David Glover

Finding Work-Life Balance

Two and a bit years into my working life, I was introduced to the concept of work-life balance. Up until then, it wasn’t something that I had considered at all. As far as I was concerned, work was an intrinsic part of life. So what is work-life balance? And how has it changed, now that a larger portion of the working world has experienced a shift that hypothetically could result in more life and less work?

In early 2019, I replaced my hardhat, measuring tape, and steel-capped boots with a laptop, an extra screen, and my ‘day-time’ pajamas, as I shifted careers from Mechanical Engineering to Digital Marketing. I had always struggled with the rigidity of conventional work hours, which resulted in me always arriving to work at 7:05am, five minutes after the start time and 20 minutes after most others arrived. I was sticking it to the man, fighting the good fight. At the end of the day, I would drive out of the gate and that was it. Work was done. Life started. The stereo was turned up, the NSFW lyrics rang through my vocal cords, and I was free for another 14 hours and 5 minutes, until the process started again.

I replaced my hardhat, measuring tape and steel-capped boots with a laptop, an extra screen and my ‘day-time’ pajamas.

The distinction between work and life was apparent and clear. Black and white. There was very limited influence from my work on my “life”. If a colleague phoned me at 7pm, the chance of that call being answered was equal to exactly zero. The grey area was non-existent. “This is life time, get your work energy outta here.” When I started down the digital marketing path, I ran into situations that I believe a lot of people have run into since Covid-19 landed, and working from home became the norm. I am very seldom awake at 7am and I have not ironed a single piece of clothing since I started working from home. I lied earlier when I said ‘day-time’ pajamas, they’re the same as my night time pajamas. I have one meeting shirt and it has a very well defined role in my life, it’s for meetings and I don’t have meeting pants, no one does.

Beyond the above-mentioned changes, which are obviously awesome, the line between work and life has become less distinct. The grey area has grown. Checking my emails at 7pm is no longer strictly forbidden, sometimes I do work on Saturdays, and sometimes I set aside Sunday afternoons to finish off tasks that I didn’t get to during the week. 

I have been on this work-from-home journey for over two years now, and there have been periods where I have let the scales shift too far in favour of life, as well as too far in favour of work. So, here are some tools that I have found useful in maintaining a somewhat healthy work-life balance, in a post apocalyptic world.

Too much life, not enough work?

Too much work, not enough life?

Set non-negotiables for yourself that your boss is aware of. For me, it’s kickboxing. 5:30 to 7:30pm I’m not working. If something needs to be done, I’ll do it after that or tomorrow, everyone knows that.

Take at least one full day off during the week. For me that’s usually Saturday.

Get your work in order on Sunday afternoon. There is seldom a Sunday where I don’t spend an hour or two in front of my laptop and I can’t overstate how that sets up my work week for success. Try it, if it doesn’t work, send me a strongly worded email.

Recognise that there are going to be busy periods at work, and there are going to be quiet periods. You will fully experience the busy periods, so make the most out of the quiet periods (take some sneaky time off you hard working bastard).

Work life balance is no longer set by the arbitrary hours in a work week, or by people who only existed in black and white (boom). You are required to take responsibility for your work and if you get your work done in record time, life it on up.

Last piece of unsolicited advice.

Get outside more.

I replaced my hardhat, measuring tape and steel-capped boots with a laptop, an extra screen and my ‘day-time’ pajamas.

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  • We do not work on the weekends, so please do not expect responses from us over the weekend unless it has been prearranged for us to be available. If we are in the middle of a very large launch 50k + and being available on the weekends has been agreed upon, then of course we’ll be available. If it is prearranged we can work on the odd weekend with no issues, ideally we require a month’s notice to arrange this. Work life balance is important to us.
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Ideally we request that we have a 10% increase in budget for testing for a week prior to launching. If the budget can not be spared we will take that 10% from the existing budget.

Need to Know:

  • Please do not expect a full layout of our intended strategy, targeting plan or daily emails

– We are very flexible and are happy to provide you with as much transparency as you like but this is not done as a standard operating procedure.

– Just let us know if you want more insights and then maybe a 30-minute weekly call is a better way to discuss strategies and plans than lengthy emails.

– We are in your account multiple times a day assessing the data, strategizing and pivoting. The more time we have to focus on this the better for all of us.

  • Please know that we will very seldom touch a campaign for the first 72 hours because it takes 72 hours for the campaign to stabilize and a minimum of three days for campaigns to exit the learning phase but it can also be a lot longer, depending on budget, costs of clicks and other important metrics as well as if we’re running tests, how many ads sets we have, number of ads etc.

– The only time we’ll touch a campaign in the first 3 days is if it’s necessary and the early signs show that the campaign as it is will never reach our goals, then we’ll pivot.

  • There may be more creativity for you to approve throughout the launch as we introduce countdown ads, reminder ads and sales ads.

– Often we will make these during the launch as they are less important to prioritize in that first week when we are trying to launch opt-in or sales ads.

  • Between 3-7 days there is a lot of machine learning going on.

– We will be making minor adjustments to bids, budget etc. but ideally we can see the first week as a data acquisition week, then we start optimizing once we have enough significant data and test results.

Post-Launch