Women tell Women

How not to lose yourself in work?

— Leticia Ortin

As a society, we are programmed to produce. As our work gets digitized, we are under growing pressure to perform – better and more. No wonder it’s getting unhealthy. Especially as women, we face greater expectations to gain the same status or job position as men by proving our worth, working twice as hard for a smaller salary.

How do we feel? We rarely ask ourselves this question. I was hired at a studio where you were valued for extra (unpaid) hours. I’ve realized how depressed I was about investing all my energy into a job that exploited me. So I stopped leaving late and decided to finish on time. I had to face criticism for being unhelpful.

We believe that we must take advantage of all the gaps during the day to work more, do more but I believe that’s not the case. We should use these moments to recharge, get inspired. To stop, breathe, walk, rest. Seems like a waste of time, doesn’t it?

It took me a long time, and several therapy sessions, to understand that even though time is money, taking a pause can be more productive than burning myself out. I am looking for moments when I can dedicate my energy to something else, take a break from the computer, e-mails or projects. These are some of the most victorious and enjoyable moments of my week.

I am currently working on finding balance and making my relationship with work healthier. I save up some time every day in the afternoon to make plans or rest. I work weekends only when necessary. I am transparent with my clients about my work schedule and I offer realistic timings. Above all, I dare to say no. I am more confident to turn down projects that I feel will make me stressed or that do not interest me enough.

We must learn to prioritize ourselves. Our work doesn’t define our worth even though at times, we tend to believe it does. Eventually, nothing is as important as the relationships we have in our lives. It’s good to cherish them as least as much as professional achievements.

Leticia Ortin –
Graphic Designer

Leticia Ortin is the mind behind Ara Estudio – a space for design, visual identity creation, experimentation and art direction. Specializing in cultural projects, exhibition graphic design and branding, she aims to reconcile her clients’ vision with her minimalist yet experimental & inclusive aesthetic.