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Hi everybody

As promised, here is the newsletter which brings the things to do in your downtime blog.  

I have already had a bit of a break taking in York, Ripon, Tynemouth and Bamburgh and it must have worked to recharge the batteries because I have been smashing the “to do” list ever since.  More on that below.

Next up is Ireland at the end of August to see the family and to see if 7 months of learning/attempting to learn Irish has made any difference.  And I will, again, be attempting to switch off entirely, because I think that is what brings the best results when I get back to my desk.  If that’s your approach as well, I hope the suggestions in the blog will be helpful. 

If you’re using the quieter time to get stuff done, as I am between short breaks, there’s a quick tip for you below also.

If you’re not 100% “Out of Office”

For the next couple of weeks whilst in the office, I am making use of the slightly quieter diary that August brings to get ahead.

You may have seen that I have launched an online course for barristers on How to Mentor and be Mentored and I am plotting others also, hopefully for a wider audience.  So if you have any suggestions, please get in touch. 

But, mainly, I am planning new projects for autumn and working on other stuff I don’t always have time for. 

So how do you make the quiet time work best for you?

I think this is a great time to have a master to-do list – separate from the day to day, but with bigger ideas.  This allows you to prioritise in a pretty gentle way.

I have divided mine into the following categories:

  • Work I need to do – Mostly planning for September projects
  • Life Admin – Mostly stuff it would be great to get done in the house/garden
  • Future planning – More courses, collaborations and plans
  • Me – The friends I want to see and places I want to go and activities I want to try

Having that sort of stuff on a separate list gets it out of my head and onto paper which is always good.  But it doesn’t come with the immediate pressure of a to do list.  I can tick things off at my leisure and if some of them are still on there by the time autumn comes around, that is not a problem.  It also reminds me that fitting in friends and fun are also important items to tick off.

Beer garden work

Having some time set aside for planning when client work is quiet also lets me reflect on what has been going well recently.  And, for me that is “beer garden work”.

This is a relatively new thing for me.  It started on a walkshop with great weather and continued into some hybrid training courses where we use a function room next to a park so that we can add some walking-thinking and walking-talking into the day.

Taking the work outside and into a social space like a beer garden is probably my new favourite thing.  And, having recognised that, I can plan to do more of it.  So if you fancy a walkshop for your team you can read more here

Whatever is going well for you, enjoy it and reflect on how you can have more of it.  And enjoy whatever downtime you can.

Take care, Cath x

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