24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. Junior investment bankers regularly work 80-90 hours a week. Many other high profile professions require the same level of commitment. Often those on the outside claim that working 80-90 hours a week is bad/wrong/terrible/silly/etc but we’ve spoken with so many folks who say working that much has been the best decision of their life – it allowed them to develop a deep and strong skill set far faster than would have been possible otherwise. In other words, by working 2x the hours, they were able to generate 5x or more the rewards. And depending on where you are in your career, investing heavily in your skills and competence can pay dividends for a long time.

Tasleem Lee | Multidisciplinary Artist & Entrepreneur

In the early part of this year I found myself out of balance on multiple occasions. I was battling between overworking myself and also feeling like I wasn’t doing enough.. I actually was doing a lot more than I realized at the time. I was working myself too much to the point where I felt a bit loopy and then I quickly learned how to regain my balance by developing a system and a schedule that I felt worked best for me. I even incorporated an off day into my schedule which sometimes I still feel guilty about. Read more>>

Alice Airoldi | Film Director & Editor

I grew up thinking that if you weren’t sacrificing any of your free time and personal life to further your career, you weren’t working hard enough. Studying media arts in college reinforced this belief for me, as it is a field of study that many would consider less of a “real career” than more traditional ones. This leads students to push themselves ever harder to prove that they are working just as hard as everyone else. I learned over time that a life that doesn’t leave space for personal developments, time with loved ones, or leisure activities, is not something I want. I am lucky to be working in a field I am extremely passionate about, but this makes it harder to “log off” and completely disconnect on my days off. Read more>>

Tina Wang | Performance Artist + Yoga Instructor

It is frustrating that there are professions that do not have rest embedded into their paychecks with paid time off, vacations, health insurance, and of course, a substantial paycheck to enjoy that rest time. Once art making became both a part of my life and work, I had to recalibrate my definition of what balance looked like for each project I took. The summer before starting my MFA program in Chicago, I would say is when I had the best opportunities in the realm of being financially comfortable in a full time job (59k/year) while making art. In doing so, I sacrificed my health and being a good friend to others and myself. It was a good lesson of what my limits were. In finding those, I am making better decisions and creating better structures for when I will juggle a similar future situation. Read more>>

Krystal De Souza | Empowerment Coach

At the beginning I was very much work focused. I was building a business from the ground up. However that lead to burn out much faster than I thought and I found myself exhausted. As a result of that I had to learn to find a good work/play balance. As an entrepreneur you take your work home with you, so it’s always around. Now that I’ve found better balance I am able to better serve myself and my clients. Read more>>

Angela J Garcia | Nonprofit Executive Director

Work life balance is a matter of intentional decision-making and power. We have the power to plan how we use our time and how we live our values and that changes as we move through life and career. In my teens and twenties, I put my focus on exploring my own interests and talents while experiencing other countries, cultures, and work environments. I studied, worked, and volunteered in 5 countries over 10 years, clearly defining what wasn’t a good fit for my future while also coming to realize what brought me the most joy and fulfillment. Read more>>

Justin Chimienti | Salesperson, Photographer and Travel Enthusiast

Work life balance has certainly evolved for me over the course of my career. When I was in my twenties, I was very career focused and took very little time off to enjoy my family and hobbies. Even when I did take the time it was difficult for me to fully pull away from work and unfortunately, I wasn’t fully disconnected and focused on myself or my family. I think the main reason for this lack of balance was that I had chosen a sales career which was a 100% commission job. Essentially if I wasn’t selling, I wasn’t making money so work always seemed to take the priority, especially early on as I was establishing my account list and building a nest egg. It wasn’t until I was in my late thirties that I took my first 2-week vacation. By then I had more money in the bank, I was established in my career and I was able to afford more time away from work. Read more>>

Kela Trishaan | Insurance Professional & Content Creator

Work life balance is something I’ve just come value in the past few years. Before I had a child and husband I was known for doing all of the OT and trying to climb all of the ladders because that’s what success meant to me. I eventually got to a point where I was completely burned out and wondering what else there is to life besides working. Add to it missing out on family events, losing family members that you felt you had more time with, I knew I needed to make a change. After the birth of my son, I’ve made a conscious effort to set boundaries with work so I can still live my life and create memories. I will still work OT here and there but it’s not “mandatory” as I used to treat it in previous years. It’s important for everyone whether you have a family or not to make time for a life and understand that working is to fund your life, not become your life. Read more>>

Jaime Holm | CEO / Creative Director @ Experiential Marketing Co. (Tinker Tin), Manufacturing Company (Made By Tinker Tin) , Event Venue (The Penny), & Vintage Trailer Campground (The Trailer Pond)

Work Life Balance is such a hot topic! There are so many different theories around it, tutorials on how to maximize time, boundaries on saying Yes and No to create balance etc. and the list goes on. Our thoughts on it though might not be the most popular! We realistically believe that majority of the population (ourselves included), can not compartmentalize our brains in that way, nor should we, as it’s not natural! Work is important aspect to life, but family and friends and downtime is equally as important! When we are going through something hard personally, we don’t necessarily agree with the narrative that is pushed in the work force that you have to ‘leave that at home’ and vice versa when work is hard and as a society we are pushed to ‘leave that at work’. Read more>>

Alexandria Neonakis | Freelance Illustrator and Concept Artist for games and books

When I started I bought heavily into hustle culture. I thought that to be a successful artist meant you had to be working 24/7. When I was younger, learning how to paint and draw, I spent a lot of time online reading forums that cultivated that idea. If you weren’t drawing every day you were wasting hours. If you weren’t constantly practicing you were going to lose opportunities to people who were. I’ve since done a 180 on that. First of all, it’s unhealthy on basically every level. Mentally it’s the fastest track to burn out. I overworked myself to burn out in 2018. It’s maybe one of the scariest things that can happen to a creative professional because no matter how hard you try or feel you need to get back up and do work, your body just can’t. Read more>>

Maggi McDonald | Creative

Starting out as an artist I was doing all the things all the time. I never said no to anything and worked pretty much 7 days a week. There was this excitement and also fear that if I took my foot of the pedal for only just a second I will lose momentum and everything I was working so hard for would dissapear. Which of course is not how it works but a very normal thought process when you are building something up from nothing, even more so when you’re self taught and feeling a bit like an imposter. Read more>>

AMANDA RESTIVO | Singer/Vocal Coach/Yoga Instructor

Like many people throughout the course of the pandemic, my ideas about a work/life balance have changed. Prior to the pandemic, I was commuting to work places over 50 miles away and spending over 8 hours a week driving.
While I value my alone time while driving, I did not value the stress of traffic, the dangers of driving late at night or in the rain. Not to mention the toll it took on my car and wallet as gas prices have continually gotten higher. I am lucky enough to have a profession in which I can work from home and continue to teach all of my wonderful students from the safety and comfort of my room. Read more>>

Siladityaa Sharma | Creative Technologist

I will preface my answer by saying that I did not have any work-life balance initially, especially during high school and my first year of college. I was utterly dead focused on just getting the most work done possible to get good grades, and guess what? I did not get good grades or social life. See, the thing is, since high school, I had always been able to put off work till the last minute and come up with good work by pulling all-nighters. This became a habit that did not bode well in college—especially at a college like ArtCenter. At ArtCenter, in many majors, there is a common belief that if you didn’t pull all-nighters to do your work, it probably isn’t very in-depth or good because you did not put in the hours. Read more>>

Kristen Kacinski | Master NLP Practitioner & Healer

I used to think that balance was something that would come when I had more success. When there was more money…when I had more team members…when my platform got bigger and my customer base grew…then I could have the balance. Over time I started to realize that balance is a choice. We have to choose consciously to end our work day. We have to choose to fill up our life with things other than work. And interestingly for some of us, this choice can feel impossible. For me, I used to get a lot of validation out of my business. It used to make me feel like I mattered. So for me to choose to end my work day and create balance in my life… on some level it felt like I was walking away from the thing that proved I mattered. Read more>>