Study Notes on Juggling Work-Life Balance

All of us have commitments outside of the workplace. From volunteering to marathon running to evening classes – every day I learn about people pursuing their passions outside of the office. In a 24/7 world where achieving work-life harmony is a daily challenge, how do you manage it? How do you perform well in a demanding job and find time to fulfill your passions? (I’m not even going to mention working parents here – you are my personal superheroes.)

For me, I’ve starting studying again and returned to University back in January. I knew it was going to be a lifestyle change – I would need to knuckle down on weekends in the library and give up my evenings for lectures. I also wouldn’t always have the flexibility to stay later in the office if I needed to.

With my second semester in full swing, I’ve learned a few valuable lessons… beyond those taught in the lecture hall, that is:

Give yourself some ‘me’ time when you can.
My MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator) shows I’m a slight extrovert, meaning I get my energy from other people. However, sometimes I just need to step away and have some quiet time to reflect – on my own. Often, I’ll do this by catching up on TV shows where I don’t have to think too much (bring back Love Island), but my favorite time to do this is during my commute to work, which includes a 20 minute walk. I don’t listen to music or podcasts – I walk and think. This is for my own sanity and allows me time to reflect on the upcoming day or the previous evening’s class.

Be organized.
The only way I can avoid feeling overwhelmed or panicked is by being highly organized. I organize everything. From preparing my “lecture dinner” the night before, to crafting a priority to-do list at work and setting regular reminders – sometimes there’s nothing better than looking back at a chaotic week and reflecting on what you have achieved because you successfully time managed and ticked tasks off.

Communicate.
I hit a peak last week: I was juggling moving house, a big workload and attending lectures in the evening. I knew it was going to be a tough one, so I told my manager. Thankfully, I have a flexible team – and a trusting one – they knew I was going through a lot but also knew I’d deliver on my commitments. They sent positive vibes, checked in with me regularly and supported me when I needed it. Communicating with your team and letting them see the other side of your “work-life” builds the bonds you need to cope.

I sometimes feel guilty for saying I need to leave for a University workshop or class but I’m slowly realizing that I shouldn’t. Pursuing my passions and stimulating my mind allows me to bring my best self to the workplace – as I hit my peak, I’m all set to go for Ketchum, and Ketchum University.

So, how do you do it? How do you juggle and achieve in this fast paced (crazy) world? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

About Alex Malczewski

Alex is a Learning Specialist based in our London office but working internationally across Ketchum’s regions. Alex has been with Ketchum since 2014 and, while working full-time, she is also back at school studying for a Masters in Human Resource Management. Outside of the office (and University), she enjoys spending time with friends and family and ticking off the world’s best brunch offerings.