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Why Its Important to Take Time Away

Conrad Rangali, Maldives

Time for some R&R

I’m sure you’re all pretty aware by now of just how many hours in the day I tend to work. I’m not one to complain, rather I adore what I do. Three and a half years down the line, I am still as passionate, if not more so, about what I get to work on every single day. But every single day is exactly my point. I don’t take weekends off and I don’t remember the last day I actually didn’t touch my phone or laptop. Even a day of rest for me has me checking my social updates, writing comments and feeling guilty for not being sat upright at my desk. I don’t do ‘days off’ very well.

You may have spotted my recent trip to the Maldives. So many of you were commenting and engaging on snapchat and twitter and my Instagram especially, over the beautiful imagery and the insane backdrops. Trust me, I was swooning just as hard. Everywhere I turned was another picture perfect moment. I had two cameras and a phone and was constantly switching in between taking photos, snapchatting, taking mobile photos for Instagram shots and taking video footage. And yet, the rest of the time, I was relaxing, swimming and enjoying every single moment. And it made me realise just how important it is.

Time off really needs to be time away, whether that’s sat in your lounge in front of the television, going out for some retail therapy or lying on a beach in the Maldives. The point is to just do absolutely nothing.

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This is a paid advertorial in collaboration with Topshop

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If you’re like me, and you’re finding yourself constantly on edge thinking about what you need to do next, maybe just take a minute to write everything down. Onto a sheet of paper, write down a list of everything you have yet to do, and next to it write when it has to be completed by. Then re write that list in chronological order by deadline. Then go to your diary and write each deadline in, and the date in which you will start that deadline. The chances are that you will see a few gaps in your diary when *actually* you have a day spare or a few hours free. Those hours are the time when maybe you need to take yourself a break. Put everything down and do something that isn’t work related in the slightest.

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Especially if you work in the social business and you feel you need to be on your phone 24 hours a day to be keeping up with emails, replying to tweets and checking your Youtube comments, I guess it’s all about coming to the realisation that it is not life or death. The comments will be there later, no one is going to miss you not being online for 24 hours and I’m sure you can catch up on all of the emails in a few hours time. But it took me so long to finally realise this. I worked solidly for around three years, in a haze of emails, commenting and constant online behaviour until it was starting to ruin friendships, relationships and my own mental state. And then someone bluntly said to me, this is seriously not life or death. You can do it later, the world won’t stop turning. And it really hit home. I realised that this constant ‘keeping up appearances’ wasn’t sustainable if I wanted to actually ‘work to live’ rather than ‘live to work.’ Because at the end of the day, although I was enjoying every moment of what I did, what was the point if I couldn’t enjoy the benefits that I had worked for. What am I working for if not to enhance my life in some way, build a future for my family, socialise with friends more and go away on vacations? Living to work is a phrase I have always been afraid of.

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This whole trip was a much needed piece of rest and relaxation for me. Whilst some may see taking these photographs as me technically working, standing and posing in this beautiful dress in front of a sunset certainly wasn’t on my list of hardships. We were on our way out for a Japanese meal and I pieced together these four items from Topshop as an evening ensemble. The Daisy Shift Dress is part of a range of stunning evening dresses that Topshop have recently released, and is currently selling like hot cakes. So if you can’t find it online, have a peek in store. The fit was so comfortable yet flattering and I adored the black detailing through this otherwise feminine, floral style. Those black details are what inspired me to go for a number of black accessories, including the Circle Trim clutch bag and the girlfriend blazer to throw over the top. And the final touch were the nude and white detail strappy heels which I must admit I’m completely in love with now.

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I love those moments when you walk into Topshop and find a number of really on-trend pieces that you really swoon over. The kind that will fit with your current wardrobe so effortlessly, or otherwise form a completely new look for you. I was a huge fan of this dress as soon as I saw it and knew that with the high neck but shorter length, it would still look extremely sophisticated. And I loved the fact it suited the black blazer so perfectly to almost form a more casual yet classy feel. And with a tan, the colours were so beautiful!

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I’d love to hear from you guys on this and the topic of *really* taking time off, not just pretending too. Do you find it hard to switch off and to focus on anything other than work? Or if you have managed to battle this, I’d love to know your tips!

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