I’ve mentioned that I won’t be blogging weekly - and it sure looks like I’m breaking the rules. As designers, we are taught the fundamental principles of graphic design - then within time, we learn to break the rules. You might ask us, how do we do this?
As a designer, it’s normal to develop what you call an instinct for exquisite taste. That intuition must be used to decide whether a rule should be broken in the first place. Anyone - with a creative mind - can do this. I believe that ignoring the rules allows creative minds to think outside of the box. It’s when the best ideas come alive.
So anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about life + work balance - whether it exists or not. I’ve been a double agent for the past year - working on my business and my 9-to-5 gig (I’m taking a huge risk because it’s likely that my boss could read this but again, I’m following my instincts).
My day job isn’t normally announced publicly for various reasons - in contrast - it has to do a lot with life + work balance. And if you’re wondering how I do it, all I know is to trust and follow my instincts - the rest will follow.
As some of you may know, if you work for a company, you’re expected to work from start to end, which is normally from 9 to 5 with an hour lunch in between. Not to mention, depending where you live and how far you travel - on average it takes a half hour to forty-five minutes (there and back). In reality, we’re working from 8am (when we leave) to 6pm (by the time we come home). Whether this is a sad reality, this leaves us 6 hours of personal time (one or two in the morning and the rest in the evening). Not to mention that some of us have kids, after-school/after-work responsibilities, and many more.
For this purpose, how do we find the balance in our life + work life? If you’re catching my theme of this post, my instincts tell me that the whole balance is a myth. It does not exist.
What’s the difference when you’re doing what you love? Why not merge life + work together?
For me personally, I work on my business because it gives me the satisfaction that I’m making a difference in the world - by helping entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive with beautiful designs - whether it’s a logo, business card, or a website. Underneath it all, it makes me feel good. And that’s why I do it.
A while back, I wrote an article on “How to Find Momentum in your Day” which is more or less the same thing as finding your balance. If you do more of the things you love, the more you will love your life. The key is to recognize what sucks your energy away and what gives you the most energy. If you read my post, I asked two questions:
1. Write down 5 things that inspire you
2. Write down 5 things that unmotivate you
Things that Unmotivate me
Feeling tired + overwhelmed
Snow + Gloomy skies
Things that Inspire me
Working on rad projects for kickass entrepreneurs
Connecting + networking
Eating Healthy + Cooking
Working out (crossfit, yoga & walking)
Travelling + Visiting New Places
Reading books that I can't put down
First, let’s talk about the things that unmotivate me. These things are so easy to limit - yet so difficult because we’re naturally stubborn as creatures. If we hate traffic, leave 15 minutes earlier. If social media drives us insane, delete the app from your phone (and leave that stuff for computer time). If there are toxic people in our lives, spend less time with them. If you’re losing sleep, the answer is obvious. Feeling tired and overwhelmed? Take a break and recharge. Don't like snow? Make a snowman.
Do more of what gives you Energy.
Once you understand what makes you feel good, what gives you the most energy - do more of that. Make it a part of your job description. Do the things that put a smile on your face. Do the things that you love so that you can love your life that much more.
And the stuff that drains you? Do less of that.