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With a PHD in fashion, a hair ambassadorship with L’Oréal Paris and a global audience, Victoria is the lady behind the award-winning fashion, travel and beauty blog, Inthefrow.

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5 Minutes?

Do you ever have those days when you know from the get go, they might not be as productive as you hoped? When there's a list as long as both arms waiting for you, but you already know it's impossible to get through even half of what you'd like to, let alone all that's facing you? 

I most definitely do and I know that on those days I've started to realise not only the importance of what I'm able to do vs what I'd like to do, but of taking 5 minutes to focus too. 

The older I get the more I know that sometimes 5 minutes of complete focus on something whether it's work, a break, some tidying, a coffee, a text with someone or even just a moment in the garden can be as productive, or even more so, than an hour spent attempting the list itself. 

But what can I actually get done in 5 minutes? Well it turns out - quite a lot! 

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If I don't make my way through the days checklist with haste and feel that everything on it has been checked off in good time, I beat myself up about it. I'm that person that through the work day knows that I likely can't do it all but struggles to give myself a break about just that when it comes down to the wire. If it's a friend or if it's one of my work mates on my team, I'm compassionate and understanding that of course some days are more productive than others, but when it comes to myself? Most certainly not. What I am learning though, through a little perspective, is that I can be my own worst enemy and that really needs unpicking with a little kindness and self compassion. 

The truth is the longer the list, the more I'm bound to let worry, anxiety and stress dictate how my day goes and then follows the obvious procrastination because the heavier the load, the easier it seems to put things off right? Rather than prioritising what I can tackle and then leaving the rest to deal with at a more appropriate and productive time, I find myself stuck in an unproductive cycle that is sometimes hard to break. The fix I've realised? Focus on 5 minutes of my time, because sometimes that all important 5 minutes is all I need to recharge. 

I guess this particular topic is also linked to my recent thoughts on self compassion as well as trying to indulge in a slightly slower way of life, but like all new things they take time and they take a little mindfulness to step back in the moment and commit to learning something new. So why only 5 minutes? Over the last few months as work has become busier, as social lives have ramped back up and as I've struggled a little to get a handle on the balance, it's become very apparent to me that 5 minutes is sometimes all I need to refocus. The item on my list that I've struggled to complete over a few days, 5 minutes to rethink my thoughts on its importance. The pile of laundry that's become a fixture on my bedroom chair, 5 minutes to clear it away and along with it declutter my mind. The need to relax and take a deep breath when I'm overwhelmed, 5 minutes to ground myself and rethink my plan of action for the day. The email that I've been worried about pressing send on, 5 minutes to compose myself and finally click that button. 5 minutes feels like such a short amount of time but when things feel like they're getting on top of me, thinking about my next steps in 5 minute increments feels doable, manageable and like I'm showing myself a little self love. I can't do it all and I don't need to! 

So knowing that it takes around 60 days to form a new habit but that 60 days can seem like a lot to take on all at once, knowing that this habit only involves 5 minutes of my time throughout the day, feels so much more achievable. 5 minutes may not sound like enough time to achieve anything but I'm discovering that it really can make the world of difference, especially on those days when 5 minutes at a time might be all I'm capable of focusing on. There will always be days like that and beating myself up about my lack of productivity, achieves nothing in the long run!

This isn't just a habit I'd like to form to give myself a breather when I need it most, but it's also a habit I'd like to aim for, to allow myself more perspective. A few minutes to step back, prioritise and focus on what I need to do, rather than what I'm expecting myself unrealistically to do. I'd love to know if you think that breaking your time down in this way would help you too? If perhaps you're like me and the weight of a full checklist can sometimes have the opposite effect than you'd like? Also if you already tackle your day in this way and you perhaps already find that it helps you, I'd be so thrilled if you could share some tips and tricks? Or maybe even some books that you've read about similar topics? Perhaps this is something I'm discovering that there's actually already a lifestyle centered around and that this style of structure is common place somewhat? I'd love to learn more if this resonates!

Huge thank you to the wonderful team at Dior for allowing me to style some of the newest pieces from their incredible AW21 and DiorAlps collections. These leopard print pieces are some of my favourite the brand have ever released and I've got my eye on 1 or 2 pieces especially a beautiful new twilly in the statement print as well as a new strap to go with my latest bag from the brand. You can view the full Dior AW21 collection here (ad) and the full DiorAlps collection here. (ad)

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