Take a browse through the profiles of designers on Twitter and one pattern starts to emerge. There are incredibly frequent mentions of caffeine: ‘Coffee addict’, ‘Will work for coffee’, ‘World’s biggest coffee drinker’. You get the picture.
Now, we’re not saying that caffeine addiction is only the preserve of the world’s design community but the simple fact is that something needs to be on hand to get a hardy designer through the long all-nighter. And there we have the root of the problem.
Speak to any designer from any corner of the globe and work/life balance has invariably reared its pretty head at some point in their careers. Whether you work for yourself from a desk at home or sit in the midst of a global agency network, it’s sometimes hard to power down and refrain from making that one final sketch, amend or client phone call.
For all of us time has become one of life’s most precious commodities but it seems that designers more than any suffer from days in which 24 hours are simply never enough. But where does this come from?
Is it that designers are simply the ultimate perfectionists? Is it that they are incredibly bad at time management? Is it that work is their hobby? Or is it a dangerous combination of all of the above?
Whatever the real truth, the fact is that we can all achieve a work/life balance if we’re really disciplined with ourselves. Increasingly, we hear stories of those who work a four-day week or take a month off over the summer. If that’s possible, then surely a nine-to-five existence is not beyond the reach of most us.
In a world where designers are constantly creating guidelines for how the fruits of their labours should be handled, maybe it’s time that some thought was also given to guidelines for how best to manage the time that has gone into crafting that precious fruit.
How have you managed to achieve a better work/life balance? We'd love to hear your stories in the comments below.