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How Do I Achieve The Perfect Work-Life Balance

I love my job. But I also love my hobbies. So how do I manage to maintain the perfect work-life balance, such as running an online store, making art and progressing up the career ladder?

At times it can be tricky, but I try to stick to these simple rules.

I put in the extra hours when I really need to

I’m no longer one of these people who stays an hour extra every single day of the week. But, if there’s a deadline, or if I’m in the middle of something, I’ll stay until it’s completed to a high standard.

Continuously staying behind after working hours is not only unhealthy, but it can become tedious and fuel work resentment which can make you unproductive. So don’t think that the only way to gain recognition is to put in extra hours once everyone else has clocked off; put in the extra effort when it really matters.

I sell on Etsy

In this day and age, hobbyists, like myself, are incredibly privileged to have online market places to sell their wares. Etsy is a great example of an online store generator that organises everything for creatives from listings, SEO to processing payment. And for me, having an online outlet where I can sell things that I’ve made allows me to feel a sense of creative achievement. Especially when someone actually buys my items; it makes me feel like my work is desirable and my creative abilities are sought after. It’s not even about the money for me. It’s more about gaining recognition as a creative. So, if you do make things in your spare time, why not consider signing up to Etsy as a seller and list your items. It could be the confidence boost that you need.

I try not to work on the weekends (if I can help it)

Sometimes, if there’s a deadline looming I’ll happily work to get things done well and correctly. Or if I’m on the laptop I will check emails or see how the weekly newsletter has performed. But if I can help it, I’ll never do overtime at the weekends. A clean break from work can help you to approach what is in hand with a fresh perspective. If you slog away over your precious weekends then you’ll likely rush important work and like I said earlier, grow to resent what you do. I strongly advise that you put other things first on your days off. It can be difficult to do as we’re constantly connected but try not to get sucked in to documents or spreadsheets when you could be at the pub or taking  day trip.

I take holidays

When I got my first proper job I was too scared to take any holiday as I thought it would look like I was a) slacking off and b) wanted to show how eager I was to keep the job.

But now, as I’ve grown into my role, I recognise the importance of a break or a longer holiday. I’ll also try to make the holidays count, so, instead of taking time off for annual leave’s sake, I’ll ensure that I’m actually doing something constructive with my free time because if I’m just sat around at home, it’s all too easy for me to fire up the laptop and check emails! So if you can afford a weekend away, even if it’s just visiting friends, take that break!

I incorporate my passions into my work as much as possible

Luckily for me, working in a digital agency means that you’re surrounded by creative ideas and campaigns constantly. And where possible, I try to inject my passions or expertise into whatever I, or a colleague, is working on. For example, my work mates know I’m a keen amateur photographer, so I’m regularly asked to take photos for particular campaigns. So not only am I spending the day doing something I really love, but I’m able to hone my skills too. A good example of this was an Easter Cook Book photo shoot I recently worked on for Discount Supplements.

So whilst it’s generally up to you to make sure you meet the perfect work-life balance, employment perks are always a great way to reap the rewards of your hard work. And whilst there are plenty at my job, I wanted to see what kinds of employment benefits people receive across the world?

I found this infographic by GoToMeeting which lists the benefits people receive in seven different countries. It was interesting to see that there is a difference in things such as when you can request to take flexi-time and how many paid sick days workers receive from one country to the next. In some cases, the UK fairs up rather well; especially for parental leave!

 

So, what kind of benefits do you receive at your place of work? And how do you try to maintain your oerfect work-life balance?

*this is a sponsored post in collaboration with GoToMeeting
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Creative Crush: Ruthybop

This month’s creative crush is Scotland based jewellery maker, Ruthy, the owner of Ruthybop.

Ruthy makes seriously cute handmade wooden animal badges and collar clips.

bear badge bunny collar clips

They’re the type of designs you expect to see in children’s books but totally a necessity to any grown up outfit.

I’ve followed Ruthy on Instagram for some time and when this cute little ginger cat badge popped up on my feed I had to have it.

cat badge in bag

With most things I order, if the packaging is as cool as the product I’m instantly won over and I loved the ditzy thank you sticker. But the dapper ginger cat staring back at me stole my heart instantly, reminding me of a certain ginger tom.

ruthybop cat badge

The quality of the print is realistic and the badge itself is the right size to not dominate an outfit. I’ve worn him a many times and already people have mistakenly thought it’s my cat, Mick. In fact Mick probably thinks it’s him too as he’s a rather vain feline.

cat badge on shirt

As I’m on a mad saving crusade this year, I’ve curbed my clothes addiction and decided to invest in more accessories. They’re cheaper and a lot more versatile. It’s been difficult but I’ve found that accessories breathe a new lease of life into clothes. Many of which I seem to get bored of after a couple of times of wearing them leading me to buy more, so it’s been a vicious spending cycle up until now.

Anyway, I hope you like this dapper cat. He’s going to be pinned to many more tops, coats and bags.

cat badge on skull fabric

There are so many other cute bits and pieces over on Ruthy’s Etsy shop. Let me know if you see anything you like in the comments.

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