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Better work life balance: how to balance work with your personal life

work-life balance,work life balance,life balance,personal life,improve work-life balance,healthy work-life balance,work life,work and life,achieve work-life balance,taking time,spend your time,balance work
Balancing your work and personal life can help prevent burnout.

Picture this: You’re a car.

Not just any car. You’re a fancy sports car. Vroom vroom!

No matter what kind of car you have, you can’t just keep driving without stopping.

Even the coolest cars need gas and oil changes.

Now, think about your work. It’s like a long road trip.

You want to get to your destination (hello, awesome designs!).

But if you don’t take breaks, you might break down on the side of the road.

Not fun!

I get it. Work can be crazy sometimes.

Lots of projects. Tight deadlines. Always trying to come up with new ideas.

Phew! It’s a lot.

How do you balance taking care of yourself while also staying productive at work?

Sometimes, we work too much. We skip lunch. We answer emails at midnight. We dream about work! (Okay, maybe that’s just me.)

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is a challenge for us in the creative industry.

But here’s the problem: when we don’t rest, our brains get tired.

We get stressed. We make mistakes.

While our passion drives us to do our best work, it can also lead us to work excessive hours, skip breaks, and neglect our mental health.

This kind of behavior can result in decreased cognitive functioning and increased stress levels.

I remember a time when I was so busy with work that I couldn’t enjoy my family vacation. Not cool!

Here’s the secret: it’s okay to take breaks. It’s okay to ask for help.

It’s okay to enjoy life outside of work.

In this guide, I’ll show you how to take care of yourself AND do great work.

It’s not impossible. Promise!

Remember: You’re not a machine. You’re human. And humans need rest, fun, and time off.

So let’s learn how to balance work and life. Ready? Let’s go!

How your busy work life can take a toll on your mental health

Yes, doing creative work can be a fulfilling job.

It feels good to meet the needs of clients and see your creative ideas come to life, but it is pretty demanding.

We are often working on one deadline after another.

If you are the type of person who works long hours, skips breaks, and lacks sleep just to meet these deadlines, you are going to be prone to stress and burnout.

You might think you are being your most productive as you’re sacrificing time meant for self-care, but stress can affect cognitive function, which you need for work.

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Most people spend a lot of their time constantly chasing deadlines.

It will be difficult to concentrate or think creatively when you’re stressed.

It’s easy to forget things like your wallet at home, your meals, and even the shortcuts you need for Photoshop.

Working while stressed is frustrating and will just add more stress.

This stress can even affect your personal relationships.

Even when you’re taking breaks or spending time with family, you might not be mentally present as you are thinking of stressful work outside of work hours.

This is exactly why overworking yourself and not maintaining a work-life balance is a bad idea.

It will take a while for you to notice but the stress will start to creep into all aspects of your life.

Why you should improve work-life balance

When you have a healthy work-life balance, you are not just taking time off from work.

You are also using this time to do things that are important to your personal interests and hobbies.

You are dedicating time to your other responsibilities and passions.

This helps you reduce your stress levels while also feeling fulfilled and productive.

What does a healthy work-life balance look like?

Work-life balance looks different for everybody, as we all have different responsibilities and activities that keep us fulfilled and happy.

For example, if you’re an employee with elderly parents, your work-life balance may mean working your schedule around work, caring for your parents, and having time to watch a movie or hang out with friends.

If you’re a CEO, your work-life balance may mean being able to dedicate your time at work and resolve issues while also being able to fully unplug after work, spend time with your family, and take occasional vacations.

What brings everything together is the importance of prioritizing self-care activities, such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, and spending time with loved ones.

These can significantly improve mental health and job satisfaction.

When we take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to handle stress and perform at our best.

How do you improve your work-life balance?

Yes, it’s easier said than done, but here are some ways you can start to improve your work-life balance:

Assess: What is work-life balance for you?

As I said earlier, work-life balance is different for everybody.

What makes you feel fulfilled and happy may not be the same as what does for me.

Think of the things you currently do that make you feel the happiest.

It can be the little things, like preparing little notes for your kids before they go to school or hanging out with your friends every weekend.

Think of an ideal scenario where you can spend more time doing those things while also doing work.

What would that look like for you?

What part of your work is taking time away from your personal life?

Now that you have set up your ideal, think of what is stopping you from attaining it.

Consider your current situation and ask yourself the following:

  • How much time do I spend at work?
  • How much time do I spend with friends and family?
  • How much time do I spend with myself?
  • Is there a way for me to spend more time with one or the other?
  • What is currently stopping me from attaining my ideal work-life balance?

Are you stressed with clients and managing client work? (This is a common problem, even for us!)

Here are some guides that can help:

➡️ The art of saying no: Setting boundaries with clients

➡️ Keeping design clients happy: The art of balancing preferences

➡️ Ways to manage client expectations effectively: seeing it from the client’s perspective

Establishing boundaries between work and life

A common reason why people struggle with work-life balance is that their work time is leaking outside of their regular work hours.

This gives you the illusion that there aren’t enough hours in a day.

You are spending more time at work when you could be using this time to rest and spend time with your friends and family.

One of the key strategies for achieving work-life balance is to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life.

This can be challenging, especially when you’re doing remote work at home.

It feels like you should be working all the time because the entire house where you should be relaxing is now your workspace.

Learning how to set this boundary can significantly boost not only your mental health but also your productivity.

Here are some ways you can set boundaries between work and personal time:

  • Set specific work and break hours and stick to them. Avoid checking emails or answering work-related messages outside of your set work hours.
  • Have a designated working space. Don’t bring your work to the dining table, to your kid’s play area, or even to the bathroom. Get yourself into a working mindset only in that area.
  • Wear a “work outfit” even when you’re working at home. It doesn’t have to be fancy formal wear. Just don’t wear your pajamas while you’re working. This helps separate work from your personal time. The moment your “work outfit” is off, you are off work.
  • Establish a way for your coworkers or clients to send you messages while you are off work and respond to these messages only when you’re back at work. You can easily set your notifications off and have an “away” message.
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Don’t let work interfere with your life when you’re off the clock.

These boundaries allow you to fully disconnect from work and enjoy your personal time.

Spend your time wisely through better time management

Another reason why you might not find enough time in your day is because you are spending too long on too many tasks all at once.

Your productivity decreases when you try to multitask.

Give yourself specific time blocks in your day to accomplish specific tasks.

Prioritize the more important tasks and dedicate your time to doing them for a specific amount of time only.

If you finish your task earlier than your set schedule, you can move on to the next task and free up your time for the rest of the day.

Having specific time blocks helps you rest assured that you have enough time to accomplish the things you need to do throughout the day.

You’re not constantly worrying that you won’t have time for something else.

If you don’t have enough time to finish one task, you’ll just have to move it to the next day and move on to your other tasks.

Take note of how long it took you to finish that one task so you can adjust your time block for it the next time you have to do the same task.

Learn more about managing your time like a CEO in this guide:

➡️The CEOs guide to time management: How do CEOs manage their time for best productivity?

Achieve work-life balance through outsourcing

If you still find that you don’t have enough hours in your day, even when you’re working at your peak productivity, it is definitely time to ask for help.

As an employee, you can ask your team heads for a way to delegate other tasks that you can’t realistically do.

It is better for both you and the company to hire more people and relegate the work to improve productivity instead of constantly missing deadlines or lowering the quality of work.

If you are the CEO of a company, it is best to outsource your work.

Hire more people to do the tiny tasks you don’t have the time in your day to do.

CEOs often try to juggle more work than they should.

Just because you could do something doesn’t mean you should.

Sure, you can do design work, but should you really waste your time looking for design inspiration, choosing fonts, colors, and images, and producing all your content by yourself?

You are better off outsourcing the work to someone else and freeing up your schedule to do more important responsibilities.

work-life balance,work life balance,life balance,personal life,improve work-life balance,healthy work-life balance,work life,work and life,achieve work-life balance,taking time,spend your time,balance work
Outsource and delegate the tasks you don’t have time for.

This not only helps in managing your stress levels but also ensures that your projects are handled by experts who can deliver consistent, high-quality work.

Are you having doubts about outsourcing?

We have some guides that can help you make that choice:

➡️Should I outsource design tasks?

➡️Is it time for you to consider graphic design outsourcing? Find out when and how to outsource design

➡️Graphic design outsourcing: find the perfect partner for your design work

➡️Which industries outsource graphic design the most?

Why you should balance work and your personal life

Achieving a healthy work-life balance offers numerous benefits for creative professionals. It not only improves mental and physical health but also enhances creativity and productivity.

When we are well-rested and less stressed, we can think more clearly and come up with innovative ideas.

By prioritizing self-care, establishing boundaries, and leveraging design outsourcing, we can reduce stress and ensure high-quality work.

Follow the tips outlined above to achieve a healthy work-life balance without sacrificing the quality of your work.

You can also improve your work-life balance as a CEO by outsourcing your work to Deer Designer.

Just request the designs and our dedicated design team will deliver!

Book a client-fit call today.

Key takeaways

  • It can be challenging to balance work and personal life as a creative but it is important for both your mental health and your productivity.
  • Constantly being stressed in your work environment can affect not only the quality of your work but also your mental health and personal relationships.
  • Work-life balance means you are happy and fulfilled doing your work while also having time for your personal activities and hobbies. As we have different goals, this balance can look different for everyone.
  • You first have to consider what work-life balance would look like for you and what is preventing you from achieving this balance.
  • By setting boundaries, you can focus on your family time and personal tasks while away from work without constantly thinking of the workload waiting for you back at the office.
  • Time management paired with outsourcing or delegating tasks can help you free up your time without sacrificing your quality of work. You don’t have to do everything at once.