What’s the right balance between work and non-work time? The traditional 9-5 has slowly disappeared with the emails and zoom and texting going far beyond traditional business hours. We asked members of our community to share with us how they think about work-life balance.

Molly McNamee | Virtual Personal Trainer

If 2020 has taught me anything, it is that there must be a balance between work and personal time. This year, I was forced to move my entire personal training business online. I now virtually meet with clients from my home. All of my workout videos are filmed in my living room. I’ve spent hours creating and perfecting my virtual gym platform from my couch. I used to go somewhere to work, and now my office and my home are one in the same. Because of this, it can be hard to “clock out” at the end of the day. I also work for myself. So, I don’t have a boss restricting my work hours. If I’m living in my office, I may as well work all the time, right? No! After a month of living this way, I decided to give myself work hours. Outside of those hours I am supposed to turn my work brain off. To be expected, my work hours sometimes flow into my personal time. Read more>>

Monique Loveless | Media Correspondent & Producer

I use to be a workaholic. My identity was steeped in my work because I am such a creative but when COVID-19 hit everything changed for me. It was a wake-up call for me to reset my values, my worth, to start really evaluating myself and all the other things I truly wanted out of life. Having that type of downtime began my journey of a true work-life balance. As it’s so important to have to be able to readjust your goals or path, receive clarity to take the right steps, and rejuvenate with self-care/love. Read more>>

Reylia Slaby | Fine Art Photographer

In everything I do, having that balance is a super necessary component. There are several things debilitating to your work and your art, and one of them is restricting yourself to enjoying things in daily life, solely because they aren’t your main “work” or your “art”. This year especially has lead me to see how much pressure I put on myself in the past. I would consistently give myself a hard time for putting time and energy into a new craft or skill, just because it wasn’t photography. Subconsciously, I may have also been scared to discover something that I may like more than photography. But that isn’t a healthy relationship with your craft. What I didn’t realize, is that everything a person does bleeds into the other, and we shouldn’t feel nervous with finding love in other things. This year I was hospitalized. It took hearing that I could have died to finally put things into perspective. Read more>>

Chary Sathea | Social Media Strategist & Co-Founder

In my early twenties, I thought about the hustle a lot. I have always been a work-consumed individual. When you’re a 20-somethings working in the fashion industry in New York City, there is no sense of “balance.” Especially when you are also trying to establish yourself as a young professional. However, as I have matured in my career and to protect my mental health, I have implemented boundaries. Not to mention, shifting industries as well has contributed to finding more balance in my life. I don’t enable social media notifications on the weekends, and I casually check in after 5pm. Finding time to recover and re-charge, that is vital to continue to hustle and produce great work. Read more>>

Christie Hayden | Owner

My work life balance is distilled in the saying, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Within the arts and so many other entertainment-type disciplines, your life bleeds over into your work and your work bleeds over into your life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve made so many amazing friends working in art. These friends are whip smart, and they challenge me to be better, do more, and think differently. My work has brought me so much; I don’t want to limit it to just being a small portion of my life. Read more>>

Shannon Doronio | Graphic Designer, Educator & Creative Problem Solver

I think balance as a life-skill is one of the most needed and least understood practices. In my early 20s, I thought of balance as a state of total stabilization-stillness. If stasis was the goal, then my strategy was to make decisions based on the safest, or most manageable result. Things that were risky or unknown were avoided in the name of maintaining “balance.” The result of that practice was keeping a job I didn’t like—because the money was stable. I stayed in a relationship that wasn’t terrible but definitely wasn’t exciting or deeply intimate—because it was predictable. I had a lot of “stasis” but I was completely unhappy and unhealthy. The predictability was soul-crushing, and I hit a spiritual wall. I quit my office job and started bartending, I left the relationship, I went to art school. I completely upended my life and chose to commit to things that were much less predictable. Read more>>

Troy Farmer | Creative Director

The way we think about work-life balance has most definitely evolved over the past 14 years that we’ve run raven + crow studio. When we first started out, it was a ton of late nights as we strove to prove ourselves…mainly TO ourselves, but also to the early big clients who took a chance on a scrappy upstart back in our early Brooklyn days. We’re both perfectionists when it comes to our work—if we don’t think our work has reached this ideal we have in mind, it’s not in either of our natures to let it go until we feel like it’s reached that ideal, and, especially when you’re both business partners and partners in life, it’d hard not to have that bleed into your “off” hours, which just adds a whole new level of guilt/negativity—did we choose a work lifestyle that’s going to kill our relationship, you know? Then, years back, we heard this psychologist talk on some WNYC show (we listen to a LOT of NPR), maybe Brian Lehrer, and she talked about the myth of work-life balance. Read more>>

Diane Reichenberger | Licensing Executive

Balance has always been extremely important to me and yet it has always been something that I am constantly working to achieve in my life. In March of this year, when we were instructed to go into quarantine, one of the many silver linings for me was finding balance. I have never been happier in my work life because working from home and being in quarantine has allowed me the most incredible freedom to balance my life! Without the hassle of commuting, being distracted by non-essential disruptions and no events or meetings to race to in rush hour traffic, my life is now balanced in a way that works for me. I can join meditation, exercise & yoga classes via Zoom everyday at my convenience with my favorite instructors, I can attend events and listen to incredibly inspiring panelists without traveling around the world, I can have groceries and every essential item I need delivered to my home at any time. Read more>>

Joshua Elias | Abstract Artist

On a practical level be only as practical as you you need to be. Design your life, be flexible, own it all, your mistakes, your visions, and your successes. It has been used and re-used but love what you do and do what you love. Balance, The balance of understanding, when to listen and when to put forth and express. The delineation between acting in a mindset of creative improvisation or in one of fiction in a false sense, One is connected and one is unconnected to a higher source. The difference between light and an accumulation of dark spaces. The boundary between being open and being not prudent. The understanding that darkness is not depth. To know and be comfortable with the unknown. And to understand when to seek knowledge, as opposed to information. I had a friend once that told ornate tales of sophisticated, intelligent understandings of the origin of the universe. It took me years but I realized that these were a series of borrowed ideas. Read more>>

Camesha Gosha | Freelance Writer&+ Lifestyle Blogger

Work life balance used to be something that I worked toward. It was more of a priority before I had children. After a while I realized it was not something that was attainable for me. I felt like something was always coming up short. I needed a new approach. I decided to reach less for balance and focus on priorities. Giving myself attainable goals as a priority each day feels better. It also makes for days that flow a bit easier without the pressure of making sure everything shakes out evenly. As long as the priorities are accomplished, I’m good. Read more>>

Jamiel Law | Illustrator

I used to think that in order to become a better artist, I just had to draw and paint more, work more. And although this was true to an extent, I soon found out that this lifestyle wasn’t sustainable and was detrimental to my health. It reached a point that my wife had to remind me that without a healthy routine, there was no art. That really turned my thinking around for the better. Now I make time for family, exercise or just to slouching around. I find myself working more efficiently and fishing more nowadays. Read more>>

Marjorie Salvaterra | Fine Art Photographer

What’s balance? Haha. My husband and I have two teenagers, one little old lady dog and one big wild puppy. I used to try and balance everything by prioritizing. My family comes first. Then the pandemic hit and there’s no more balance really. This is a just get through it moment as peacefully as possible. I alway say peace over perfection. As a mom, I’m not a person who photographs every day and I’m ok with that. For my work, it’s really important for me to live my life. Those are the stories I want to tell. If I’m not living, I’ve got nothing to say. When I’m not driving kids to school, dance, robotics and playdates, I add balance by surrounding myself with incredible friends. My best friend is my friend since kindergarten. I have all my friends from growing up and college. And through my work, I’ve created this really special group of women. Read more>>