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