7 steps for maintaining your work-life balance

Start 2015 as you mean to go on with art director Adi Goodrich's top tips for achieving creative zen.

January is a prime time to set new creative goals and deadlines for achieving them over the coming months – and if you're planning on winning your dream client, working more effectively or learning a new skill this year, you'll find Computer Arts issue 235: Make 2015 Your Best Year Ever particularly handy.

But it's important not to burn out over the coming months, as award-winning set designer and art director Adi Goodrich tells us. A former ADC Young Gun, she has an impressive roster of clients including Wieden+Kennedy, Target, Toyota and Apple. Her enthusiasm for making knows no bounds but, as she's learned, making time for yourself is just as essential.

Here, Goodrich talks through her biggest creative challenge – finding the right balance between work and life – and explains how she does it.

Adi Goodrich busy at work in her LA studio

My biggest challenge always seems to be balance. I find myself working way too hard on way too many projects and losing my personal studio time – and a bit of my sanity. When is too much work too much? It's a hard one to navigate.

On one hand I think: "I'm young, I need to make as much as I possibly can." And the other side says: "You're young, you're single, you don't have kids, try to have a little fun!"

The balance of life is deciding when my laundry basket has reached its zenith point and I need to take a day to clean my house. It's also about simply taking quiet time for myself and soaking in a bubble bath with a book while listening to some records way too loud.

I leave little notes around my house and studio to remind me to breathe, to take time to remember what's important. And I once wrote myself the following contract...

01. Choose the right jobs

I promise to choose projects/jobs I will be proud of in two of three ways: morally, aesthetically or professionally.

02. Keep learning

I promise to continue to learn and to teach; to never pretend that I know anything in its entirety.

03. Seek the right company

I promise to keep close company with the people who respect my work, my friends, my family and me.

04. Look after yourself

I promise to take care of myself. To eat healthily, take time to relax, exercise and be presentable.

05. Loved ones come first

I promise to put my loved ones first and work second.

06. Have perspective

I promise to not to be consumed with work and to remember that any day could potentially be my last.

07. Make times for others

I promise to take sincere time to listen to the people in my life and to make them feel loved.

Words: Tom May
Image: Art direction and set design by Adi Goodrich for liqueur brand Chambord’s Pinterest campaign. Photography by Stephanie Gonot.

This article first appeared in Computer Arts 235: Branding Secrets, a special issue exclusively revealing the brand strategy secrets at the world's biggest agencies. You can pick up a copy of CA 235 here.

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