Balancing the Scale for Work and Life

April 2016

Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance

I struggle with creating a work/life balance because I don’t structure time for the “life” part. One of our company’s 2016 resolutions is to “spend more time reflecting, less time reacting.” How do you get that done in the workplace and in your personal life when you are engrossed in tasks for an extraordinary amount of hours each day?

Twirling Tiger Media is on a growth trajectory fueled by client acquisition and all that comes with managing a bigger slice of the custom content and content marketing industry. Our work is exciting, challenging and very time-consuming. A recent Twirling Tiger Wisdom Redux post borrows a quote from Robert Herjavec of “Beyond the Tank” and states, “If you’re expecting a balance, don’t start a business.” Truth!

A work/life imbalance can take a physical toll and impede any gains you think you may have made because now you need to spend time going to PT twice a week to rectify a repetitive stress injury caused by way too much computer time (that would be me). I’ve got lots of company in the knock-yourself-out club. Last week, my barely 40-year-old neighbor told me his shortness of breath symptoms were caused from extreme fatigue. He chuckled when I suggested he too needs to find that elusive work/life balance.

Time for reflection is paramount for creatives as it pulls you out of task-only mode and allows for innovative solutions to emerge. There are times when I need to “go dark” by clearing my schedule of meetings and triaging the importance of responding to emails immediately—all to foster uninterrupted creativity.

I know how to attain a better balance, but I need to commit to making it happen. The “life” part needs to be on my radar each day and not dismissed. Here are a few techniques that I find restorative for well-being:

1. Delegate to elevate. Ask for help and task others with work or chores to free up time for other priorities.
2. Using your work calendar, schedule time for exercise and cultural events.
3. Being fidgety while working is a good thing. Get up and move about after an hour of sitting at your desk. Walk outdoors and take in the beauty and buzz of all that surrounds you.
4. Avoid typing by using the voice recognition feature on your computer and the “speech” option.
5. Don’t skip meals, as your energy will wane and you’re likely to gorge or choose unhealthy food later.
6. Improve your overall physical performance, memory, attention and spur creativity with a good night’s sleep.
7. When worry overwhelms your days and nights, dedicate a specific period of time to think of your concerns. Seek the help of a health care professional if needed.

—Maureen