That’s not me by the way – but that’s how I now feel.

How to achieve a work/life balance

For the past few years, I’ve been on quite an open journey to find happiness in my work. This is the story of that journey.

My journey began with me feeling burnt out and bored. Yet I couldn’t put my finger on why I was feeling this way. I still loved being a designer and therefore convinced myself that it was ’the designing for others’ part of my job that I’d became jaded with.

After almost 18 months of wandering around with a head full of questions, and running multiple experiments to test what the hell I was on about — I’ve finally come to a conclusion:

It wasn’t what I was designing or who I was designing for but how I was designing.

The last year or so has really taught me some amazing lessons. And the biggest of them all is how important it is to find a healthy work/life balance.

Being a freelancer and ‘entrepreneur’ it’s super easy to get sucked into work so much that it becomes a way of life. The problem with this though — is that as soon as you stop enjoying work, you stop enjoying life.

As soon as I realised this, all my thoughts and feelings towards being a commercial designer completely changed. It was a penny-dropping-lightbulb moment.

Part of the discovery came from re-reading Tim Ferris’s 4-Hour Work Week. Which if you’ve not read, I strongly recommend you do so. Whilst his whole thing may be about working ‘4-hours per week’ and ‘outsourcing’ your life — there are some crucial points that are relevant for everyone. From individuals working the classic 9–5 to entrepreneurs building the next Facebook.

The most important thing I took from this bible-thick manual was how to build a business that gives its owner the freedom to live a life outside of running it. And what it all boils down to is time — and your attitude to it.

“To enjoy life, you don’t need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realise that most things just aren’t as serious as you make them out to be.”

Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek

So after digesting the ramblings of work-life-balance-guru, Tim Ferriss — and going through my own process to figure out how I want to work — I’m dead excited to announce that as of today I have launched a new design studio.

And I’m not alone in this new venture.

Natasha Baker has been a monumental source of creativity, honesty and support throughout the work that’s been produced. And the personal pilgrimage I’ve been on over the past couple of years.

All our projects from Cactus & Co. to MindJournal have been successes due to her impeccable planning and brand strategy work. Her incredible eye for detail and quality has ensured that all the brands we’ve produced have remained of a consistently high standard.

And whilst some may think that a couple that lives and works together is a recipe for separate beds and general disaster — my advice is to not knock it until you try it.

Our new studio is called Well & Good and we’ll be based in Lewes — near where we live. As well as this we also have a third team member, Henry — our young springer spaniel. He’s not much help, to be honest, other than reminding us to take regular breaks and to step away from the screens every now and then.

So I’m officially back doing what I love — working in a way that is super productive and maintains a healthy work/life balance. And if you want to work with a reliable, efficient and highly creative design team — we’d love to hear from you. We’re offering a discount on our rate for the first 5 projects, so best to book your project in quick!

You can fill out our project booking form here to kick things off.

I appreciate you may not require such services but I just wanted to put the word out there. My only request is that if this is of no interest to you, maybe you could pass it on to someone else?

Oh, and you’re ever in Lewes, feel free to drop for a cuppa!

Thanks for reading, Ollie

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