The perfect balance and not just in this outfit…

Outfit: Witchery skirt, top and shoes (Midcity)

Images: Jonathan Hayward

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It has been a busy year, and I know I’m not the only one feeling the pinch. Today we quickly shot this outfit in the City between racing around. I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by what I need to get done and if I look at my to do list at 2pm and still have 7 things to cross off my list, I begin to panic. That’s the thing with working for yourself, you’re accountable for your time and you’re your own boss. I need to manage my own time and make sure nothing runs late, otherwise everything runs late – then I am eating dinner at 11:00pm and my body clock is way, way off all week.

People often ask me what I do and how I get things done from home. Next year will mark three years of me working from home! I am the ambassador for MidCity and Substance is also my full-time job. It’s something I dreamed of and I didn’t know if it could be sustainable. There is still so much I need to do for myself, my work and blog, but it’s all about feeling at ease with your current situation, while building towards all of your goals.Every day is productive for me, but of course like any other job I have off days where I wake up and feel off. These days usually result in me not biting off more than I can chew (read: probably watching YouTube tutorials).

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I begin most days with a fat to-do list. It’s messy, I bet if you were to read it you’d think I had written it in a foreign language. I love note books and I hate diaries with dates. They are my biggest waste of money come December sales. I always think I am going to fill it with important things, but I always opt to use a notebook and write the date in myself. Before the rest of the day is planned, I like to take these things (below) into consideration.

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Do I have a balanced schedule this week?: Busy is such a dirty word now. It’s almost like it’s cool to say it as default. I didn’t realise I started saying it until a few people would text we and say “Do you want to come out for coffee, I know you’re probably busy, but I thought I would ask”. I know at the beginning of this article I know I mentioned it’s been a busy year – but it has, however I now make sure I feel calm, balanced and in control of my schedule and I have also learned to say no to things.

Do I have someone to help me out?: I am a little bit of a control freak. I like to do things myself and often don’t ask for help. This became evident when juggling deadlines, a wedding and jobs. I have since learned that asking for a helping hand isn’t a sign that you’ve failed, it’s a sign of strength. I now ask people for help all the time if it means I’ll get through it quicker.

So if you’re notorious for doing everything yourself, but struggle, ask for help. Do it…DO IT!

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I leave myself extra time:  Circa 2009 Jonathan and I used to always, without fail turn up to the airport when our flights were just closing. We’ve missed flights, I’ve become mad at flight attendants and it was never their fault. It was poor organisation or poor time management, so I had no one to blame but myself. I have been burnt so many times that I now leave a solid time frame to get to places – it means I am calm and relaxed by the time I get somewhere instead of being in a terrible mood and thinking my life sucks. I am all about the buffer!

I even try to make the boring parts of my day, enjoyable: I hate invoicing, I hate accounting and I hate everything to do with book keeping. Blah, boring, can I just sleep through it? I am meant to be doing a part of my tax today, but I have put it off, so apparently I need to revisit my own rules after I hit publish on this post. So how do you make the crappy parts of your day better? Listen to your favourite music or download an awesome audio book – you’ll find yourself tuning out and doing things by second nature.

Try and get these tasks done and dusted first thing in the morning too, it’ll be more bearable when you’re all nice and rested rather than 5:45pm at night.

I now know when to hit pause: from May-Sep this year I was constantly saying no to events, friends and family when it came to things. We were working late, not by choice, but because we needed to get things done for clients etc. I am now learning that things still will get done and sometimes stepping away from it really, really good for your creative juices because you are looking at something with a fresh set of eyes again.

Don’t forget that living your life and being a part of your friends and families life is so important for your well-being. Don’t loose sight of what is important.

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So now with this all in mind I am looking forward to a little break over Christmas. I will still be blogging and taking copious amounts of photos for Instagram, but I am looking forward to getting away from the city while doing so!

I would love to hear from my online family when it comes to how you handle stress in everyday life and what you’re planning to do over the holidays!

Be sure to comment or say hello on Instagram: @substance_blog! I am going to film a few videos too this week and maybe even sneak in a new hair cut; for more make sure you’re subscribed to Substance on YouTube: www.youtube.com/substanceblog

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Author: Ally Carey

Hi, I am Ally, a writer and creative at Substance. I have worked in the fashion industry for 6+ years as a model and now on Substance. Substance is a lifestyle blog about fashion, beauty, health and self-improvement; hoping to inspire you to live a life filled with Substance. For more: @AllyMayCarey

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