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Everyone asks me about work life balance tips. I guess sharing my work OOTDs with you guys every morning has made it a little more obvious that I have a regular 9 to 5. While I’d be lying if I said I had everything figured out, there are a few things I’ve learned through balancing my day job and this blog.
Sometimes when I get messages or comments about how to manage two jobs, I can’t help but laugh. While I’m flattered that it looks like I’ve got the answer, it’s always good to remember the difference between what you see on social media and real life. I love Instagram Stories for that reason. I’ve shared stories where I have no makeup on, ones where I’m sitting on my work laptop at 9pm, and a heck of a lot of day to day stuff. I think it’s important for everyone to remember that I’m just another normal person who happens to be crazy enough to do two jobs.
If we’re being brutally honest, I also laugh because people usually want the easy answer. More often than not, people want the CliffsNotes version to success. They don’t want to work for it. They want to learn from others’ struggles and the years of effort without actually doing anything at all. I’m not about that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m down to help a peer out but you can usually tell really quickly who is going to use you versus who is being genuine. So if you want to know my work life balance tips – I mean really know them – keep reading. If you’re looking for a quick list of tangible action items that helped me, this post might be a better fit for you.
7 WORK LIFE BALANCE TIPS
It’s not easy.
Don’t expect it to be. Rarely does taking the easy way lead to success. If it does, it’s usually short-lived. Manage your expectations and buckle down for the long haul. Prepare to do some work. If you knew me, you’d know that I’m working around the clock. Matt talked about that here. Sure, that’s not very “balanced” in some people’s minds but that leads me to my next point.
Another way to say this might be “do what you love.” If you’re passionate about something, is it really work? I’ve talked about fashion for years here on Visions of Vogue. So often that honestly, it’s getting a little boring for me. 2018 is all about exploring the things that get me amped. The things that keep me up at night because I’m too excited to sleep. Just ask Matt. This happens almost every night of the week. And no, it’s not stress. My mind is literally racing with things that I want to share with you guys in new and exciting topics like safe beauty and travel. Y’all know I have a list of notes in my iPhone that’s a mile long and this is why.
Letting go of control is one of the hardest things for a business owner to do. When you have a brand that is your baby, it’s hard to turn that over to just anyone. If someone can do something 80% as good as you, let them do it. There is no reason for you to be doing that task. You can repurpose that time to work on other, bigger, and better things. Know your weakness too. If you’re not good at something, hire someone that is. You’ll save yourself a lot of time instead of trying to be good at something that you just weren’t meant to be good at. It’s also cheaper. Read: your time is more valuable.
Here are 2 things people say a lot.
“Progress over perfection.”
“Done is better than perfect.”
I disagree. I see perfection as a life long goal. Something that keeps us motivated day in and day out to wake up and tackle the world. Yes, the thing or things we want to be perfect may change throughout the course of our lives but I don’t see anything wrong with striving to be the best at whatever it is that you really care about in that moment/month/year. Of course, be honest with yourself and what’s realistic for you. However, I’m not about to just accept status quo when it comes to something I’m really passionate about (like this blog). While progress is great, I see progress as a step toward perfection. Take enough steps and you’ve arrived.
Create a dedicated workspace.
When we lived in LA, the couch was my workspace. I had one square cushion on the sofa and that’s where I did almost all of the work. It also meant that it was hard to put my work down. Night after night it was just the 3 of us (me, Matt, and my laptop). Since moving to Chicago, we expanded a little and our second bedroom doubles as my office and our guest room. Not ideal, but it’s progress. I can leave the room when I’ve worked enough and leave my work behind me for the night. It creates an obvious, physical marker of when work is over.
You guys have heard me mention time and time again that I swear by our Gmail calendar. I schedule everything so that I’m organized and can plan out what content I need and what’s coming up next. While this is just a form of digital organization, I also try to keep my workspace organized. When we lived in a smaller apartment it was next to impossible. Now that we have more space, I have created a system so I know what I need to shoot and when.
Take a break.
Whether it’s a 5 minute one or a week long vacation, take a break. Give yourself a few minutes to recharge and refresh. Even if you’re just walking around the floor at your office (I do this). You’ll come back to your desk with a little more energy to tackle that complex email. It’s already great for you physically. Never leave your vacation unused either. There are so many studies that show the best employees actually take their vacation. Never feel guilty about it. Just remember you’re making yourself the best employee you can be. One might even say, striving toward perfection (see what I did there?). Why do you think Matt and I take so many trips?
At the end of the day, no one can give you the recipe for work life balance. It isn’t a prescription where someone else diagnoses you and says “ah, this is what you need.” You need to figure out what works for you. Part of the joy of being high performance and balancing two jobs is to discover these hacks for yourself. See what works for you and see what doesn’t. Maybe you need to write blog posts on the elliptical in the morning. Maybe you’re best writing happens right before bed. Maybe you can nail the 20 minute shoot on your lunch break. Or maybe you’d rather do back to back shoots for a couple hours on Sunday morning. You’re going to be your greatest guide toward figuring out what “balanced” feels like for you. Keep the blinders on to an extent. Don’t compare yourself to others or even expect what works for someone else to work for you. You do you and don’t worry about anyone else.
I hope this helps everyone who has asked for work life balance tips! Do you have any tips that have worked for you?