life

Three ways to Disconnect

Three ways to disconnect

These last few years I feel like I've seen a lot of people on two sides of the work force, those that put their head down and work till they're sore, and those that do just enough to get by in their jobs. On that rare occasion you can find those magical people who manage this amazing work-life balance where they work hard, but can also truly enjoy their non-work life. I've always been an intense worker. Staying late, taking on extra projects, and checking my emails obsessively even on my downtime.

This May I took a whole new job, something totally different than what I've done so far in my life, with a company that is still growing, which means things are changing almost hourly. It's been challenging, and about a month ago I've realized that I need to learn that whole work-life balance thing. I've bought into the idea that you're only a good worker if you're obsessing 24/7 about your job, but I've realized that all that really does is burn you out to the point where you just want to walk out the door. You can't be a good worker if you're ready to quit at any moment, so it's better to take some time for yourself so you can focus on your work when you're there. 

This past month has been a huge learning lesson in how to disconnect and enjoy my off-time. Here's a few things I've learned, for anyone else finding themselves in the same boat.

IGNORE THOSE EMAILS

yep. I know, it feels impossible, and maybe you even feel guilty too. Start with just nights. Check everything before you leave work, and then promise yourself you're going to ignore it until the next morning. Remind yourself that it's only a few hours, and theres nothing dire that's going to happen over the period of just a few hours. If you're feeling guilty about it, or worried that your boss might wonder why you're not responding to them in 5 minutes, just talk it over with them. I'm lucky to have an awesome boss who is really supportive of me finding a good balance. She knows that if there's anything that does need to be responded to ASAP that she can text me. Now I know that I can ignore that quickly filling up inbox and not feel super guilty.

MAKE PLANS, OR START A NEW HOBBY

It's a lot easier to disconnect when you're hanging out with friends, or just plain doing something. Maybe if you're like me, you've let yourself get too involved in work for a while and now it feels like you don't even know what to do with your free time. Start a new hobby or pick up an old one. My weekends these days consist of working on the house (which I've desperately been needing to do anyway), and finally getting back to blogging. I'm also making more time to read, and can't wait to get back into sewing this fall. Keeping yourself busy really helps in those first few weekends you're trying to learn to find a balance and not obsessively check your phone for work. 

SCHEDULE SPECIFIC "WORK TIME"

I know, I know, we're supposed to be disconnecting, but sometimes it's hard! Especially at first. That's okay, but make sure when you do decide to work on "off time" that you're being thoughtful and deliberate. Schedule when you're going to do a little work, and give yourself a specific amount of time to do it. Set an alarm, and make yourself stick to it. Doing this can also help you put all those crazy work thoughts out of your brain once the timer goes off, and only focus on things that are truly important enough to disturb your "you" time.

Hello 2016

Fine and Feathered - Cozy Style

I feel like every year I'm caught completely off guard by the new year. 2016? Whatever do you mean? It was just Thanksgiving like two days ago. It can't be, you're wrong.

I haven't sat down and made any long lists of things to do this year. That's not because I don't have a million things I want to do in the new year swimming around this crazy brain of mine. I do. Dozens and dozens of things. But I've decided to focus more on big picture this year. 

Instead of trying to control every little thing, and plan myself to death (although, there will still be plenty of list making and planning, don't you get me wrong), I want to step back and be more open to new things. New ideas, new plans, new places. Taking things one step at a time. 

If there's one thing I think I'm finally coming to grips with from 2015, it's that things don't always work out exactly how you thought they would, but that's sometimes great. And it may be cliche, but never say never. Like, seriously Josie, stop it. Stop saying never, because you're totally jinxing yourself. 

Thanksgiving Snippets

Fine and Feathered - Thanksgiving
Fine and Feathered - Thanksgiving Cinnamon Rolls
Fine and Feathered - Thanksgiving
Fine and Feathered - Thanksgiving

Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I thought I'd share just a couple iPhone snaps I took while setting up and prepping for the day (I always mean to take some during the actual festivities, but never actually do). This year was one of my favorite Thanksgivings. Beides my brother being away at college this year, most of the family was actually able to make it, and it actually felt fairly relaxing - even as the hostess! 

This year I also really focused to do the whole "work smarter, not harder" thing. And while I still insist on making a lot of the food from scratch, this year I have done a lot much better with planning and buying things I need ahead of time, instead of scrambling the week of. I ended up ordering these plates off amazon, and they were perfect! A huge bonus too was that they're disposable, because who wants to spend two days setting up, and then a whole other day just doing dishes? I also snagged these utensils from Whole foods when I saw them months ago, and they worked out really well too. I took huge advantage of those big old trees in our front yard and used clippings for decorating. 

How was everyone else's Thanksgiving? Are you prepared for the Holidays coming up?! 

Inspiring Podcasts for Blogging and Creativity

Fine and Feathered - Inspiring Podcases for Blogging and Creativity

I am flat out addicted to podcasts. Ever since I started listing to them, it's changed my commute from a big chunk of wasted time, that I spend wondering how far humanity is from making teleporting real, to a time when I'm learning, being inspired, and getting excited about creative endevours. You'll notice that a lot are from the same few podcasts, and I highly recommend taking a listen to other episodes from the same ones, but these are some of my favorites that got me really excited, and I think they may do the same for you!

Elise Gets Crafty // Ep.39 - Maintaining a Creative Habbit

Smart Passive Income // Ep.140 - Productivity and the Early Morning Routine

The Accidental Creative // The Necessity of Unnecessary Creating

Elise Gets Crafty // Ep.67 - Brainstorming for Creative Projects

The Lively Show // Ep.74 - How to Get the Most Out of Your "Fringe Hours"

 How They Blog // Ep.23 - The Power of Taking Action 

You might go ahead and guess that Elise Gets Crafty is one of my favorites. I subscribe, and have yet to dislike an episode. Even when I think it won't relate to me, somehow I still end up liking it. 

Just to be real here, I also have a whole slew of totally uneducational, goofy, and useless podcasts that I listen to as well. Some days you just gotta laugh.  

I will be adding to this list also, as I come across any new ones I love! Fell free to share with me some of your favorites too! I'd love to hear:)