About Time: You Balanced Your Work LifeBy

David Kosky, Founder of Work Life Camden

cropHow do you balance your work and personal life?

Like most people, I don’t! I actually think the idea of a work/ life balance is a myth. Today the worlds of work and life are more intertwined than ever which is the reason we set up WORKLIFE. To provide a workspace where people can do whatever they are passionate about in an environment they enjoy coming to and spending most of their time in.

What tips would you give people for switching off from work?

I think the best tip which I can give anyone is just to turn your phone off. If you don’t, whether you are on holiday or at dinner you will constantly be checking it. It’s nothing new, but it works for me!

Do we work too much?

In places like London you need to work as its not a cheap place to live, but if you are lucky enough to  do something you enjoy and you are passionate about it becomes a way of life and doesn’t really feel like work.

What does work mean to you?

Right now work for me means aspiration and freedom. When you set your own businesses up you start a journey, I don’t know where it is going to end up but I wouldn’t change the freedom for anything!

James Shilcock, Founder of Vivid Drinks

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What’s helped improve your relationship to work?

I used to feel bitter about working at weekends. Now I sit in a bar or cafe that I like with a beer and my laptop and feel pretty content, smug on a Sunday that I’m getting ahead before Monday. If you’re going to work out of hours dont punish yourself working in a typical work environment!
What’s the best way to switch off after a long day?
Podcasts – Read, read, read. Reading is a form of meditation. But if you’re struggling to find time to read podcasts are the answer! I listen to them walking to work, around the house, driving. Sign up to Freakonomics Radio or the Ted Radio hour for some inspiration and a positive mindset
What’s one tip you can give for running a happy office?

At Vivid we try to start meetings with one minute of mindfulness (sounds strange, and it doesn’t always happen, but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it). We use apps like Calm or Headspace. If nothing else its quite funny watching your colleagues try to keep a straight face, and it brings everyone to a level before the meeting starts rather than diving straight into things.

Barney Mauleverer, Founder of Fresh Marketing

unnamedHow do you balance your work and personal life?

I truly treat my work as a big part of my life and with modern communication methods (Skype and speedy broadband) I can afford our four children a country lifestyle with horses and quads bikes and the big out doors and also run our business from the “shed” during the week.

What tips would you give people for switching off from work?

During the early stages of our business there was very little switch off time. Everything mattered and every hour counted. As we have grown we have been able to surround ourselves with a brilliant team to share the burden of daily workload but also allow us to enjoy life to the max. I am a firm believer that we are living today rather than just working for tomorrow.

Do we work too much?

When we hire new people into our business my first question is “What is your definition of success?”. It is designed to be completely open. For me the right type of people to join our team will of course appreciate the need for money for the basics to live in our society but much more interestingly are the softer broader definitions (which often marry success with contentment). I don’t think I work too much, I thoroughly enjoy what I do but do make sure I balance this with home time, other challenges and watching Downton Abbey (from time to time).

What does work mean to you?

For me, if I were to answer my own question “What is your definition of success?” (in the context of work) it is a moving set of targets as my life stage changes. I categorise them into two “Work” and “Play”. In both of these areas for my sub categories are the same: Momentum (constantly be progressing, learning and climbing); People (surrounding myself with a great team, friends and family); Contribution (making a contribution into everything I do within an industry I love or being on the touchline at school); Satisfaction (watching the fruits of the previous three points flourishing and taking time to celebrate or learn from the results as they come in). Work hard, Play hard works for me.

Jacqueline Harvey, Founder of Crystal Clear Health

Jacqueline-HarveyHow do you balance your work and personal life?

I switch off all technology in the evening, usually around 6pm. This helps me to wind down and feel rested, which is important for me as I often have early starts. Every morning I meditate to clear my mind and prepare me for the day ahead. I try to give time to personal relationships and nurture them as much as I can.

What tips would you give people for switching off from work?

Turn off your emails! Control how much time you are spending on social media and make a conscious effort to stay away from technology after a certain time.

Have more ‘me’ time. Meditate, go for a walk, read, listen to music or practice yoga – do something that stimulates your senses and surround yourself with nature. Balancing your mind, body and spirit is essential for personal and emotional wellbeing.

Do we work too much?

Yes! We work too many hours and work too late, meaning we often don’t have time to let our bodily functions slow down and rest. This leads to stress, insomnia and our body clocks going awry, which has a knock-on effect to our overall health. It’s vital that we dedicate more time to ourselves and not allow work to consume our entire lives, which is becoming increasingly difficult in the UK.

What does work mean to you?

Work is part of my identity. I feel it is part of my purpose in life to help others to become healthy, develop to their full potential and have better lives. I want to inspire people to take responsibility for their own happiness and look to long-term solutions, rather than quick fixes. Seeing the people I have helped develop and grow is incredibly rewarding – it spurs me on and is confirmation that I am in the right line of work.

What’s your ultimate relaxer?

A sauna and steam spa with my girl friends, loads of laughter, followed by a massage. These allow me to fully unwind and become in tune with myself. Sometimes you just need to block out all of the world’s noise for a few hours in order to feel refreshed and recharge your batteries!

Angelica Malin

Angelica is Founder & Editor-in-Chief at About Time. A 26-year old entrepreneur with a passion for nut butter, yoga & coconut milk lattes, she’s all about girl power, and can be found juggling spreadsheets with downwards dogs. Say hello: angelica@abouttimemagazine.co.uk.