A host of factors, developments, and dynamics have made most industries more competitive than ever. As a result so many of us wonder whether there is still such a thing as work-life balance. We reached out to the community to hear perspectives on finding the right balance.

Allysa Esparza | Business Owner & Taco Lover

Most of the time, work life balance is uneven for us, because we are a small business with few employees. Our company is in its infancy stage and requires a lot of time and effort. I can remember when I was in college full time, and working part time, I thought that my plate was “full” but little did I know what a full plate really meant. Back then, I had time to attend class, study and even hang out with friends for dinner. Now, I’m lucky if I get a proper meal in throughout the day! However, it’s honestly not a complaint. Read more>>

Marlene L. Ramirez | Architect

Work-life balance was the driving factor in starting my own business. The Architecture profession felt unforgiving in allowing parents to enjoy the profession while also creating success at home. I think about this balance all the time. It is a primary reason why I feel so few women are licensed architects compared to men. Less than 20% of licensed architects in the U.S. are female while they make up approximately 50% of architecture students. Lessons we are learning through the pandemic include the allowance for remote work in this industry which can affect these low numbers. There is still a lot of work to be done. Read more>>

Deniss Cantor | Licensed Therapist, Mental Health Advocate and Speaker

Managing work-life balance has been something that I work with my patients on for some time now but when I started to get extend my work to Instagram and YouTube, I found it harder to keep my own boundaries. I absolutely love being a therapist and created mental health content to help increase access and understanding about mental health– I loved it so much I was doing it 12-14 hours a day. It was definitely NOT sustainable and eventually I felt burnt out. I struggled with concentration, sleep, and I was making a lot of mistakes. Read more>>

Gonzalo “El Niño” Torres | Cultural Crossover Specialist || Creative Editor

I am constantly checking myself when it comes to a work life balance. I am married and have two daughters. a 5 year old and a 2 year old and have just started my company. I want to give love and attention to all of these things. The trick is that you have to find a balance if you want to enjoy it all. I love what I do and I very much enjoy working. It is very easy for me to dive into a project and get lost for hours, weeks, or months. Read more>>

Kilo Angeleno | Reggaeton Artist

Overtime I’ve learned that world-class balance is achieved (and starts) by dedicating my first waking hour of the day to reflection, learning, and exercise. Miserable wisdom and Happy ignorance work best when working together. It’s one foot in order and the other in chaos. That’s how I think of balance- Being willing to make adjustments and manifesting our gifts all while scheduling vacations and weekend getaways. Read more>>

Tessa Markle | Actress, Filmmaker, Podcaster

I’ve come to accept the fact that the scales will never actually be balanced. As long as you have all the categories of your life up on the scale and it’s not tipping over with weight from any one individually, you can be happy and successful. I tend to be a workaholic by nature, but I’ve become much more aware of it and able to catch myself when I start down that rabbit hole. The solution? Sometimes it’s taking time off of my day job. Read more>>

Ruth Yaro | Photographer

Balance doesn’t come naturally to me, I’m definitely the type who wants to stay productive all the time and I get hard on myself if I take time to rest. I’ve leaned how needed and important balance is to be the best version of yourself. It’s something I have to consciously make myself work on to find balance so I don’t burn out. Read more>>

Stephen Monroe Taylor | Woodworker/Craftsman & Actor

In addition to being a woodworker, I am a TV and film actor. Sometimes that means I’m shooting for a day or two and then I’m done, and other times I can be away for a month or months at a time. That’s not something that is in my control, but I do try and make up for that lost time by spending more time with my family before I leave or when I get home. Before I was married and had a child, I relished the idea of shooting in a foreign country or spending long days on set. Now, while I love the work, I feel more drawn to my family because time with them is precious. My son just turned nine and he is changing every day. When we was two, I missed four months of his life while shooting a miniseries in Mexico. What milestones took place while I was away? Did I miss the opportunity to teach him something he needed to learn from his dad? He doesn’t even remember him being gone, but I do, and I think about it a lot. Read more>>

Austin Sepulveda | Film & Commercial Producer

Well, that is a very layered and complex question. I feel like I don’t really keep traditional hours and even the definition of what is work can sometimes be a bit vague. Like watching a film or TV show is I guess work, but I would never consider it that. I think “balance” is something unique to every person and their individual situation and you can’t really model yours after other people. For me, especially if I am really into a project, the term work goes away. I know that sounds cliché, but if I am up until 1 AM talking about a project with a writer, I don’t leave that phone call or meeting saying to myself – “Wow I really need to cut back on these hours and find more balance.” I enjoy burning the candle at both ends. And at times there is a runner’s high that takes effect and I feel like I run out of hours in the day well before I run out of energy. Read more>>

Consuelo Althouse | Director Of Photography

When investing in the beginnings of any career, the best bet to build momentum is to throw in your all. Say yes to opportunity and brave the learning curve by chipping away, day by day. As you sharpen your tools, the path often forms under your feet. Putting in the hours is important, but it is easy for commitment and persistence to bulldoze crucial components that not only enhance the work, but foster some semblance of life balance. Rest, play and exploration outside of the craft is just as important to the work as it is to our mental well being. Read more>>

Kirsten Gavina | Makeup Artist + Hairstylist

Work balance was definitely an issue for me at the beginning of my career. All I wanted was to get ahead and become successful, so I worked pretty much 24/7 and never gave myself a break. I soon realized this was so unhealthy for me both emotionally and physically. I had no social life anymore, I was always stressed out, and I was truly exhausted. It is so important to allow yourself to rest and recover! I stand by this so strongly, give your body and brain a break! Read more>>

Andrea Adams | Professor

I quite literally never used to have one. I felt like I needed to wear a tshirt all the time which read ‘I AM THE JOB’ just so everyone would know to stand out of the way so I could bomb my way through job after job, working 19 hours a day. Holidays were an opportunity to gather reference, build new lectures, and ‘work’ (meaning sit with my laptop and stress out about whatever job I was on), rather than, uh, be on holiday. Burnout was inevitable although I feel fortunate that pandemic actually created a soft landing; moving online has allowed me to gauge my time better, manage jobs better, and consider what self care or time spent relaxing and recharging actually means to my own self-interest as well as my ability to do my work. Read more>>

Katelyn Ctvrtlik | Pilates Instructor and Owner

My work life balanced has changed immensely. When I first opened my business, I was 23 and a workaholic. I woke up at 4:45am everyday and worked a 15 hour day…. yikes! Fast forward to 6 years later and I am in a completely different headspace. I have set boundaries and it feels incredible to say NO. I have developed time for my work, my business, my relationships and most importantly myself. Read more>>

Charlie Scovill | Producer, Instrumentalist and Composer

The journey to finding your most effective way of working in a creative field, while also living, is probably the most difficult thing, but the most rewarding. I know a lot of people who make their living from writing, acting, singing, drawing. One can feel a constant pressure to create, knowing it’s all they have. I’m sure a lot of us have heard the saying “work smarter, not harder”. The most difficult thing is figuring out how to work smarter. The journey to get there might be a life-long process of refinement, but it’s creative nirvana that we all wish to achieve. It’s easy to be busy and run yourself to a pulp if you aren’t careful. Read more>>

Laura Mishkin | Illustrator & Architect

I began illustrating as an activity to pass the time commuting to work (when I’m not illustrating, I’m working at Loescher Meachem Architects in downtown LA), but it’s grown from a hobby to a small business. Even so, I hesitate to call it work – it’s still enjoyable. My life easily bleeds into my work as an illustrator, and inspiration is never far when I’m able to find humor in my everyday life. I like to draw on interactions I find confusing, upsetting, or absurd – this means a lot of my work doubles as a visual diary. I’ve had challenges navigating how much of my personal life I can and should share through my art, but I’ve found that vulnerability resonates. Read more>>

Christie Conochalla | Film Director

Oh man, this is the question, the ultimate question! We are not raised to have a balance here in this country, at least I wasn’t. I was raised to Work and for many many years work ruled my life and I felt successful because I was endlessly tired with no time for myself. It took the pandemic to really open my eyes. I was one of the millions of people who suddenly had no access to work, which to me at the time was my purpose and my life force. When I woke up day in and day out seeing that I’d spent a decade feeling success from outward sources with little to nothing to show for it all, it changed my entire perspective. Read more>>

Xiaochen Huang | Filmmaker

I think for a healthy work-life balance. I need time for work, friends, family and myself. Also, do something every day that will help me in the future, not just in the present. Recently, I spend more and more time working. But gladly, filmmaking is one of the things that I enjoy the most in my life. Also, most of my friends are also my co-workers, so I spend time with them frequently. For friends with whom I don’t work with, I try to see them once every two weeks. I call my family five times a week and text them before I go to bed, so they know I’m safe and well. Read more>>

Vicky Lin | Designer and Illustrator

My work life balance has changed pretty drastically recently since I finished my spring semester of college and started interning. During school, I had a slightly better balance of work (school) and life ratio. However, nowadays, a good percentage of my day is occupied with work. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing nor has it negatively impacted me. Realizing how precious the remaining hours of my day is makes me want to spend it meaningfully. During my non-working hours I try to maintain a healthier lifestyle (taking walks with my dog, neighborhood strolls, and even just short drives to boost my mood). The time crunch makes me look forward to my non-working hours and honestly, it makes me feel more productive. Read more>>

Helene Kay | Writer & Comedian

I think it’s important to be passionate about your work and to hustle even on the days you’re not feeling it. That being said, one thing that the pandemic has taught me is that you are more than just your work. Before live performances were taken away, all I could think about was getting to the next level. I constantly measured my success based on my accomplishments (or lack thereof), which did me a disservice. Eventually, that obsession spilled into my personal relationships. Getting ahead was all I talked about, and it drove a wedge between my peers and me. When you make work your everything, you lose what makes you a hard worker in the first place. I now know that your mental health should come first. Once I understood more about why I wanted to do more and that my self-worth shouldn’t be measured by what I could brag about, I was able to go even further than I thought I could. Read more>>

Elinda Xiao | Illustration & Author

I think I didn’t realize how much control over what I put out of my work, and what I choose to draw to begin with, until my second year of college. Up until then, I was really only working on assignments. Continuing my artistic journey has meant that I’m now able to be more creative, both with my style and with my time. Read more>>

Wyatt Woodley | Artist/Producer and Creative Mix Engineer

For the longest I tried to find a ‘happy medium’ between work and my social life, but the more I focused on my work the more results I saw. For the last 6 months I’ve only been in the studio or producing and mixing from home and have not only seen an increase in quality, but in frequency of work being given to me. The music I make is what makes me happy and I am blessed to be in a position to only do that every day. Read more>>

Marine George | Actress & at times producer

I used to believe success was key in life, but as for many, COVID has changed my perspective. The work life balance is a work life stream that you may enjoy the way you please! So the balance to me is not a libra voodoo story but a way of life where you wake up every day and go towards what brings you joy/ I wish this to everyone! Read more>>

Tara Matthews, L.Ac | Acupuncturist, Energy Worker, Yoga Teacher, Business Owner and Spaceholder at Soul Body Ojai Healing Arts and Yoga Center

I feel that so much of my work in this life is about this question. I have been a student of balance since I became aware. Early in my adulthood, it served me to be a person of extremes. I could study one subject deeply, even intensely, become incredibly specified. Subject matter was consumed and integrated like a bowl of information. And I was hungry for it. It had my full attention. This kind of attention allowed me to go deep, learn and remember, earn multiple degrees, start businesses and private practice. Read more>>

Alisa Walsh | CEO

This question is something that has been asked of me many times and something that I have put some serious thought into. Given that I am in an industry that requires quite a bit of travel and in a role that comes with entertaining clients in non-traditional business hours, one would think that I am set up to fail in this balancing act. Honestly, they might be right, but they aren’t correct. I choose not to think of work/life as a binary on/off switch. Rather, I like to think of it as work/life integration. In this new age of connection, very few people are able to maintain the off at 5:00, with the family at 5:30 schedule. Read more>>

Matthew Binninger | Attorney at Law

My approach to work life balance has changed dramatically over the years. As a young criminal defense attorney, I frequently burned the candle at both ends. Whether preparing for trial, writing and litigating motions, or helping people enroll in drug treatment, my clients were my life. Nothing else mattered nearly as much. There were highs from winning at trial, getting charges dismissed, and encouraging clients to successfully complete drug treatment, for which I will always be grateful. But there were also lows when all my hard work failed to change a client’s harsh sentence or outcome. And those moments took their toll. Read more>>

Stephanie Martinez | Copywriter and Marketing Consultant

Work and life balance is a really important goal of mine. I think it changes in different seasons. Some seasons are a little bit busier than others for obvious reasons, seasonally with marketing campaigns, rebrands, or just seasons of life. My aim is to not always “feel good” but to work from a place of rest. The better the rest, the better the work. Sometimes rest is sleeping and staying home, sometimes rest is emotionally preserving, sometimes rest is mental health work or joining a new workout class for physical well-being- even a walk outside helps––I try to do that every day. Other times, rest is spiritual. For me, talking to God is a huge part of how I make it through this life. I am affirmed in those times that while work is important, I don’t get my identity from it, but rather, outwork everything from assured love. It helps me navigate what to give to and sacrifice for as well. Read more>>

Janet T Marena | Interior Designer

Work/life balance calls to us now more than ever. As my husband declared during COVID, it is not work from home, but instead live at work. As an interior designer, I continue to have conversations around this issue with my clients, many of whom previously worked outside the home, but who are now spending the vast majority of time in their houses. In California, evaluating interior and exterior spaces has become a primary focus for many clients as they seek to transform their homes to truly reflect the needs in their lives now and in the future. Read more>>

Stephanie Lopez | Illustrator and Designer

My work-life balance is still a work in progress. It is not an easy skill to master. Not only do we encounter this issue later in life, but working hard is encouraged in today’s society. After earning my bachelor’s, I became aware of what it meant to have balance. I started to freelance, and had no idea what it meant to have balance. I was working from morning to night. My mindset was “the more work I do, the more I improve, and the more work I have for my portfolio.” That quickly caused me to dread the work I was doing, and I became more critical and negative about my work. Eventually, I started doubting whether I was cut out for a creative career. I just did not feel motivated to work. Read more>>

Zuri Ali-Cole | Fine Artist | Zuri Ali Art

The concept of balance has constantly evolved for me. I went from being a full-time art student and mother back in 2015 to now an entreprenuer and mom of two. Over the years I’ve had to shift gears when needed and adjust to what made sense for my family and my mental health. At one point early into my first job postgrad, I would often equate working crazy hours and being financially independent as success, but I was extremely unhappy. I had to make a choice, would I rather do something I love and become more strategic with my streams of income, or remain unhappy in a corporate space that no longer served me? That’s when I knew I needed to regain full autonomy over my day to day life. Read more>>

Lapierre | Musician & Artist

As a recently-graduated 22-year-old New England-grown kid who just arrived in LA for the first time with the sole purpose to find success in music, the only thing on my mind was to work on my craft. Five years later, and my mindset is still on my craft, but the balance has shifted drastically. In the early days, I spent hours and hours at a time working on music (studying, writing, practicing, marketing, etc.,). On the side, I would pick up odd jobs here and there to fund the music business, ultimately leaving little time (and money) for pleasure. Read more>>

Isabel Rocio | Writer & Creative Healer

The balance I find between working and fully enjoying my life comes in waves and seasons. Up until quite recently, I held the mentality that I had to overwork myself and fill my weeks with sleepless nights in order to succeed. My introduction to working for myself was built on a “hustle” mentality, the mentality that a choice to work on your own time and your own schedule and your own plan, etc., meant having to work four times as hard as everybody else. My idea of work life balance was kind of non-existent. Read more>>

Nicole Parayno | Professional Dog Trainer

When I was working various jobs, I would spend 8-10 hrs of my day working, come home tired, stressed, always waiting for the weekend/days off. When I had days off, I would relish in time with friends, rest, and relaxation, Now that I’m self-employed, I work every single day, without a day off. I spend all my time working, building my business, and learning as I grow. Even if I come home tired, I am happier than I have ever been. I live for each day, doing what makes me happy, making my dreams a reality. To me, there is a balance in that. I work, work work, but doing so gives me the freedom to use my time in ways that I find productive. Read more>>

Amy Wade | Filmmaker, Writer, Actress, and Animal Lover

How has my balance changed over time? Honestly, I’ve never felt completely “balanced” at any stage in my life… (although not for lack of effort!) A life-long battle with depression and anxiety and suicidal thoughts has led me on a journey which I now realize, (at age 48) is ALL ABOUT the balance of mind, body, and spirit. Quite frankly, I’m not sure how I accomplished some of the things I did in my past! Looking back, I can see the instability, insecurities, and self-doubt so clearly. Read more>>

Amber Gorbett, MBA | REALTOR

Work life balance has been an evolutionary thing in my life. One consistency with my balance has been exercise. Somewhere along the lines of 24-25 years old, I figured out that I was happiest when I was working out regularly. And being in southern California, working out, outside, in the sunshine is a pretty easy thing to do. I get a regular amount of exercise daily, but I have fun while I’m exercising. I play with my kids at the park, climb the slides with them, jump on the trampoline. If it makes me sweat, I count it. Read more>>

Henry Lara | Writer

Working a full time and being a husband and father consumes most of my time. But when you have a passion you find the time. As a writer and photographer it is hard to put down inspiration. It is all around me. As an artist you cant do one without the other. Art time is needed as much as family time is needed. They go hand in hand. Balance is they key for me. It’s nutrition. Without it, there is no art. Read more>>

Alice Chang | Momtrepreneur

How My Business Taught Me to Be a Better Mother A little over a year ago, I naively had two babies simultaneously. The first was my actual son, Chance, and the second was the launch of my baby products brand, Famokids. The journey of fighting mom guilt in work life balance started. To be honest, I had no idea what I was in for. The whole premise of my business was to advocate for moms. Moms shouldn’t sacrifice style when they have kids. Moms should take care of themselve. Because happy mom, happy baby. Somehow I could champion for other moms but couldn’t find the grace to do that in my own house. Read more>>

Bailey Sorrel | Actor & Comedian

Oh the infamous work/life balance… This is truly one of the age old questions, isn’t it? I think my friends and family are getting tired of hearing my thoughts on balance, since I talk about it All. The. Time. because it’s something I really struggle with. When I first started pursuing my career, I was all work all the time. I’m a very impatient person, so I wanted to make things happen, and I wanted to make them happen fast. But I found that my relationships suffered, and my inner life suffered, and, honestly, my work suffered too. Read more>>

Alexandra Fehrman | Sound Designer, Re-Recording Mixer

My relationship to the idea of work/life balance has dramatically changed over the years. When I was first starting out I was determined to work on anything and everything I could leaving very little time for myself, friends and family. While I know that those sacrifices contributed to where I am in my career now, I have grown increasingly aware of the importance of taking time away, for myself, to recharge my creative energy. I now see my rest days, traveling, time in nature, time with family and friends as part of my work. Those experiences contribute to who I am as a creative, and how I relate to people through sound. Ultimately, I think that having a healthy work life balance helps me be more thoughtful and bring a more unique perspective into my work. I don’t feel guilty about taking time for myself anymore. Read more>>

Jeremy Somers | Creative Director of things, Designer of things, Dad of things.

It’s massively shifted from one end of the spectrum to the other. In my twenties it was work work work – I did not much else – and I loved it! After moving to LA and forcing ourselves to explore and experience everything LA had to offer – I just had this realisation that THAT was what life was actually about. After having my first child, it was even more pronounced a feeling, so much so that my balance is wayyy weighted on the other side of the scale now, and I focus on doing the minimum effective dose of work time, and being super productive in the time I do work. Read more>>

Jose Diaz | audio engineer/producer

Since moving to LA, balancing work, music, and personal life has been a tough yet educational journey. Throughout my life, I always enjoyed music as a passionate hobby. As I got older and the time came to decide what I wanted to do and be in life, it was clear I wanted to further my career in audio engineering. Time management has never been a friend of mine but becoming fully independent, moving across the country with a couple friends, and paying my own bills opened my eyes to how capable I really am of obtaining everything I want. In 2018, we made the move to Hollywood. Read more>>

Lacie RZ Porta | Flower Preservation Artist

After being in business for myself for the last 4+ years, my work life balance has evolved and changed a lot over the years. Like most entrepreneurs, I started my business with very little balance, it was all work. Work consumed me when I was actually working, when I wasn’t, when I was supposed to be “relaxing”, when I was supposed to be taking a break, it was all work. But I think that is inevitable when first launching any business or creative journey. And definitely helped to catapult my business quickly! Read more>>

Mikee Castaneda | Self employed hairstylist

I work harder for myself than I’ve worked for any other employer. When I first became self employed, I worked every minute I was awake. I became a little obsessed with making as much money as I could. I soon realized that wasn’t the way to go. I had to make sure that I took time out for myself. I needed to rest so that I could produce better work. Now I make sure I have a very healthy balance of work and home life. When I’m at work I give my clients my best, and in between appointments, I try to reply to emails and inquiries. When I’m home I dedicate that time to my daughter and my own hobbies and interests. Sometimes I still work from home but I always catch myself before it becomes too unbalanced. Read more>>