good foot and make it a success, your mind and body needs to be properly rested over the festive holidays in order to refuel.

So, how exactly is this golden principle done?

Indulge in Festivities

The first way of course has to be indulging in all that the season has to offer. Don’t shy away from socialising and make the most out of everything going on at this time of year. Not only does this get you into the festive spirit, but it also relaxes your mind and helps you to switch off from everything serious in life, which after 2019, we all definitely need. Say yes to the Christmas markets, wrestling the queue at your local shopping centre, drinks with friends and even family dinners with those inevitable awkward conversations with those you only see once a year!

Indulge in Food and Drink

I always find that at this time of year I really relax because I am out of my routine and I let myself go in terms of treats that I don’t get during the year. Over the Christmas break I let myself get up late and stay up late, I eat and drink whatever the hell I want and most importantly I just do the things I want to do rather than need to do. This attitude always relaxes my mind as it is a luxury, I don’t give myself all year around. Don’t deprive yourself… it’s Christmas!

Digital Detox

Let’s be honest, especially after everything going on in 2019, we have all spent way too long with our heads in our phones, watching the TV and using all other devices. It can be easy to overindulge in this at Christmas as we have lots of spare time but really, we aren’t properly switching off if we do this. As much as you will inevitably spend more time on them, you also need to ensure that you are doing other things, such as simply talking to those around you, being outside and having fun in other ways.

What do you do to switch off?

Shop this post:

Red Coat – Zara

Boots – Zara

Hat – New Look

Jumper – Barbour

Handbag – Michael Kors

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.

Time for a digital detox

Time for a digital detox

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

I have always found that at this time of year, technology has started to become overwhelming and a digital detox is usually in order. Nowadays festivities start in September, the days get shorter and the hours we spend with our heads in our phones definitely gets longer. After a mere two months of this, it can start to have an effect on our minds, which can also lead to tiredness and an even bigger case of ‘the Winter blues’. Now, you may be reading this and disagree with me, in which case this blog post isn’t for you, however if you are agreeing, please do carry on reading.

Technology is overwhelming at any time of year, and the intense amount of time we each spend online always needs to be balanced out by a healthy amount of fresh air, human interaction and of course, screen free time.

I am the Queen of having my head in my phone, laptop, computer, iPad as I have to be on one for work, for my studying, for my blog and most of the time even to connect with my friends and family. We all lead such busy lives, so sometimes indulging for hours in a family WhatsApp group is the main way you keep up with each other! I may be the Queen of this, but I am also very good at switching it all off and appreciating everything else our wonderful world has to offer. My brain physically can’t handle too much time online, so regular day time breaks and digital detoxes are totally my thing.

Now you may be thinking that it is impossible, you just simply can’t help reaching for your phone when you’re on the sofa, sat in the car or even having a peak during your meal, but believe me it has to be done for the sake of your mental sanity. So, my five easy peasy ways to detox include:

Regular Breaks – this one will only apply if you spend all your day on a computer, tablet or phone like I do. The key is to have an alarm, always set it for 30 minutes and then when it goes off you need to stand, stretch it out, look out the window and take a few deep breaths before returning to work a few minutes later. Staying hydrated during the day is also essential as the lights in our screens put a lot of pressure on our eyes, so if you are well hydrated it will just make everything a little easier.

Instagram Time Limits – now I am pretty lucky nowadays that I don’t tend to have the free time I used to in order to spend hours every day scrolling through my Instagram, so I don’t have to do this as much, but it is still an effective tool. When you go on your phone to look at your social media apps, or play a game etc.… set yourself a timer on your phone. I used to set and still do sometimes at the weekend a 15-minute timer, where I would then go on the app and as soon as it went off I would quickly finish he last thing I was doing and put my phone down. It takes discipline, but once you start you do very quickly get into the routine.

Phone Free Bed Times – this is one I still struggle with if I haven’t been on my phone much in the day and I want to catch up, but banning your phone from the bedroom is such a positive thing. I always have mine in the room in case of emergency, but I try to be as strict as possible not to go on it before bed. You know what it’s like, before you know it an hour has passed and all you’ve done is look at ridiculous videos on Facebook and then you can’t get to sleep!

Socialise when you’re socialising – this one always makes me laugh. I can’t stand it when I see groups of people, friends, family etc.… out and about together, with their faces in their phones!! You might as well be at home on the sofa just texting each other! You may think I spend a lot of time on my phone and everyone, but one thing I have always tried my best at and been reasonably good at is not being on it when I’m socialising. Also, whilst we’re on the subject, I don’t need to watch the entire concert you went to through your Instagram stories…. I would have just gone myself!! Sorry not sorry.


Do something practical every single day. This is something I was told a few years ago and it always kind of stuck with me. At least once a day, every day, we should all be doing something with our hands. This can be making a meal, cleaning something, drawing something, writing with pen and paper, even creating a fancy makeup look. It is something practical, but it also has to be something that you are completely focused on. I always find, when I dedicate an hour or so to doing one of these, usually cooking, it feels like my mind has hit the reset button. I feel instantly refreshed even though I’ve been busy. It really is a great way to enjoy a small digital detox.

 

What is the best way you find to switch off?

 

Shop this post:

 

Dress – New Look

Coat – New Look

Boots – Zara

Belt – Gucci 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

10 + 5 =

Surviving dull winter days

Surviving dull winter days

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

The Winter is really starting to set in and there seems to be a general lug in the air since the clocks changed again. I hate to write it down as I feel like I am being extremely negative, but let’s be honest, the dark and grey days are depressing. It can have such an impact on us mentally and unfortunately, there really isn’t much we can do about it. The British weather isn’t going to change any time soon, so the only way to take control and work towards a happier ‘YOU’ is by working on you. There are many things we can do to help ourselves, and these things are all going to be different depending on our own personalities. I wanted to write today about these Winter days and share the small things I do to help myself overcome them.

I mean, let’s get one thing straight first, if you are going through a difficult or a stressful time at the moment, this is all going to be about 100 times harder. However, rest assured, doing a few small things every day and consistently can make such a huge difference.

Start your day by moving. This one sounds a bit odd and the first assumption would usually be to that I am talking about going to the gym. I’m not. I mean, going to the gym is one version of it but definitely not the only one. Every single day for the last few months I have made an effort to ensure that the first thing I do is move my body and stretch it out before starting to get ready. This can be going to the gym and working out, swimming, a little yoga, or simply just walking around the flat for a little while whilst sipping my coffee. This doesn’t just get your body ready for the day, but it totally readies your mind.

Let’s be honest, what we put into our bodies has such a major effect on what happens with the outside, and of course our minds. At this time of year, the importance of a healthy balanced diet is crucial, however often something that is the last thing we want to do. Yes, being on the sofa every evening with a glass of wine or two and a whole bar of chocolate is definitely wanted, it really does have such a negative impact on us mentally. We can all have our treats, but to help us mentally we all need to be getting our daily nutrients and feeding our bodies with the ingredients that lead to happier and healthier minds.

Saying YES! At this time of year, it is so easy to put life on hold and switch off from the real world for the sake of feeling comfortable. Don’t do it! Within reason, say yes to as much as humanly possible. Get out the house, network with new people, enjoy socialising and most importantly make some memories from new experiences. Life can become very dull when nothing much changes and you never push yourself, so always remember to say yes before saying no!

Don’t just wear black – I love this one as I know how true it is. At this time of year, we are all amazing at falling into our Winter habits and one of these has to be a constant black wardrobe for the duration of the season. Believe me, if this is your go-to every single day, it is going to start to take effect on your mood. Start experimenting with your wardrobe and be confident in some bolder colour choices and styles that are guaranteed to lift your mood time after time.

Flowers, candles and fairy lights – my three must haves in my home at this time of year to counteract the grey and dark days to evenings that we simple must endure. I have all three in abundance throughout my home.

Fresh air – often we all shy away from being out at this time of year as it is cold, often raining and let’s be real, just not exactly appealing. But I can assure you, even by having ten minutes out in the fresh air, it can do the world of good for your mind. I see it very much as pressing the reset button, using it as a little time to switch off from devices and the real world.

Phone free hours – moving swiftly on and complimenting my last point well, some phone free time is ALWAYS a huge factor is surviving these days. Social media sees a huge increase at this time of year, with many of us opting for our beds and sofas as opposed to beer gardens, which ultimately means we are all sat on our phones aimlessly scrolling through Instagram, possibly opening the app more than 30 times a day. When you are struggling a little, choose to put your phone away and engage with everything else going on around you.

Organisation – I have personally found that the best way to keep on top of these days and be as productive as possible is by always being organised. I give myself quite a strict routine and do find that when I stick to it both these things become so much easier. Focus on being organised at this time of year and I can guarantee that you will find the days so much easier.

What are the best tips you have for overcoming a dull day?

 

Shop this post:

Nightie – M&S

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I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

 

Pulling off your Winter #GirlBoss look

Pulling off your Winter #GirlBoss look

We are officially into my favourite fashion season and I couldn’t be happier that my tights and Winter coats have made an appearance! I also couldn’t be happier that I am back to writing my fashion posts revolved around this season. I find Spring and Summer incredibly hard to talk about on the blog as they are frankly seasons that I just don’t enjoy dressing for, therefore feel uneasy when having to write my style tips. Don’t get me wrong, they are not untrue as I honestly write about how I feel and what I choose to wear, however it is just not my favourite thing to write about. There is just something about Winter that makes me happy; something about it that makes me feel confident and empowered. I wake up each morning eager to put my outfit together and walk out the front door happier which seems to be a feeling that many others who I have spoken to, don’t seem to actually share.

Pulling off a look is about so much more than looking good. In my opinion it is about feeling utterly gorgeous and in control of yourself, having the confidence to ‘boss’ your day and most of all, tackle all obstacles life constantly throws our way, even as minor as a twit in the car behind you.

I wanted to put this post together, as even though I feel very confident in the Winter, it is not a feeling I share with everyone. Having spoken to a lot of people over recent weeks, I have found them to all say a few similar things that in my opinion will definitely supress this confidence. I want to help women, indeed men too, to really utilise what this season can bring and not let the general feeling of depression and tiredness that we get here in the UK during Winter, get the better of us. This is a long season, and yes, I completely appreciate why it has such an effect on our moods, although I am here to say it really doesn’t have to. Fashion can have a major impact on us mentally and is one of the few things we can do on an everyday basis to express ourselves and take control of how we feel. So, how exactly do we make this work if it isn’t quite working yet?

Black is not the only colour around…

First things first, I couldn’t not start with this. Everyone I have spoken to in the last few weeks, indeed over my life, has said they love Winter because it means they can ‘bring their black back out’. Where on earth did it stem from that we all wear black during the Winter, ALL THE TIME?! I once went on the tube in London during Winter and could not believe how many people on that train were wearing bloody black. Yes, I agree black is a great colour, however I have learnt this year during my style session that out of the four possible fashion seasons we all fit into, only one of those seasons can actually pull off black. With this, it is also not on all days. This means, not only is black not the colour for our skin tones, but it actually makes us look even more tired and dull, which in the Winter is really not what you want. So my first point, put the damn black away and get creative with your colours. This is something I have already avoided during the season and I am telling you now, I feel so confident stepping out of my home wearing my brightly coloured coats and dresses.

Style AND Warmth… So, one of my biggest tips for the Winter that I have been caught out on too many times is looking and feeling great but being bloody freezing!! Having a nice outfit is all great, however if you are too cold, you are not going to feel confident or empowered. So, my advice, wear your nice outfit but it is all about the layers. Adapt your outfit to fit the temperature and I can assure you that you will begin to feel a lot more confident during the day, and night!

Coat Collection

So, this is one of my biggest loves in the Winter, a killer coat collection. I used to think my coat collection was seriously excessive and just getting a little out of control, but last year I suddenly realised that I really was wearing them all and was able to create so many different looks as I had a variety of options. Now, when you really think of it, in the Winter you don’t so much revolve your coat around your outfit, you generally will revolve your outfit around your coat. The reason for this is obvious, it generally is the only thing you ever show off/ anyone sees. Therefore, having a collection is extremely beneficial as you then have the luxury of creating many looks, giving you a new sense of confidence each and every day. Start small and work your way up. Having the basics is key and then getting into some more fun pieces too. My go to for coats is Zara, Ted Baker and Mango.

Accessories

Let’s be honest, Winter is all about the accessories. In order to experiment with your looks and give you that sense of confidence you need to have the eagerness to accessorize. Be bold with your jewellery and your handbag choice, experiment with your scarves like a Parisian and most importantly, don’t be afraid of gloves and hats. The accessories alone can make your outfit and often will be the thing that makes you happier with your overall look.

Heels

This is different for everyone, I am well aware, however I have always found wearing heels makes me feel so much more confident. They don’t have to be huge and can even be tiny ones, nevertheless having just a little height can really elevate your legs and the overall look. I find it much harder to do in the Summer as I just want to be comfy in the heat, whereas in the Winter it is so much easier as they are often very comfortable if it is heeled boots or more block heeled shoes. Also, they are a god sent for making your legs look thinner!!

Bring out your Goddess

Ultimately, your look should make you feel like an utter goddess. You should want to feel happy, confident and most importantly capable of doing absolutely anything you want. This is going to be different for everyone so let me tell you what gives me this feeling. My go to #BossLady look has to be a midi dress, colourful midi coat in a tailored style, heeled boots, warm tights and a chunky scarf to stay warm. To finish, a handbag flung over my elbow or shoulder to complete the look. This is my go-to. What is yours?

 

Shop this post:

 

Leopard Dress – Gissings Boutique

Chain Dress – Gissings Boutique

Shoes – Carvela (a few years ago)

 

 

I have not been paid to feature any brands and all views and opinions are my own.

 

Managing your time and your life

Managing your time and your life

Imagery by Hana Dallimore Photography

If you are anything like me, you will understand that balancing a busy schedule can be extremely difficult. I have always found it very hard to juggle everything in my life, particularly because I try to give each thing so much attention. I love working, I love my blogging hobby, I love having a social life and I love keeping my home up to date. With that I also try to dedicate enough time into getting to the gym, preparing healthy meals each day and then of course fitting in much needed down time. All this together can be a real struggle and I am someone who keeps going and going until my body physically won’t let me anymore. So, what is the answer? All these things going on in life for me are things that I can’t just get rid of, so really the only way to make them all manageable is by addressing them and figuring out a better way to fit them into my life and everyday schedule.

I remember seeing a post on Facebook years ago that someone had created, which was a circle and all the things they/ everyone tried to juggle each day. This was the first time in my life that I really took notice of how life can become stressful and that other people too were struggling with everything going on.

First things first, like my grandma has always told me, get writing. The first way that I can get everything sorted and prioritised is by writing a list weekly of everything that needs to be done, as well my appointments and the friends and family I want to see. This way you can pick apart the list and fix it into your diary. This is where my paper diary and weekly planner becomes very useful as it is all laid out properly and can be used each day to make life just a lot easier.  Just remember this can be done anywhere, at any time, and usually is the first thing you should do when you feel stressed and just frankly overwhelmed with everything.

The main thing to remember when splitting up your time and trying to fit everything in is that you do have to be realistic. If you set unrealistic goals and days for yourself, it isn’t going to happen which will make you even more stressed and usually highly unmotivated. You have to factor in how much real time everything takes, a section for things that may arise out of the blue and most importantly just time to chill out.

The next three steps for me are simple. If you are taking care of your mind and body, being productive and getting everything done is going to be much easier. So, the three steps include:

  • Eating well – make sure you are eating all the nutrients your body needs at the right times of day.
  • Exercise – the biggest excuse we make when exercising is ‘we don’t have time’. I have learnt that if you are realistic, you can get it done. I used to set very silly goals for exercise and now that I am more relaxed about it, I find it much easier to get done.
  • Sleep – I have always been awful at getting enough sleep and still now am by no means amazing. However, I make much more of an effort. It’s simple really, if you get enough sleep you will get more done the next day.

For me the next thing to remember is to separate your work and leisure time. I have had to really get strict with myself on this as I work from home. I now have set times during the week that I work, at my desk, making sure I don’t get distracted. By doing this I get all my work done as I have the set time and then the other time can be separated between everything else in life. I know for many people this isn’t so much of a problem as you physically go to work, however even mentally it can be hard to separate everything.

Finally, the good old saying, work hard play hard. If you are working hard enough ensuring you get everything done, you then have the ability to really enjoy your other time, whether you want to get to the gym, go for drinks with friends, enjoy a romantic meal or even spend the evening in bed doing bugger all. Your time is only yours and you can decide exactly how you want to spend it.

 

Shop this post:

 

Dress – H&M

Shoes – New Look

Bag – Mulberry

Earrings – Skinny Dip London, Amelia Liana Edit

 

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I have not been paid to feature any brands, and all views and opinions are my own.