My iChat buddy icon is Wonder Woman. She is the ideal for strength and femininity in the comic book world (not that I read comics, but Comic Con would be fun to visit). Her lasso of truth is something I would kill to have—wouldn’t client meetings be a lot more fun with that in the mix? Alas, I’m not Wonder Woman… but I do have a superpower of sorts.
Like many other creatives I get run down. Deadlines, meetings, packed schedules—they all keep me on my toes, and often cause a little stress (<< understatement). We all feel this way, yet it’s part of life. I think as designers we secretly love it. The thing is handling it all—work, family, and everything else inbetween—is our superpower. And it can be for anyone. Some of us just need to learn how to reveal our inner hero.
Balance—not incredible strength, radioactive spider bites, or mutant genes—is the key to it all. As a self-proclaimed work-a-holic this is hard confession, but work is not everything. Of course we all want to nail our upcoming project, but staying up all night with Mac as your only companion gets pretty lonely after awhile. Time management is difficult for some, but once mastered is a life-changing skill. Keep your eye out for these sweet Moleskines for your iPhone or iPad so you can keep your notes and sketches right next to your calendar and clock.
The other type of balance crucial to your success? Quality vs. quantity. As a superhero, you could knock out 20 henchmen, but it’s nowhere near as great as finally taking down the super villain. Sometimes deadlines are tight, and a late night every now and again is inevitable. Occasionally, driving my daughter to and from Grandma’s house has been our only interaction for the day, but during that time we have a blast. You have to make the most of your time. Whether its singing in the car with your kids, or a quick brainstorm at work, realize that 5 minutes can be just as valuable than an entire hour. Use your time wisely.
Lastly, learn to take some time for yourself. When people talk about work/life balance many tend to focus on just work and life—life often meaning family, friends and the community. Of course, you as an individual is implied, but never really addressed. To be a better overall person and truly have a equal work/life balance one needs to do whatever brings happiness. Everybody needs time alone—whether it’s to do a crossword, watch a sitcom, or even draw a pair of your kicks—this time needs to be added to the mix. All day long, many of us are constantly doing for others and forget about what we really want. Taking a bit of time to engage in something that we love will ultimately make for a happier and more satisfying life.
We can have it all. It’s difficult, but by no means impossible. For more tips on balancing work and everything else, check out Designer Sobriety. Also, Halloween is coming up. Instead of Batman or Wonder Woman, who’s up for going as Time Management Man? Anyone?