As a co-worker once said, “experience is the gateway to creativity.” In other words, experiencing everything life has to offer, no matter if you are being challenged or inspired, expands your perspective about how the world and others work. By expanding your outlook, new ideas can form. Having a balance between your work and personal life is essential to this idea. Some people may disagree on if a work-life balance is a necessity rather than a luxury, but at Louvre Media we practice and value a healthy balance every single day. Maintaining and practicing a healthy balance can spark creativity, improve relationships with clients, and heighten the productivity and bond with your co-workers. Implement this practice in your work environment and experience the huge strides your company can make towards building a more productive and engaged team.
Finding a work-life balance which works for you creates an incredible tool to take advantage of. A tool of productivity, happiness, and control. Discovering a type of work-life balance which fits into your life’s necessities leads to less burnout on your workdays and more energy on your days off. At Louvre Media, our personal lives and work-life work in synergy, and we are encouraged to gain a myriad of experiences in life. After all, our experiences outside of work give us inspiration for marketing campaigns, strategies, and conversations. Our meetings during work can even spark ideas for the weekend. Oh, and our go-kart racing and indoor skydiving events spark some new hobbies. From painting class to team trips to Oahu, we practice what we preach.
Truths about work-life balance
There is no perfect balance
To have “perfection” of balance, you need total imperfection. In other words, life is unpredictable and always will be, so focus on building your schedule with the understanding of how fluid and unpredictable life is. It will relieve some stress. Schedules with too much structure can make people incredibly overwhelmed. For example, let’s pretend you live by a very strict work schedule. You “allow” yourself 30 minutes for lunch, 1 hour for a blog, and no time to get into a conversation with your co-workers. You are in the middle of writing your blog and a client calls you to talk about a project and it takes an hour of your day. What do you do? You beat yourself up for not being “on schedule?” Have an overwhelming feeling of self-judgment and let it ruin your whole day? The point is, do not get stuck in a precise framework you built for yourself to the point where you heavily judge yourself for not “sticking” with your schedule. Now, this example does not mean we should live carelessly without boundaries or schedules. A work-life balance without any structure is just as stressful as having one with too much. In short, structures are meant to relieve stress, not induce it. As a working society, we need to understand our needs change just as fast as life does. The needs of our clients, co-workers, and ourselves. Life is fluid for everyone, and our schedules should reflect and expect the infrequent stir.
Boundaries are important
One of the reasons our work life can bleed into our personal life are due to the lack of boundaries, structure, and efficiency. Boundaries in your life, no matter if you’re in the office or yoga class, should be built so you can do the things you want to get done and still have the energy to fulfill your personal needs without the distraction of work email at 7 pm on a Friday. If your job requires you to take on clients, strive to communicate clearly what your work-life schedule is. If you are away from your email on the weekends, let them know. If you are happy to work on the weekends, let them know. Keep in mind the importance of understanding and respecting your client’s boundaries as well. If you like to work on the weekends and your client does not, wait to send your email on Monday – you can do it!
Mental health comes first
Focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all others has its costs. Many people think of a work-life balance as simply splitting up hours. 8 hours to work straight and a few hours after for personal time. A portion of our society is so quick to judge themselves when they need or want to take time to take care of their mental health. Some prioritize their careers so much to the point where they are willing to sacrifice their mental health for it. This common misconception is detrimental when discovering the type of balance you need to fit your lifestyle because of the lack of self-care and realistic timeframes. Give yourself grace and know things can happen. Remind yourself it is okay to leave work for personal reasons and it is okay to reprioritize your work tasks for the day. In other words, get rid of perfectionism. Encourage your employees to take care of themselves in and outside of work because if you can’t give 100% effort towards mental health, you can’t give 100% into your work.
Sundays don’t have to be scary
Take it slow. Unplug and know practice makes perfect. If you struggle with answering every email you receive on the weekend or are constantly thinking about upcoming deadlines, practice shutting off all work ties during your time off. Begin with setting up boundaries to let people know of your availability after work hours. Try to hold back from sending emails yourself. If you use a work phone or compute, leave it at home! There is no need to be on vacation swimming in the middle of the ocean thinking about a work email you need to send on Monday. Make true quality time by unplugging and doing things which make you happy.
We’ve convinced ourselves emailing your boss while on the beach or talking to a client during a hike is normal, but “one email” or “one phone call” comes with a cost over time. You begin to lose time for yourself and being with others you love. Reclaim your time and favor the moments in your life and begin practicing a work-life balance right for you. Although what you do in your free time and at work is a personal journey, don’t be afraid to meet with your team to set up some practices or ideas on how you could better your work-life balance in and out of the workplace. Strive for an environment of communication and privacy, encourage breaks, support your teammates, and always remember a work-life balance is a necessity, not a luxury.