Juggling time, Bonnie dog update and giftbox…

As my friend often says, ‘time is elastic’. You can stretch it out to fit your priorities and he hates it when people say ‘I haven’t got the time’.

His response: ‘Well go and make it!’

To some extent he is right – you can often pack more into a day if you really want to – but then you also have the option of saying no, especially if you need down time and rest.

Having juggled a number of projects over the past few years, managing time has become more of a priority. My own advice is never to put more than three significant things per day on your mental or written ‘to-do’ list.

My kitchen clock!!

What – only three? Already I can hear the protests that nothing would get done if you focussed so narrowly .

The key is that little word ‘significant’. Of course we have any number of smaller tasks to get through in a day, but only a few can be considered important. By priortising the significant stuff – and strictly limiting this to no more than three things – you are homing in on what really matters. The rest can be fitted in, pushed forward, or even deleted altogether.

It is a system that works for me, while balancing time on written journalism features, a long term project, a new role in broadcast mentoring, being an adviser to the board of Coast FM radio and writing books.

Oh – not forgetting the Motor Home travel and Bonnie dog’s ‘Pets As Therapy’ care home visiting role. Both of these have been put on hold by Covid restrictions but are now starting up again in earnest. As I write this we have just got back from a short MoHo stop-over at Lizard Point – only a few miles from where we live but it’s great to have the freedom to hit the road again.

Lately, it is the creative writing that has taken a bit of a back-seat but that is about to change big time in the coming year. (Have some exciting news to report on this soon!).

When people ask ‘How do you fit it all in?’, the simple answer is that I don’t – sometimes life gets in the way with unexpected challenges thrown into the mix. Time is a valuable currency and has to be used wisely. It also has to include that all-important ‘me time’ which needs to be factored in with the same discipline as all those other things.

Overall though, this simple method really does work – give it try and see how it goes.

Bonnie dog has made her first return PAT dog visit to our local care home following the Covid lockdowns and restrictions. During the intervening 19 months, we have posted a few on-line updates for the residents – all created by Bonnie herself of course! – but it didn’t make up for being there physically.

Paul and Bonnie in matching yellow outfits!

Of course visiting isn’t the same now with lateral flow and temperature checks, wearing masks and being restricted to one designated area of the home. Still, it all went well, with the care staff enjoying it as much as the residents. We’ve seen first hand just how much happiness a PAT dog can bring and her regular appearances have been missed – it was heartwarming to see everyone smiling after such a long absence.

Another bit of Bonnie news to share – she is also a calendar girl with her photo featuring on this year’s British Cockapoo Society calendar in aid of Hearing Dogs. My friend Russ managed to grab a rare shot of her looking straight to camera!

Bonnie’s Calendar appearance!

Now for a cheeky bit of promotion given that it is coming up to Christmas. We all know what valuable work carers do across the board – whether in the care related professions or within voluntary groups and families. xButterflyBoxesx have come up with this lovely bespoke afternoon tea gift-box aimed at carers which includes my book of short stories ‘Shorts and Thoughts’ and all details are on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/903972491/finest-carers-gift-box-for-her-him-thank . Half of all the book proceeds go to the Social Worker’s Benevolent Trust charity swbt.org and I’m now one of their supporting authors. So if you are looking for a gift idea while helping a charitable cause, then take a look!

Tea time gift box aimed at carers

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