In many industries, but in the entertainment industry specifically, it seems as though we are constantly battling the need and the desire to produce new content and satisfy our supporters. However, I quickly learned early on in my career that I simply cannot set expectations for myself that will make my home life suffer too severely. Even if a new opportunity comes along that seems amazing, if it will make you lose your sanity, it's not as good as it sounds. It's not worth it.
Don't get me wrong, I am nowhere near perfect at fostering a good work-life balance... My wife will tell you that, too! But I make efforts every day in order to do so and have learned a few things that have helped me feel accomplished in my career and in my personal life at the same time.
I don’t know if I’ll ever find the “right” balance between family and work or if that even exists, but I sure try. Here are four methods I wanted to share with you that have helped me immensely in my own personal life:
1. Prioritize your loved ones. I am constantly checking in with my wife, son and my digital audience, and it’s hard. For years I started my work day the second I woke up and ending it when I went to bed. Now, due to some schedule and priority shifting, I make it home for dinner and am able to be with my family for the rest of the evening.
2. Know your limits and don't be afraid to ask for help. I have so much to do that it sometimes paralyzes me; I do at times have problems with that. There have been moments in my career where I have had to say no to incredible opportunities because I just couldn't stretch myself thin enough, and it took me a while to feel comfortable with that. Saying "No" is okay. I had to make changes to my business. I started bringing more people onto my team out of necessity to help get everything done. As my brand grows, saying that small yet powerful word is becoming harder and harder to do even as my staff grows, but I’ll die trying.
3. Collaborate with your peers. Chances are, there is someone in your work environment that can help you accomplish tasks more effectively and efficiently. By pushing your ego out of the way, it's easy to see that no one is absolutely amazing at everything, including yourself. Others can help you see the full potential of the projects you may be working on. I stay energized by working with my peers and it’s an honor to work with people who are so much more talented and intelligent than me. Obviously, the community that has surrounded themselves with my work would be enough to keep me going, but my collaborators help ignite my passion too.
4. Nurture your mental health. I’ve overcome some huge depression. Mental illness runs deep on my father’s side of the family. I decided very early on to bypass the idea that being mentally ill is wrong or makes me a bad person. It’s so silly how society puts such a huge faux pas in having mental health issues, but at the same time, physical issues are totally acceptable. I enjoy communicating to my supporters about my mental health and greatly appreciate it when they share their own mental health stories with me. To help combat depressive and overwhelming thoughts and moods, I have begun meditating once or twice a day. Give it a try, it will make a difference!
What have you found to be the best ways to balance your career with the rest of your life? If you're in school, what helps you balance school with your life? I'd love to hear your tips. Leave a comment below!
Check out more of my thoughts on this subject and others in a podcast I recently did on My Big Story with Christopher Swan!
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