How to Balance Work and Life: 7 Tips

How to Balance Work and Life: 7 Tips from Inside a Global Brand Experience Agency


Studies have shown that having a healthy work-life balance can reduce chronic stress and prevent burnout in the workplace. According to Harvard Business Review, issues that arise from burned-out employees, “…cost an estimated $125 billion to $900 billion a year in healthcare spending in the United States,”

On top of this, event planning has been named one of the most stressful jobs for many reasons, which is why it’s crucial to focus on work-life balance in this industry.

So how does FIRST, and how can you, prioritize work-life balance?


As part of our monthly internal panel series, our VP of Event Operations, Elaine Deakers, Event Technology Director, Michael Judeh, Director of Event Tech, Weijie Huang, Director, Solutions Team Management, Margaret O’Kane, and VP of Client Services, Paul Stephenson, all got together to discuss how they achieve a work-life balance.

Work-life balance will look different for everyone. It’s important to understand that what works for someone else, might not be the best approach for you. Everyone has different working styles, motivators, and priorities, so it’s essential to find a work-life balance that allows you to be efficient in your work while taking care of your physical and mental well-being.

Here are 7 Tips from our panel on how to achieve a Work-Life Balance:


Tip 1: Be easy on yourself.

Throughout your career, your priorities will change, and that’s okay. There will be moments in your life where you value putting in extra time to further your career, and there will be moments in your life where you prioritize your personal and family life. 


Tip 2: Take advantage of downtime when you can.

Try to appreciate any downtime you have in quieter periods. Make room during that time for personal activities and increased balance.


Tip 3: Model balanced behavior.

Whether you’re a people manager or individual contributor in your role, make your work-life balance visible. Making it visible to others helps build a positive culture around the concept of balance and ensures others see the boundaries you set, and learn from them. You’re in the driver’s seat of how you spend your time. Client priorities in the days leading up to delivering an experience will still come first, particularly when working for an agency. However, setting parameters for how you can detach and unwind is vital so you can take care of your mental well-being for the long term.

FIRST Internal Panel - Work Life Balance

Tip 4: Set boundaries.

Be strict with your needs – especially when working with people across multiple time zones. This includes setting boundaries and respecting them. It’s important to remember that everyone has their own work-life balance, so when setting your boundaries, be respectful and clear.


Tip 5: Use a calendar.

Use a calendar to map out professional and personal appointments. It’s important to create a thorough calendar and time block everything from meetings, meals, gym sessions, and more. Planning a specific schedule will help you follow your work-life balance and help others have clarity on your schedule. 


Tip 6: 20/20/20.

The 20/20/20 method refers to taking 20 seconds every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away. Following this method is a great way to remind yourself to take small breaks throughout the day, so make sure to set a timer!


Tip 7: Listen to yourself.

As we established, work-life balance will look different for everyone, which is why it’s crucial to listen to yourself and your priorities when establishing a balance.

Work-life balance is always changing, so it’s important to constantly define and redefine your priorities and goals and then adapt your schedule to help you better achieve those goals and manage your time. What seems to be working for you right now, might not work for you in a year. However you might achieve your work-life balance, the most important point is to have it and make it a priority, regardless of your occupation or industry.

Stay tuned for more stories, takeaways, and moments from our global teams!