In today’s world, being busy has become synonymous with high-status and we’re measured by our productivity. Starting your morning with an extra-large coffee, an impossible to-do list and then wondering why we get so burnt out with crazy deadlines and 7-day working weeks. Sound familiar?
I’ve also heard that you need to ‘hustle’ to get anywhere in life and days off are for the weak, but I'm here to tell you that isn’t the most sustainable way to achieve your goals.
I’m not writing this blog as some sort of self-help post but to hopefully provide you with a couple tips that have helped me to finally achieve somewhat of a work-life balance.
It’s called work/life balance for a reason.
The importance of a work-life balance is first realising that your world doesn't need to revolve around your job. Obviously, your job is a massive part of your life and if you’re like me, a massive part of who you are as an individual. However, it’s also very important to have a strong separation between the two. You need time to be able to step away from the work to both appreciate it and reflect on it.
Celebrate the wins.
That brings me to my second point: reflect on the work you have done and celebrate the wins. We are all so set on finishing the job and jumping straight into the next project and spend no time celebrating our achievements, the ones my past self would've been cheering for. I'm not saying throw a little festival or go to the pub for a week after every project but take time to reflect on the previous project and celebrate that work before you jump into the next
Take weekends off.
I know that this point is probably going to kick me in the ass in a week or so but try to take your weekends off. Obviously, deadlines are deadlines and the week doesn't always go to plan but it's important to take this time off to get the energy and inspiration for the week ahead. Spend time with your family, friends or just go surfing because the endless to-do list will still be there on Monday (I know this is always easier said than done).
Time for inspiration.
Following on from above, you need time to think and become inspired. Don't get me wrong, working on new projects and with an amazing team gets me inspired but you also need that time away from the laptop. Find what motivates you to do great work and continue to do it, that might be painting, pottery, gardening or extreme ironing...yes that is a thing: https://www.facebook.com/ExtremeIroningOfficial/
It doesn't matter what it is, just find what inspires you and continue to do it.
We all want the most out of our days but creating a list on Monday morning with 300 things to get done is simply not achievable and will just leave you feeling like shit even if you manage to get to item 299 on that list. You need to find out what your workload rate is and respect that. After several years in business, I've realised my work rate is roughly seven hours. After seven hours the work starts to become tedious and not my best. At this stage, it's better for myself, the project I'm working on and everyone around me to just call it a day and come back to it tomorrow, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
I hope this short list of tips helps assist you in creating a work-life balance that’s right for you. I really wish I could put my hand on my heart and say that I abide by everything I’ve mentioned every day, but that isn't the truth. However, I do use these tips as a guide to achieve a healthier more balanced lifestyle, and ultimately produce better work for my clients.