Feeling overstretched? 

I saw a really pertinent question the other day on Facebook – it said are you spending time or investing time. I really needed to see that. I was chatting with my coach last week about feeling overstretched and what I needed to outsource as my business is growing. 
My dad was always a committee type person and I seem to have followed in his footsteps. I have always been one for getting involved and giving my time to organisations who rely on volunteers. Sometimes to my own detriment. I have learnt over the years to be more mindful of selfcare and my own boundaries though. If you end up feeling resentful of the time you are required to put in them maybe it’s time to walk away. 

Giving time to charity 

In the past twenty years or so I have given my time to various charities and still do, but I’m needing to rethink how I give back… 
In 2002 I took over as the chair at the playgroup my son went to so that it could keep running. It had been registered as a charity and has now been part of the community for over 50 years! I was self employed at the time so could be flexible and supportive to the dedicated team who ran it. 
I went on from there to join the PTA as my son started nursery. And guess what? I stepped in to be the chair once again when it seemed like it was about to fold if no one would take over. In that role I used my skills developed from running a party plan business with Virgin Cosmetics to grow a network of helpers. That worked really well because a small team of committee members all took responsibility to recruit their friends to help them with stalls for the Christmas fair etc. everyone doing a bit meant that no one had to do a lot. We raised loads of money for playground equipment. Unfortunately, by the time it was installed I’d moved on to being full time employed and Finn, my son, was at secondary school but I still feel proud when I drive past and see the kids playing on it. 

Negative relationships 

During my employed years in prison education I had no time or energy to give to anything other than work and keeping my family fed. My mental health was not great. I was so stressed and exhausted all the time. In a negative relationship with my (now ex) husband and suffering from depression, I was in a negative relationship with myself too. 
Fast forward to being self-employed again I heard about the Look Good, Feel Better charity that ran skin care and make up workshops for cancer patients at my local hospital. I started to deliver those sessions – what a humbling experience that was. I carried on with those until my mum’s diagnosis when it all just felt too much 


In the early years of my business I volunteered my skills to dress the mannequins in our local Mind every Thursday morning. I absolutely loved doing that and got a real sense of pride seeing the results in the shop window each week. Quite often the outfits were sold within 24 hours and needing replacing. Imagine my disappointment one Friday though, as I walked past the window only to see the carefully curated outfits had been covered over by winter coats by one of the other volunteers. Dolly, Molly and Polly must’ve been cold lol. I gave that role up as my business grew and I could no longer afford the time. 
I’ve gone on to run a few SWISH clothes swapping events as charity fundraisers since and I’m hopeful that we might be able to have one in the autumn if restrictions are lifted 
The other voluntary things that have been taking my time more recently are the WI committee and the Professional Speaking Association. I handed in my notice to the WI last night and felt really guilty, but as my business grows it seems crazy to be paying someone else to my admin work for my business to free up my time but then be giving my time away. I’d discussed it with my coach, and she reframed it by saying I’d be creating space for someone else to step up into the role. I admit I felt a weight off my shoulders once I’d said it out loud. 
I actually think I’m fairly organised and would never consider myself as a procrastinator. I just like to think I can fit more into my time than is actually possible which means I sometimes I get close to the wire with deadlines. My mum use to call me Last Minute Lisa. I always think I can fit one more task in so then end up being in a rush. 

Look Good, Feel Fab Workbook - Your 50+ guide to colour & clothes confidence 

Why am I telling you all this? I suppose I’m processing why I’m so behind where I wanted to be with my book! I’ve given myself the deadline of the end of June to get it my editor. I want it to be on sale by September and worked backwards from there. Have I done much? Have I ‘eck. 
So far, I have the working title ‘Look Good, Feel Fab Workbook – Your 50+ guide to colour & clothes confidence and all of the writing in draft format. It’s going to have bits for you to fill in, journal sections and colouring in bits along with inspirational stories, advice and tips – I’m VERY excited by it, I just need to pull my finger out, create the time and head space to do the bloody work. 
In summary the book is about – you KNOW who you are, it’s time to SHOW it! Learn the rules and feel empowered to break them with style as you create a bespoke pathway to being more YOU than ever before. #bemoreyou 
I have also decided that it has 3 main areas of focus 
Be more you – about identity and expressing yourself 
You’re worth it – about boundaries and self-care (ironic I know!) 
You can do it – about self-belief and confidence 
All of these sections are underpinned by Project FAB! framework and putting YOU at the centre. 
Project FAB! Framework 
Style – style speaks 
Shades – colour talks 
Shape – body matters 
Sustain – lifestyle fits 
So, if you’ve got this far thank you for reading. It’s been cathartic and I’m looking forward to outsourcing as much as I can and freeing up time to do the stuff that makes my heart sing. I’m signing off with this thought for you – where are you spending time when you could be investing it? Check in with this and see if there’s anything you can ditch. 
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