Make Time for What Makes You Happy

“I don’t have time for a hobby” is an something we hear on a daily basis here at The Curve. While it’s true that daily life and work do often overwhelm us, we have also become a generation that glorifies being busy. Sometimes we spend more time lamenting how busy we are instead of actually tackling our to-do list!

Organizing your time more efficiently can help free up your time and alleviate the burden of your daily tasks. With time to spare it becomes easier to pick up a new language, learn to salsa, or do whatever else has been sitting at the bottom of your wish list for the past few years! Everyone should continue to expand their horizons with new hobbies and with some simple organizational tips you can give yourself the time to do so.

1. Always use a calendar. Having an updated calendar can help you remember what you have scheduled and avoid double committing. Don’t fully book every day either! There are plenty of things that CAN wait until tomorrow.
2. Make a to do list and prioritize your tasks. You don’t need to finish everything at once so having your tasks prioritized will help you know what can be done at a later time thus giving you a bit of free time today.
3. Omit distractions that are not really necessary. Instead of watching TV for four hours a day, watch for an hour and spend the rest of the time on something new! Save the Game of Thrones marathons for the weekend rather than making them a nightly occurrence.
4. Ask for help when needed – four hands finish things much quicker than two!
5. Wake up early. You’d be amazed at how productivity can sometimes do more for your energy than an extra hour of sleep!
6. No matter how much work you may have, make sure you often take the time to take a break and rejuvenate by doing something you love.

There are many important things in life that people tend to forget about and miss out on just because they are underutilizing their time. Once you get organized you may find that you were not really as “busy” as you originally thought!

June 2014 | Good’s Home Grown Heroes

In May we received an email from Good Magazine’s editorial team that really blew us away. In all honesty, we had to read it a few times to make sure we understood properly! In the email, we were being asked to feature in Good’s anniversary issue as part of a feature called Home Grown Heroes that aimed to “celebrate some of the UAE’s most exciting people and small companies.” Without a moment’s hesitation we confirmed and are so delighted with the outcome of the feature. Not only do the photos look fabulous, but we are also so humbled to be featured alongside other great tech startups like Careem, Lime & Tonic, Little Majlis, and more!

Growing a startup is a tough and often dark road, so acknowledgements like this are the little beacons of light that keep us going. Big thank you to Helen, Cherith, and the rest of the Good team for including us, and we’re so proud to be a part of your Home Grown Heroes!

Good Magazine Home Grown Heroes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good Magazine_June 2014 Inside Feature CoverGood Magazine_June 2014 InsideThe Curve Good Magazine Home Grown Heroes Maya Itani

 

{Monday Musings} Does having a hobby make you a better employee?

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Having a work/life balance seems like such a distant dream at times, and we often feel guilty for spending time on hobbies outside of our jobs because we are convinced we should be investing that time on advancing our careers.

I’ve definitely been there during my corporate days and have even felt guilty about leaving work on time to go to a fitness class. But on the days that I did force myself to leave the confines of my desk to do something for myself, I found myself being much more productive during the day and wasting less time in order to ensure a timely exit. This makes me think now, does having a work/life balance actually make you a better employee? Here are three reasons why I believe the answer is yes.

1. Better time management
Needing to leave the office on time to make it to a dance or martial arts class definitely puts a little more pressure on you during the day to complete your work and not waste time. Efficient time management is definitely a skill that improves your daily work life!

2. Hobbies make you a more creative person
From my observations, employees who invest time on nothing but work and socializing tend to be less creative than those who have interests outside of the workplace. Instead of having a one track mind, people with hobbies are able to think about things from different angles as their minds have been stimulated in various ways outside of work. Fresh ideas are always a good thing for business!

3. People with hobbies are more social
Whether it’s cooking or body building, hobbies are more often than not a social exercise. They help you meet new people from different walks of life and interact in ways that you wouldn’t with people from work or your personal life. These increased social skills make you a more confident and better networker, and we all know a solid network is gold in the business world!

What do you think? Are hobbies a waste of time or do they actual force you to use your time more wisely?

{Monday Musings} Can You Turn a Hobby into a Career?

“Do what you love, love what you do” is advice that I have heard so often over the years. It seems like such a simple concept, but what if what you love isn’t something conventional like advertising or finance? Is there a way to turn something that you’d resigned to just being a hobby into a career?

I posed that question on our Twitter page a few months ago, and received a few interesting stories in return. The most unconventional one by far was from Shelina of Decluttr Me, who started an organization consultancy for homes and offices. When she found herself rearranging her friends’ homes for fun, she knew it was time to take her love for order from a pastime to a full time job. Read how she took the leap and her advice to others below.

Decluttring

Tell us a little about your background – schooling, past work experience, places you’ve lived. 

I was born and brought up in Kent, England by my East African Indian parents.   I went to university in London to study law and eventually went on to work as in-house Legal Executive in London for a book club company. After 5 years working in London, I applied for a job to work as an in-house lawyer for Emirates, got the job and moved to Dubai in 2005. In 2006, I decided to study once again to become a Solicitor and returned to London for a year. In 2007 I returned to Dubai, as I missed it so much and took on roles as Legal Counsel for various companies in the city.

What was the hobby that made you think to change your career course?
I have always been a neat and organized person. I had reorganized all the legal filing systems hard and soft copies in the companies I worked for. I also had an annoying habit (according to some friends) of visiting them at home and then reorganizing. I would be at my happiest when decluttering for myself or for third parties.

Was your intention to eventually turn this hobby into a career or was it unexpected?
I had a recurring dream of starting a business of decluttering for years. I started reviewing websites last year for decluttering and found it was a proper business model in the UK and USA and that you could turn the dream into reality.

When did you make the leap of faith?
After discussing the idea with my close family and a few friends, I took the plunge and created the website, Twitter account and Facebook page to start gaining interest in Dubai and the UAE. I left my position as Legal Counsel at the end of September 2013 to work on Decluttr Me fully.

So how did you turned your hobby into a money making business?
The concept for Decluttr Me is to go into people’s homes and declutter certain areas within the home in [paid] sessions. I have been testing the concept in various homes over the last few months for free to gain experience and also to see if this is a concept that could work here.  I have started gaining clients in the last few months and been decluttering areas such as their kitchens. The business also collects uncollected clothes and small items to sell and then donate the proceeds to charity. There have been various people interested in us collecting their goods to either donate or sell on their behalf.

How has your experience been so far?
The experience so far has been interesting. The decluttering service is a completely new concept in the region and I do have to explain what happens when we provide the service on a regular basis. Once the person understands the concept there is a wonderment and excitement in this service being provided. However, due to the nature of the service that is provided, it does take a while for people to be comfortable enough to allow you to enter their homes and organize their spaces. It can be a psychological problem that has led to the hoarding of stuff in their homes so we cannot push anyone to become our client until they feel safe and secure that we will provide the service confidentially and delicately (but with a bit of force to help them remove the clutter from their life).

What is your advice for someone who is looking to power their hobby into a career?

  • Save your money and don’t have any outstanding debts so that you can start your new venture with a clean slate.
  • Research, research and research – everything about your hobby, similar businesses globally and in the region, developments in the industry, etc.
  • Learn how to use social media for businesses especially on Twitter and Facebook. Start gaining followers personally as they will be the ones that spread the word for you when you start your business account.
  • Pinterest – great ideas and pretty pictures; what more could you ask for.
  • Find out early where is the best place to form your company within a free zone and start the process as soon as you can once you are ready to form your business.
  • Create a business plan and budget. It is incredibly boring and hard work but it is needed to provide to the banks when forming a bank account, potential investors and you can take the wording from your business plan to include in interviews. Also it is a document you can re-read when you require inspiration of why you pursued this crazy dream.
  • If you have no idea how to form a company talk to friends who have started SME’s
  • Tell limited friends and family as you don’t want your idea to be stolen but gain their support and get their (free) ideas for the business.

If you have turned your hobby into your dream job, get in touch with us at info@thecurve-me.com and share your story!