Last week, was one heck of a week for me. Without getting into too much detail, it seemed like one bad thing kept happening after another. It all really affected my mood and motivation, and as a result, I didn’t do much in the way of working my business either. It was a bad week, for my personal life and for my business. Not great at all for my work/life balance.
We’ve all heard about it. It’s a bit of a buzz phrase right now. So what is work/life balance and why is it so important? Work/life balance is our ability to find harmony between our work life and our personal life, making sure that one doesn’t overtake the other. And most importantly, that we remain happy and passionate in both areas of our lives.
Some countries do the work/life balance (or harmony) far better than we do here in the U.S. Just look at most European countries. You’ll see they almost all take a longer break in the summer months to regroup and refresh. Plus, most offer more vacation and personal time throughout the year and far better maternity/paternity and family leave. This isn’t how it is in the U.S. Most companies and industries here encourage the “hustle” lifestyle/mentality which is not great, at all, for striking a harmonious work/life balance.
Why is it so hard?
Over the past year and a half, the work/life balance has become much more difficult for most. With so many working remotely, the line between work life and personal life has become blurred. Additionally, many K&B designers I talk to are feeling isolated – missing the networking events, in-person appointments, and trade shows. There is a lack of connection, support, and community within the industry. And many are dealing with the added stress of long lead times and uncertainty.
But, how do we make a shift?
Three Tips for K&B Designers to Cultivate a Positive Work/Life Balance:
So, what’s the solution? How do we strike a more positive or harmonious work/life balance as K&B designers? You need to take time to regroup, refresh, rejuvenate, and relax. And, you need to do it without feeling guilty. Here’s how…
Turn Everything Off
Sometimes, you just need to completely disconnect. And that is OKAY! I suggest making regular time to COMPLETELY step away. If it’s possible for you to disconnect at a certain time each night, do it – totally. Don’t check your email AT ALL. If it’s possible for you, disconnect on the weekend. Or at least as much of the weekend as you can.
And make sure you are taking AT LEAST one full week each year to completely disconnect, guilt-free.
Assess What Makes YOU Happy
Once you’ve disconnected, take some time to reflect on what it is that makes you truly happy.
For me, and I’m sure many other K&B designers, being creative and artistic is what makes me happy. I love to design. That’s why I’m a designer! Art is my outlet.
Explore what it is for you. Is it jogging/walking/hiking? Maybe it’s painting/drawing/crafting? Is it spending quality time with your partner/kids/best friend? Maybe it’s it reading/writing? Is it simply binge-watching Netflix?
Ask yourself what it is that makes you truly happy.
Make Time for YOUR Happy
Now that you’ve assessed what it is that makes you happy, you need to make time for that. No matter what.
One easy way to do this is to put it on your calendar. Because if it’s not on your calendar, is it going to happen? No. If you time block, even better! Once it’s on your calendar, you know when you get to do the things that make you happy each week. It will give you something to look forward to, something to strive for. And, that will make it easier to get through the things that you don’t love doing quite as much.