The last couple of months have been fairly hectic. Those of you who follow Facebook and Twitter may have seen a steady flow of images now appearing from my Remembrance Image Project, which is aiming to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and has been taking up most of my spare time in recent weeks and months. Alongside that I’ve had a number of other exciting pieces of photography work, and some great consultancy clients, so it’s fair to say I’ve been keeping busy.
Someone I once knew used to say, somewhat pompously, that “if you want something done, ask a busy person”. I think he said this with himself in mind as a role model of said busy person; whereas in fact I have a suspicion he was someone who had learned to cultivate the appearance of busy-ness rather effectively!
Nonetheless, his point often seems to hold true – busy people who are capable of juggling multiple tasks can often seem able to accommodate more work with comparative ease, and are sometimes (though by no means always!) more efficient at managing their time than others. If you have served on committees during your lifetime, you will no doubt have observed that very often the vast majority of the work is undertaken by a very small number of the committee members, and often those who are busiest with other things!
Being busy is all well and good. Many people like it – I know I do – and the buzz of having
lots of things on the go can be energising and exciting. But a busy person must also build in some down-time, a chance to relax and recharge, and sometimes that does not happen unless you actually schedule it in. You have to make time to relax, or all too easily you can become absorbed in your long list of activities and forget to take care of those close to you, or even yourself.
I was asked recently to give a radio interview about freelancing, and one of the question areas was about managing work:life balance. It struck me that one of the most important things my partner has persuaded me to do is to diary in “quiet weekends” once every few weeks. These are blocked out times in the diary where we both just take time to be together and recharge.
I know how much I have come to value these.
Because sometimes, to be busy effectively, means to be still.