The Balancing Act
There is a large misconception that agency-life can make it impossible to have this work/life balance that most people strive for. Working in advertising can have moments that make balancing your job with your personal life tough. The campaign is starting, deadlines are hot, and clients are needing their deliverables. This does not mean that the work is not manageable. It is all about managing smarter, not harder. While working for an advertising agency can be busy, it can also be extremely rewarding. Don’t let these busy times deter you from the positive rewards that come with working at an agency. Here are a few tips to consider to make balancing the busy times, easier.
1. Find an agency that values your work:
This is perhaps the most important tip. When you are interviewing for a job, it is just as much them interviewing you, as it is you interviewing them. Make sure that they establish their ability to provide a work/life balance that works best for your daily needs. Your employer should not judge you for leaving before 8 p.m. or how many hours you log on the weekend. If you are passionate about your work, you will find a way to complete it well. You will also find that your employer will find value in the work and time that you put in.
2. Prioritize the time you do have:
Make lists. As soon as you come into work it is important to write down all of the things you need to get done on that day. If you number them by priority, it makes it easier to feel accomplished when you can cross the larger tasks off that list. Try using a colorful pen to cross them off, or even a red sharpie. This will allow you to see the contrast between what you have left and what you have accomplished. Set those goals and knock them out.
3. Outsource your time:
In today’s world, there are so many ways to outsource your time. Target and HEB have curbside pickup for a small fee or even delivery. Look on the NextDoor app to find a neighbor who would be interested in mowing your lawn for the right price. For random tasks like home repairs, or assembling that IKEA furniture that you’ve been dreading, check out TaskRabbit. This easy to use service connects you with qualified “taskers” to complete your work. This will allow more time to do things you enjoy.
4. Take time to make time:
Don’t feel bad for taking a break. It is proven by a University of Illinois study that these short breaks increase positive emotions and overall effectiveness at work. When feeling overwhelmed with tasks, sometimes the best thing to do is step away for a few minutes. Try the 40/5 rule. Commit to working for 40 full minutes without taking a break. Then allow yourself five minutes to step away and decompress. Watch a funny dog video, get some fresh air, or play a game. Make sure you are completely disconnected from your work during this time, to allow the mind to reset and get ready for the next task at hand.
5. Learn to lean on your coworker:
With the emails constantly flooding in, it can be tough to leave control and turn off notifications on a day off. But everyone is bound to need a vacation every once in a while. Take advantage of the time off that your company offers. Find a coworker who you feel is reliable and ask them if they wouldn’t mind filling in for you for the day. You can feel confident taking some much needed time for yourself while knowing your client is getting the help that they need.
Working at an agency can have times that are unexpectedly busy, while also extremely rewarding. There are opportunities to work with many different types of businesses, receive exposure to all types of work, all while working in close contact with many creative minds. These are just a few useful tips to follow if you’re struggling with your work/life balance. Leave a comment and let us know if you have any tips for balancing your workload.