Monthly Archives: May 2013

How to Obtain a True “Work-Life” Balance

By: Sandy Schest

May 20, 2013

How to Obtain a True “Work-Life” Balance

Do you work to live or live to work?  Is it possible to achieve an equal work-life balance?   I thought so until I watched Dan Thurmon’s presentation at TED.  There were a couple main take-a-ways that I think can really help to improve your “work-life balance.”

It’s unrealistic to think that you can obtain a 50/50 work-life balance.  I stopped believing long ago that I was a champion multi-tasker.  I’ve learned that if I focus on the item at hand with my complete, undivided attention, I can accomplish a lot more…and make my work more efficient.  Having said that, I’ve also learned how to switch between numerous tasks at a moment’s notice and give those tasks my complete attention.  I’ve found this system, along with some organization, to really help in my professional and personal lives.  To do this, you need to focus your energy and become engaged in the “art of balance”.  You have to balance the aspects of your life according to what’s important to you.  If all aspects take top priority, then you probably need to re-prioritize.  According to Thurmon, there are 5 Spheres of Success (in no particular order) that you should focus on balancing….and I happen to agree!

  1. Work
  2. Relationships
  3. Health
  4. Spirituality
  5. Personal Interests

These “spheres” are always interacting together, creating an infinite pattern that helps you connect.  By learning to give a little here and there, you are able to grow, serve others (your clients, bosses, family), love and learn.  If you evaluate your focus and vision and concentrate on what you want, you allow yourself to move outside of your comfort zone to achieve these visions.  You need to learn to harness the power of your purpose and leverage it in your favor.  Launch into uncertainty with energy and drive, lean forward into changes and take them head on.  Overall, you will feel more organized and balanced.

Be unbalanced on purpose.  Being unbalanced is okay if that’s what you set out to do.  The goal is to be unbalanced on purpose, not in response to what’s going on in your life.  By beating yourself up on this “idea of balance,” you restrict your own opportunities.  Balance is all about the patterns in your life.  Transcend your current patterns if you want to grow; you have to be somewhat “off balance” if order to learn.  If you can keep grip on each pattern, you will learn how to thrive in an unbalanced environment and it will prove to be an effective method.

I challenge you to let go of the pursuit of a work-life balance.  Focus on each “Sphere of Success” with your full, undivided attention.  I encourage you to view the presentation first-hand.  It will definitely change your thoughts on the work-life balance

Off Balance on Purpose

How to Stay Up to Date in an Industry That Changes Daily

By: Sandy Schest

May 14, 2013

How to Stay Up to Date in an Industry That Changes Daily

When I first started at Bayard over a year ago, I was hired as a member of the digital team.  I had a hand in every account that had any sort of digital aspect, managed online ad campaigns and assisted in developing social media pages, landing pages and microsites.  Being just a year out of college, I constantly struggled with a routine to stay up to date on all of the digital changes and trends in the industry.  After a while, I developed a little system so that I could stay knowledgeable on the products and industry I represented.

  • Read Up

I spend an hour or two everyday reading relevant blogs and forums.  To be considered an expert in my industry, I need to stay up to date on what’s going on.  The digital world changes on a daily basis and to keep up with the changing trends, I need to invest a good part of my time into researching the changing industry.  I have a set list of sites I visit every day, not including the random articles I come across from numerous sources.

  • Stay Connected

When I was in college, I checked my Facebook account multiple times a day. Now that I have a career, I find myself checking LinkedIn multiple times a day.  Not only do I check out my connections, I browse different companies and influencers.  There are influential CEOs and business people that post articles to LinkedIn on a daily basis and the content they add is fascinating.  When I find myself reading more than one article written by the same person, I follow them on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.  If I really like the article, I will tweet about it and tag them in my post.    Because I am in the advertising industry, I have a lot of agency related companies and people that I follow, as well as numerous groups on LinkedIn that I belong to.  Because of this, I have multiple sources that I can visit for trending information.

  • Get Social

In my opinion, Twitter is the most effective way to communicate via social media.  Overall, Facebook may be more popular, but there is so much other information weighing a viewer down.  On Twitter, you search your feed, click on relevant or interesting links and then read the article.  You can go on Facebook with the intention of checking recent posts and messages only to end up on your friend’s- cousin’s- college roommate’s- brother’s profile 2 hours later having never checked those messages.  Twitter does a great job of sticking to its intended purpose- an effective communication platform.  While anyone can become distracted from one article to the next, I think Twitter does a good job of keeping people interested enough to stick to the feed for long periods of time.

I joined this industry, not just for the distinction of working at an agency, but also because I wanted to work in a constantly changing environment.  Learning something new every day, whether it is about my clients or the industry, keeps my position exciting and new.  After all, they say if you find something you love, you will never work a day in your life.