Creative Work and Real Life Balance Tips with Anj
It has been SUCH a whirlwind what with work, life, traveling to New York for content gathering for Afropunk and getting back into the swing of things.
When we were together on August 13th and 23rd, we spent the day mostly at my home. Since social media is the window by which we see and consume the lives of our favorite brands, celebs and creatives, I have felt a tremendous responsibility to remain transparent about my life and experiences as a creative and to present my reality which is legitimate, realistic and approachable.
One of the most pertinent steps in showing this was to show you guys that I have a—dun-dun-DUUNNN—a day job! That's right! A classic "9-5" Monday through Friday just like most average Americans (except I work from home). On my takeovers you watched me take calls, cook lunch or prep dinner, tidy up around the house and be creative.
I take photos and foster my creative life after 5:00 p.m. and on the weekends, and my day job is the supplemental tool that affords me security in my livelihood and the ability to literally afford my projects and all the ancillary needs that come with being a creative entrepreneur!
Though I love my job, I'm on a computer all day so there's not much to talk about or photograph/share. Which leads some to believe that I (and other creatives like me) don't work. SYKE!
Here's three tips on how to maintain an effective work-life balance:
Use your mornings - I am most alert in the first 5 or so hours of the new day. I keep my little laptop in or by my bed so that when I wake up, I can get the most pressing emails completed and off-boarding projects before I grab my morning coffee. During my takeover, I shared an article by Inc. Magazine that shared 14 Things Successful People Do First Thing in the Morning.
Productive lunch breaks - In the bustle of daily life, especially if you're up early getting those kiddos ready for school, sometimes having a morning without responsibility can seem like a luxury! And sometimes, the only solace we have is a 15 minute - 1-hour lunch break, or our commutes on errands or to/from work. Use those. Take a book to work or Bluetooth a hilarious podcast through the car to unwind. Go on a walk or just change locations for a change of scene, schedule a manicure or a massage (Groupon anyone?), do a few deskercises. Treat your breaks like little government-mandated mini vacays—and make it good!
Maintain your passions - I know the last thing you wanna do when you get off work is to do more work—even if that work is something you enjoy doing. Sometimes our day jobs shred us mentally and there's no room for anything else. I'm challenging you to push yourself. Dedicate just an hour after work for research, creativity or before-bed pampering if you just don't have the headspace for more work. A new pair of pajamas and a face mask can make you feel great. And if you're one that has to get some babes off to bed, I get it, but somewhere in your day is a free few minutes to do something for yourself or your passions. Glue your "me-time" to your calendar for guilt-free fulfillment...and don't budge.
Balance sometimes needs a little push.
After work on the 13th I rushed off to a friend's studio and took portraits for my 31st birthday and on the 23rd, I shared them to CRWN! Here's a gallery below that explores the creative juices I and my friends Paris Williford and Isbell all conjured up for this year's reflection on timing, the responsibility we feel we have to the future and love. You can read it on my site here!