Being unable to strike a comfortable work-life balance is a number one complaint for most of us. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, thanks to technology, demands on our time are increasing and the number of hours we work is creeping up and up.
So how do we have a more balanced life? BLANC. has been picking the brains of our trusted industry professionals to find out how to get a work life balance in the interior design industry.
Switch off – What it must of been like to live in a time when there were no mobile phones, no internet and no email. When you left work for the day and that was it. No checking your work email whilst running the kids bath or getting a text from your boss at an obscene hour. In this age of technology, if we allow it, we are forever accessible and so we have to create our own boundaries. If you can’t physically turn your phone off, make a rule that you don’t look at emails after 7pm (or whenever works for you). If you absolutely must look at your emails, a tip from our professionals is not to reply to emails outside of work hours. If a client sees that you are emailing at 9pm they will begin to expect responses at all times of day. You must train your clients to only expect replies from you within working hours.
Set ground rules – When you are busy there is no point telling yourself that you will relax when the work is done, because that time never comes. You have to set strict rules as to when you will spend time with family and friends. If between 6-8pm is family time, have it set in stone, otherwise work will gradually creep in. This also helps family to feel they have your full attention. There is no point spending time with the children if you have one eye on your email!
Keep things separate – Many interior designers work from home, especially in the early days. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a dedicated office, make sure you have somewhere to pack your work away at the end of the day. Leaving work sprawled out on the kitchen table all evening will mean you can’t switch off and you will constantly have one eye on the work you ‘should’ be doing.
Take a break – If you are running your own business, it may feel impossible for you to take time off. However it is extremely important that you take time to recharge your batteries. You will come back refreshed and more efficient and despite what you think, the work will still be there when you get back.
Know the world isnt going to end – When clients are unhappy and things are not going your way, it is hard not to feel stressed and overwhelmed. Worry can have a massive effect on your personal life and so it is important to keep things in perspective. We all value our businesses and give it our all but at the end of the day, if a sofa arrives in the wrong colour, nobody is going to die. Our work is important and keeping our clients happy is equally so but we do have to remember we are not performing brain surgery. Life will go on!
Here in the BLANC office we are relieved to hear a work life balance can be a reality and we will be putting these tips in to practice today and we hope you do too!