Work-life balance at a marketing agency? Is that a thing? All kidding aside, finding work-life balance when you work at a marketing agency can be difficult for a variety of reasons. Any experienced marketer understands how challenging and stressful working at an agency can be.
The fast-paced nature of the work fosters an always-on mindset. It’s not surprising that the marketing field tends to attract people who love their work and tend to get caught up in it. That doesn’t mean they don’t need work-life balance.
Constant work stress affects your performance at work and also your home life, personal relationships, and overall health and well-being. From producing high-quality work to keeping it together at home, many people put themselves and their health at the bottom of their to-do list.
The more people work, the less time there is for other activities. As marketers and in many other professions, we all have a ton of work to do. It may not be possible to always have a perfect balance, but it’s essential to pay attention to both areas and work towards balance in order to have a fulfilling life.
What Is Work-Life Balance?
Work-life balance can be defined as having a healthy balance between work life and personal life. But this doesn’t have to be equal time for work and things such as hobbies, exercise, and relationships. Consider the tightrope artist at the circus. They may waver to one side or the other as they walk across the high wire. But overall, they maintain their balance by being flexible enough to shift from side to side. The balance is a nuanced dance and can vary from person to person.
In terms of work-life balance, give some thought to what you are measuring and how you measure it. A personal KPI, in marketing speak. One way to do it is to balance enjoyment and achievement. The ideal work-life balance goal would be to never sacrifice one for the other.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance with High-Pressure Job
When you have a high-pressure job, leaving work at work can seem impossible. But taking it home means you are never off the clock. That makes handling work-life balance difficult. Here are a few ways to recalibrate your work-life balance when you have a high-pressure job. In a perfect world, both would be in balance, but in the real world, don’t be surprised if one or the other is out of balance on occasion. It’s feeling a sense of achievement and enjoyment over time that is the goal.
Don’t Bring Work Home with You
This is the big one. Leave work stress at the office. It may be difficult to not think about work at all, but you don’t have to bring all that stress home with you. This also applies to actual work. If you often work at home after putting in eight hours at the office, stop. When you spend time in the office and time at home working, it’s pretty obvious your work-life balance is very far from balanced.
Learn Healthy Stress Management Techniques
Stress is unavoidable, it’s how you deal with it that makes a difference. Healthy stress-relief techniques can help you handle the issues that inevitably come your way. Breathing techniques, yoga, exercise, and mediation can help you get a handle on stress. Consider speaking with a counselor can also help. When you have a high-pressure, stressful job, even small issues can be a big deal. Don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Focus on What You Love
When you have a ton of work stress, you may feel like just vegging out on weekends and other time off. This is fine, up to a point, but sooner or later, you’ll only be stewing about work issues and other troubles. And that’s never good. Plan activities that will keep your mind off work, especially hobbies that bring you joy.
Examine Your Priorities
One way to improve your work-life balance is to get rid of unnecessary obligations. You may think everything in your life is necessary but is it really? Examine your priorities and determine which ones are crucial to your work-life balance. Which commitments drain your energy, and which ones energize you. When you inventory your priorities and pinpoint what is important to you, you know which to say “no” to and say “yes” to.
Science behind Recharging
Running on empty for too long will leave you exactly that—empty. We often have the mindset that if we just keep going, just tough it out, we’ll be successful. Not taking the time to recharge often holds us back.
Research has found a connection between lack of recharging and the increase not only in stress but also in health and wellness. Just because we stop working means we are recharging. If you stop working at 5 PM but continue to wrestle with work problems, keep talking work during dinner, and fall asleep thinking about how much you have to do tomorrow, your brain doesn’t get a chance to recharge.
Our brains need time to recharge to remain productive and creative. Research has shown that when we are relaxing and enjoying downtime, our brains don’t stop working. Many critical mental processes seem to need downtime and other forms of rest to perform at our best.
6 Ways to Decompress and Recharge
Take a Nap
A 20-minute nap can recharge your mental batteries and boost your ability to concentrate. It can also restore energy and performance, improve learning and memory, and reduces stress.
Unplug from Technology
We live in a digitally connected world that seems to be always on. Technology touches almost every part of our lives. As marketers, this technology is a big part of doing our work. However, technology also makes it hard to check out from work and its demands.
Disconnect yourself from work during off-hours, and completely unplug from all your devices a few hours each day. This lets you completely unplug and not be tempted to check emails or anything else work-related.
It’s easy just to sit and relax in front of the television after a long day at work. But that often makes you feel more tired. Instead, try getting up and moving to recharge. Biking or walking for 20 minutes can sweep the cobwebs away and leave you energized for hours.
Breathing Exercises and Meditation
You don’t have to meditate just because you are doing breathing exercises, but you do need to rhythmic breath when meditating, so they are kind of connected. Taking 5-10 minutes to focus on your breath is a great way to recharge and reset your day. Once you are comfortable with breathing, try meditation. Again, just 5-10 minutes can go a long way.
Part exercise, part meditation, part breathing exercise, yoga covers almost all bases. It can be as vigorous and as gentle as you want it to be. Yoga promotes the development of the mind and body, helps keep the mind calm, reduces stress, and increases focus.
Take a Vacation
A vacation is a true break, and one that not everyone uses. The key to a vacation that recharges is to focus on rest and fun in equal measure. Don’t load up on tourist activities or bring much work with you that up to feel like you haven’t had a vacation.
Work-life balance is achievable, but isn’t an overnight process. But once you achieve it, it will change your lifestyle for the better,