A career in B2B website design, digital marketing, or development will surely keep you on your toes. Every time you look up there is a new tool, a new buzz term, a new acronym, a new “methodology” or an extensive update to that software or social platform you use daily. Not to mention the demanding clients, deadlines, hours, boss, etc. The constant pressure to keep up can easily lead to burnout, health issues, or relationship issues with friends and family.
For anyone who knows what I’m talking about, here are some tips to keep you sane and maintain a healthy work/life balance.
You are not an ER surgeon, police officer, or any of those jobs that are in constantly having life/death situations. Remember your job is to help businesses grow and contrary to some of the huge egos out there, you aren’t saving the world. If reminding yourself of this doesn’t help, trying getting away for the weekend. A change of scenery often helps us gain perspective and realize there is a lot more to life than your B2B website design and marketing job.
Being connected all the time can be extremely overstimulating. Try to spend a few waking hours every day not looking at your phone, laptop or TV. Start small – maybe an hour before bed, start reading a physical book (not your iPad) or taking a bath. Work your way up to an entire evening or maybe even full weekend day where you aren’t constantly getting bombarded by notifications, emails, and information.
Read more: How design impacts your daily life.
Set Healthy Boundaries
This is good advice for anyone. Not one thing – whether it’s work, a relationship, a habit, or a hobby should be so consuming to the point where it’s taking a toll on your mental or physical health. You can set healthy boundaries by learning to say “no.” Now the real challenge is learning to say “no” diplomatically. For example, if you have a boss or manager that is constantly piling more work on you, you have to let them your concerns. In this type of situation, your best bet is to ask for a meeting to discuss your workload. Let them know that if you take on too much, you are concerned about the quality of the work going down or not providing the level of customer service clients are expecting. Remember, your manager doesn’t want you to suffer in silence, because ultimately if your work starts to take a hit or you leave abruptly, you are creating more work for them.
Measure + Schedule Your Time
You manage what you measure. If work/life balance is a struggle you probably aren’t effectively managing your time well. Take a look at where your time is going and see how much time you waste on social media, gossiping with coworkers, or getting caught up in distractions at the office. You could be spending 2 extra hours a day at work. That’s 2 hours you could use to spend time with family, friends, going to the gym, or taking up a new hobby. Once you know where your time is going, try scheduling all your time – work time, lifetime, even if it’s “do nothing” time.
Read more: Top tools for B2B marketers.
Make the Most of Your Energy
Are you a morning or night person? Most jobs require us to work during normal business hours, but if you find you do your best work later in the day, then ask your manager about shifting your schedule. Instead of 8 am to 5 pm, maybe you can work from 9 am to 6 pm. If you are a morning person, ask about working from 7 am to 4 pm. While it’s only an hour shift, it could make your life a little easier and your work better. In the same vein, if you like working around a lot of people or you do your best work in quiet solitude, ask about working from home or working in a quieter environment.
At the end of the day, you are responsible for taking care of yourself. Taking an honest look at your priorities, time, and boundaries is the first step to creating better work/life balance. The next step is having an honest conversation with the people that can help you achieve the balance you seek.