WITH ELINOR CHAMBERS
Sometimes it’s difficult to decipher whether we should be taking time to rest and recuperate or be getting stuck in and checking off the to-do list. And in today’s hectic society, you’re shunned if you stop yet people worry if you overdo it.
It turns out the answer lies within – it really does depend on you as an individual. Some need that space where you do nothing and just have some time out, whilst others crave stimulation and like to keep busy at their own pace. You just have to find what works for you.
We’ve been chatting to Elinor Chambers, Global Business Leader at Saatchi & Saatchi in London, and she gives you her tips on being a busy businesswoman in a bustling city.
As a businesswoman in London, do you have any fun or relaxing hobbies which allow you to take a break and indulge in self-care?
I rarely check emails once I’ve left the office – I would rather stay at work late and wrap up everything for the day than take work home with me. I have just discovered Yin Yoga which is in essence nothing more than lying in a dark room for an hour but I love it. It’s great for taking me out of our modern ‘always-on’ life!
Do you have a bed-time routine?
I’m lucky I sleep very well – although I do often dream about work! I am trying not to look at my phone in bed – but failing badly!
How do you boost your productivity?
Productivity is such a tricky one – it’s tempting to keep working harder and spending more time in the office but I do find that this actually often has a negative impact on productivity. A team that is rested and motivated tends to be much more productive than one that is tired and wrung out.
Open plan working can also really negatively impact productivity – if I know I need to really focus to get a piece of work done I will go and work in a quiet space or work from home. Flexible working is really important – especially in the creative industry as the way that people work can vary hugely.
How do you manage your time effectively when working?
Managing a team it’s also really important to ensure that everyone has been briefed on their work streams before I start my own work – this means that everyone is working in tandem and you are not holding anyone up waiting for a brief or debrief.
I love keeping a list to keep tabs on the jobs that I need to do – I also have a timing plan where I map out the projects I am working on and track them for the upcoming three months – this helps keeping on top of where I am with delivering projects and also foreseeing any pinch points that might arise – for example ensuring we don’t have two shoots at the same time or two pitches on with the same teams.
Although I am an advocate of hard work it’s also important to keep perspective and not take it too seriously – it should be a fun creative job – when it’s not feeling that then it’s time to move on.
How do you know when you need some me time and when you need to keep busy?
Finding time for me is something that I have always felt is very important – the job I have is very busy, sociable and dynamic – London is also very busy, sociable and dynamic so it’s critical to carve out some moments of calm in the week to ensure you don’t burn out! My natural inclination is to say yes to everything – I am trying hard to say ‘no’ more to have more time and head space (but it’s a struggle!).
How can young working women maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing when juggling between self-care and productivity?
To be honest I don’t think the two are conflicting. When I was young and started working in the industry I worked long hours but I also felt I had a strong positive emotional wellbeing – primarily because I really enjoyed what I was doing and the team I was working with. In theory, productivity shouldn’t come in the way of self-care. Enjoy the process. This is done best managing expectations – be clear on what you have the capacity and expertise to deliver. Don’t take on more than you can manage but push yourself a bit early on – it always pays off! Also remember – if you are not enjoying the role or the agency then it’s not the right fit and you can move on. Don’t feel stuck.
What advice do you have for young women who work in / want to move to the industry hub of London?
The industry is very exciting – don’t be timid – throw yourself in, say yes to every opportunity (you never know who you’ll meet), work hard, put the hours in and enjoy it.