LIFE + ME’S MINI INTERVIEW WITH SAMANTHA SMITH, FOUNDER OF HELLO TIME …
Samantha Smith has always loved stationery. A designer for more than 23 years and a devotée of paper and pen, she loves writing notes, lists and ticking them off. But what really inspired her when it came to creating HELLO TIME was that she wanted to fix a problem that no other product, from her research and experience, was able to do. She had an unhealthy daily existence with time. She almost found that ‘time’ was always in direct conflict with what she was trying to achieve and it felt like a daily battle – she would finish each day feeling more disorganised than when she started!
She set to work to create a range of beautifully designed, simple-to-use, easy-to-follow products and tools to help herself, and others, to reclaim their time. Her passion through HELLO TIME is for everyone to wake up each day never feeling anxious, too stressed and lost in the daily myriad of stuff that needs to get done and never feeling that sense of achievement or satisfaction. To ultimately challenge the idea that we simply have too much to do and not enough time to do it.
We caught up with Samantha to find out how she nourishes and fuels her own mind:
WHAT’S YOUR MISSION?
My mission is to help others that might be going through what I went through a couple of years ago using what I know best, my design skills. I’m not maternal, or can save lives, neither do I know anything about psychology or can council, but I do know a lot about design, have honed my time management skills and have a refined and obsessive thing for detail and quality.
A couple years ago I experienced some kind of break-down, a moment in time that I’d had enough and couldn’t see a brighter future. I was exhausted, overwhelmed and my coping mechanism had reached its end point. Many factors were at play and so I reached out for help. Through the process I realised that I wasn’t very kind to myself, I recognised that I was being unrealistic about my time and what I could actually achieve in a day. I was overloading my day, making myself work long hours to fulfil an unrealistic to-do list I’d set myself. I was trying to run my life from a small diary and failing miserably!
Amongst other things I decided to go find a planner to organise my life better but sadly all I found was expensive solutions shipped from the states, layouts and pages with strict systems or formulaic prompts to fill in, only adding admin to my day.
So I decided to design my own. Layout and typography were my mastermind subject and I loved stationery. I wanted something clean, simple, a calm place in which to think, plan and get shit done. Somewhere I could keep everything on one place instead of shoe horning everything into my diary or carrying around a separate notebook, diary, to-do pad and sketchpad.
I also insisted it wouldn’t be overtly girly, fluffy, wirobind and uncool! The HELLO TIME Planner was born and I have since realised that my time management process is spot on in reducing stress, overwhelm and anxiety, all from my love of great design.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
A great business success story inspires me. I’m fascinated by the entrepreneur that gets that break and how it manifests into something that ends up paying the bill and more. I’m driven by great design and the challenge of building my own brand after years of helping others build theirs. Design is my life, it’s all I know and what has been my savour over the years.
HOW DO YOU LOOK AFTER YOUR OWN EMOTIONAL WELLBEING?
Good question. I recognise my triggers which helps me look after myself better. I have finally recognised that I am no wonder woman and it’s ok to take a bit of time out. I never took breaks in my day and I ate at my desk. I’m not perfect but I do move away from my desk to eat lunch now and exercise mindful eating and I make sure I take regular short breaks throughout the day, even if it’s 2 mins to play with my choc lab, or make a quick call or to just sit and do nothing for 5 mins.
I am far more realistic with my time, I hit my daily goals and feel much better for it. I know I still need to do more, a yoga class is on my goal list for this year!
WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER ONE MENTAL WELLBEING TIP?
Write it down, there is nothing like pen and paper to help calm the mind and relieve the overwhelm. It stops it all whiling around in your head and enables you to plan and prioritise.
WHAT’S IN YOUR SELF-CARE TOOLKIT?
As well as a HELLO TIME Planner, of course an early night, good healthy food and running.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE LIFE QUOTE?
“You cannot discover new horizons unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
Discover the HELLO TIME collection here.