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Tick-Tock: Tips on Finding the Time To Do WHat You Love | Aberdeen Aberdeenshire Family Photographer

Updated: Dec 27, 2018

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day, days in a month, months in a year, years in a lifetime to do everything you would like to?


Well, what do you do when you feel that way? Surely, you start pondering a new project to take on or a new skill to learn?..

Sounds like a genius idea, doesn’t it – well, it seems to be my way!

With less than one month to go until I finish offering photography services for a little break, I have a new service launch bubbling away, Christmas sessions on the brain and another skill I want to hone in the coming year (Videography, here I come!).

So here’s my take on coping with busy-ness and organising my life to ensure I keep my sanity, get to spend quality time with the loved ones, do what I love and also don’t fall (too) behind on doing what I need to.


I prioritise. Somehow I find that the more ‘drive’ and interest I have in doing something, the easier it is to find time to do it – basic, but true and sometimes hard to realise. If a ‘hobby’ feels like a chore e v e r y s i n g l e t i m e, is it even really a ‘hobby’? Before having our son, I felt like there was not enough time in the world to do everything I wanted to do or had on my agenda. Now that he’s around, I somehow don’t feel that much busier – a bit more focused, rather. I must’ve filtered out the stuff I didn’t really ‘need’ (like watching Nashville, which I stopped enjoying after Season 4 anyway).

The only things I feel I’ve given up (sacrificed?) since having him in our lives are hair straightening (about once a month anyway) and nail-painting (this was a SLIGHTLY more regular event). Apart from those, I swear I’ve taken on more hobbies and activities and somehow don’t feel like I’m the brink of madness – unless I’ve crossed over a long time ago and now living in blissful ignorance of my own insanity – either way, it works.


I plan better.

I have invested in a diary (albeit, rookie error meant that I bought one starting in August this year (logic said I’ll get more for my money, given we were well into May at that point), but reality meant that I would only get about a month’s use of it, as from September (maternity leave and Baby 2’s arrival) I expect to have very little structure and planning going on in my life!) and started keeping a note book – jotting down ideas for creative projects and To Do lists. The notebook is a mess and all over the shop, but it works, I often peek into it to check what mad ideas I had in the middle of the night or on a walk, or while cooking dinner – some (a lot) get crossed out there and then, others get actioned at the earliest opportunity.

Keeping organised is keeping me in check and ensures that I don’t forget to do things I need to or really want to.


I have learned to say ‘no’.

…which is hard for SUCH a people-pleaser that I am, but I am learning. It has been easier to be more strict with my time since having our son – I do not have a lot of spare time to just watch a movie, have dinner with a girlfriend, I’ve been to cinema once in the last couple of years (I love cinema!) – so when I say ‘yes’ (even in my head, to my own ideas), it means it is something I really want to do or that I have weighed in on all the pros and cons and the task is worth doing.

It feels great to have a tiny bit of spare time from family, work, play – to watch rubbish on TV guilt-free (The Affair, anyone?).


I ‘keep it real’.

Just like with my travel photography tactic (taking the camera I will actually use, not 5 that will not leave the hotel room due to bulk or hassle in use), I try to set myself realistic goals.

I was DYING to join Filming Academy’s year-long film course and was so close to doing it this spring (they had an amazing early-bird deal on), but, luckily, my head stopped me from listening to my heart and I focused on the fact that new baby in September will likely prevent me from giving it my all for a couple of months (if not longer) – is it worth the saving then, will I get the value of the learning? I decided to postpone this ambition till (hopefully next spring) and give it a lot more attention and credit it is due. In the meantime, I am dabbling a little, practicing pulling little videos together in iMovie, using my point-and-shoot camera (because it does focusing for you, whereas you have to do it yourself on an SLR), so it’s still coming along a little and I am not abandoning this passion and curiosity.

My film photography – I am still in love with it – even though I’ve about 50/50 (generous estimation) ratio of cr*p to nice-ish images coming back from the Lab, I am persevering, but, instead of shooting three rolls of 36 frames of film in a mad rage, just to get through it and see the new c/n ratio, I am pacing myself – I am selective with where this camera comes, what film stock I am using, how I am metering (very manual, a lot less intuitive than digital, but so much more rewarding, when it works!).


We are all so busy nowadays and I often see people encouraging others to stop, slow down, readjust and take the time.

I am a great believer in pacing oneself – and this might mean that you do not have any time for anything, even though you don’t do anything at all (all that cooking, day-job, entertaining, gardening, laundry, dog-walking and family banking does itself 😉) or you do all of the above as well as two full-time jobs and have 20 mad hobbies (glacier-scaling, knitting, rock-climbing, bungee-jumping, extreme-ironing, soap-carving (visit this link for more options: https://www.toptenz.net/top-10-strangest-hobbies-in-the-world.php)) and feeling quite alright with it all.


To me, as long as you are enjoying whatever it is you do, have an occasional re-treat into your own world, an occasional movie date (I have Mama Mia 2 viewing penciled in for August and am beyond excited) and amazing people around you, you can do it – you don’t even need to find the time to do it all. Time will miraculously appear and wrap itself around all the activities you need to do – and those that end up falling by the wayside… I am sure they aren’t all that important anyway.

So, do you have any hobbies – share what they are!

How do you find the time to spend doing what you love in the midst of doing what you ‘need to’?


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Aberdeen | Laurencekirk | Aberdeenshire | Scotland

07783946480 | ichtefan@icloud.com

Chtefan. Photography is a family portrait photographer based in Laurencekirk, Aberdeen - Scotland.

I specialise in beautiful, natural photography of newborns, children and families and professional and environmental portraits and headshots.

Chtefan. Photography covers the following areas: Laurencekirk, Montrose, Inverbervie, Arbroath, Ellon, Westhill, Banchory, greater Aberdeenshire area and available to travel on both national and international assignments.

All images on this website are my art - please do not copy/use without permission.

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