My dad’s superpower is his ability to fall asleep the moment his head hits the pillow. I definitively know the moment he falls asleep because his snoring sounds like a chainsaw starting up…. a very old chainsaw that you never look after.
Anyhow… I recently asked him what his secret was (to sleeping not snoring) and he told me he has a routine to start and finish his workday. Each morning he arrives at his office and steps down through the recesses of his mind to his headspace he has compartmentalized for work. Here he has created his dream office. He sits in his dream office space for a while then switches on his computer and starts his workday. At the conclusion of his workday – he returns to his headspace where his dream office resides. He mentally closes the door on his office, effectively finishing his workday. He turns off his computer and makes a conscious effort to close and lock the door to his ‘real’ office. That night…with a clear head, undisturbed by thoughts of work – he sleeps like a baby….well – a baby that snores like a chainsaw.
As artists or really anyone that runs their own business knows…it can be difficult to separate your work life from your personal life. One bleeds into the other and with no clear start or end to your workday – you end up working too much. Which results in a breakdown of routine that snowballs into unhealthy sleep patterns, which affects your productivity, and in turn your business and entire lifestyle. If you work from home – making this separation is even harder.
I have always worked from home and I have always struggled with a healthy work/life balance. But this year, in an effort to work smart, increase my productivity and create a healthy work routine…I decided to do things differently. Which is why two weeks ago I moved into a co-working space with fellow Brooklyn Collective members; Spencer Lum and Priya Patel. I couldn’t have foreseen that this one change would create such a positive flow on affect to so many areas of my life.
For me – the studio space has helped me achieve the headspace I needed for a healthy work/life balance but I don’t necessarily think you need a physical space to do this. It might be as simple as creating a routine to start and end your day, compartmentalizing your work life and closing the door on your dream office space at the end of your workday.
I would love to hear the challenges other photographers face with achieving an optimal work/life balance and what steps have you taken to overcome them…