Guess what Reader, I'm another year older 🥳
Last Wednesday was my birthday. I turned 34 (officially in my mid-30s 😬) and I spent the majority of the week on a birthday trip to Belgium where I consumed a lot of waffles and fries, and clocked tens of thousands of steps walking cobblestoned streets and looking at pretty buildings.
Time off work where I truly switch off and don't give a passing thought to upcoming campaigns, due dates or design systems always makes me realise just how rare that time is for me.
I'm curious, how's the work/life balance in your brain?
I have to be honest: While physically I don't tend to work more than 40 hours a week at my full-time job, I find it really hard to just stop thinking about work at the end of the work day (or even worse – having it be my first thought the next morning).
Sometimes it's because I'm genuinely excited about a project, but more often than not it's because of stress or worry, or just pure habit of running through a mental to-do list of everything I need to do that week. But whatever the cause, the work/life balance of my thoughts is severely out of whack. Does that sound familiar?
This is not a new problem for me (and perhaps it's even better right now than it used to be!) but it's something I'm trying to be more conscious of as I work on making my career sustainable. Is down time really down time if you're thinking about work – even sporadically – during it? I know that to stay healthy and get the rest I need, I need less work thoughts in non-work time. And I also know that doing so will actually make me more creative and productive during work time itself! There's no downsides. So come on brain; get on board. 😅
Why am I telling you all of this?
Hopefully so that you can take stock of the work/life balance of your own thoughts and decide for yourself if you're happy with it.
The rest of this issue features a few bits related to work and marketing design (that's what you signed up for after all!) but let me also recommend three things to you that are completely unrelated to design that you can consume in your down time this week to switch off.
Read: Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
Heartwarming and heartbreaking all at once, this 'slice of life' book really sucked me in.
Listen: Scam Goddess podcast
Hosted by Laci Mosley, this is a comedy podcast about white-collar criminals and scams. "It’s like true crime only without all the death!"
Watch: Make or Break
From the same production company who made the F1 series Drive to Survive, this is a show about the World Surf League (mens and womens!) that I really enjoyed.
What really happens on a work retreat?
Speaking about taking time off work: I did the exact opposite of that in January and spent a week living with my work mates for our twice-yearly company retreat!
I vlogged the trip so if you've ever been curious about the schedule or experience on a company retreat like this, check out the video!
This was my first team retreat as a manager, and I noticed a huge difference compared to what it was like to attend these retreats as an IC (individual contributor). Not only did the retreat take a lot more effort for me, but I got a lot more out of it too!
The weeks since the retreat have been super productive and I'm feeling so aligned with the company direction and my team mates. Well worth it! I hope you enjoy watching the vlog to see what we got up to and to hear more of my thoughts.
Wishing you a balanced week ahead with productive working hours and restful non-working time ❤️
See you next week,
Enjoy this issue? Click the heart to let me know (and for a gif of the movie I was quoting the whole time we were in Bruges 😅)