7 steps for maintaining your work-life balance

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

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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