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.

Ernest Kim | Chiropractor, Acupuncturist & Transformational Life Coach

I have a natural tendency to be a workaholic so achieving a work life balance has always been a work in progress for me, (pun intended). And ironically, this is one of the most common topics I speak to my patients about. I believe the American work culture has instilled in us a sense of duty that working 40 hours a week is the bare minimum we must commit ourselves to if we want to be successful. And with consumer debt at an all time high, it seems the working class has no choice but succumb to this type of lifestyle of tirelessly working to survive. Then you throw in the technological age we live in where we are bombarded with daily text messages, emails, notifications, and news articles and it seems our entire day is filled with the pressure to respond to these messages on top of our daily grind of work. And on top of all of that if you’re a parent, the concept of rest or self care seems to be impossible to even fathom. Read more>>

Justine Arian-Edwards | Women’s Empowerment Coach

I think balance is a myth. The reality is that we are constantly juggling multiple things at any given time and it’s nearly impossible to be in a state of balance. However, I believe that when we are honoring our values and priorities, we can feel balanced. As a mom to four children, a wife, a business owner, Vice President of a non-profit and employee, I am constantly trying to find a sense of balance and harmony. I have learned that when I give my full attention to one area of my life, that area thrives. It’s a constant choosing and re-choosing what to give my attention to at any given time, based on what my current priorities are. I’ve learned to answer the inner call which has helped me feel more balanced and has increased my satisfaction. I used to think I had to achieve balance which had me feel like I was always doing things wrong because it felt impossible. Read more>>

Free Taylor | President & Partner

First, I’d share that as a firm believer in the power of words, I’m not a fan of the concept of work/life balance. Are work and our lives two separate things? Further, work/life balance suggests to me that somehow our jobs diminish our ability to live our fullest lives. That said, I recognize the spirit of the question. I’m aware many people are doing work that doesn’t fill their soul. Some feel like they’re sprinting, yet standing still. Their jobs may not be aligned with their aspirations, and the end of the day, they feel more depleted than satisfied. The competing tensions between personal wellness, work, family, social and spiritual pursuits, to name a few, can feel overwhelming. Couple that with the illusion that somehow we can, or should, be crushing it on every front, and it’s easy to see why some people end up feeling disappointment and resentment. Read more>>

Alex Crescioni | Music Producer & Mixer

My work-life balance has gone through quite the extreme ups and downs over time. It also greatly depends on my daily inspiration. When I started my first studio I lived and breathed it, and I still do to this day. It’s very challenging to separate from the work. Being a music producer is a 24/7 full-time job. Even when you try to set up boundaries and “hours”, there will always be artists/clients who still feel the need to call or text you at 11 pm on a Sunday with some “emergency” when 99% of the time it could wait until Monday morning. For years I used to be at the studio all day everyday, but now I’ve developed more of a “4 Hour Work Week” mindset. I like to set things up like a 9am to 5pm…which usually ends up being a 10 am to 8pm during the week. Read more>>

Linda Queally | Fine Artist & Jewelry Designer

Because I move continually closer to the work that speaks to my soul, my work and life become one, in ever more perfect balance. Now more than ever I strive for each choice I make throughout the day to move me closer to happiness and peace, so pretty much everything I do these days seems to either inspire me to create or I am creating in some way. There’s the balance! Read more>>

Justin Silva | Photo Retoucher

Fortunately for me, my business has grown over time. The industry that I work in and more specifically my job as a retoucher has serious timing demands. Images need to be turned around on tight deadlines to meet client needs. As business has grown, I now find myself involved in 2-4 projects simultaneously which does not allow for any days off. It can be really tough to work for a few weeks straight without having a real break but I am fortunate enough to be able to plan getaways in advance and create boundaries between work and free time that way. Also, it can be feast or famine. In contrast to multiple projects at once, there will be a week here and there, that I do not hear from clients at all. I try and take full advantage of that time and spend it with my family. Read more>>

Carla Bianca Ravanes Higham | Writer, Communications Strategist & Publicist

I have been working in the Marketing / Communications / PR Industry since I graduated from college and I became engulfed by the industry. I falsely believed that constantly being in a heightened state of crisis and being on call 24/7 added worth to me as an employee and as a person. After 15 years, I’ve come to realize that while work is a vital part of my life, it doesn’t define who I am. I realized that my chair at work can be replaced at any given time so to achieve balance, I needed to slow down, take a step back, and see things from a different perspective. I made a decision that I wanted a full, thriving, and healthy life and that led me to a journey of seeking things that created a life of balance and this is what led to an even happier career. One that is founded on joy rather than obligation. Read more>>

David Menkes | Chocolate Maker

When we first started the company, we were both working full-time jobs and made chocolate at night and on weekends. It became overwhelming. What we realized was that making 30-40 bars a day was not sustainable, and we needed to scale up. I went into making chocolate full-time in 2016, and my wife joined me full-time in 2017. Our working hours have been largely seasonal, but with her as our production manager, we’ve really cut down on the number of late nights we’ve had to work. Most nights, we get to go home when we close at 6pm. Sure, there are times we get last-minute orders and have to rush a project out, but generally we try to work 8-9 hours a day, 6 days a week. Having a day off, and having our evenings free, has made all the work worthwhile! We were able to do this by leasing larger machines that allowed us to manufacture thousands of bars in a month, rather than hundreds. Read more>>

Swapna Pinnamaneni | Fashion Designer & Information Technology Manager

Balance is Beautiful. Isn’t it. Like many, I love reading autobiographies. When I see these great leaders, excellent business owners, amazing all rounders, I love to notice how these great souls have ‘Balanced’ everything so Beautifully. When I started my company Dream Choice Inc. in 2014, I was working as a software manager. My business started growing and with custom orders and expanding, I balanced my day job and business. I have a loving family, my husband and my two kids who were then 18 and 12. I believe… many times, ‘Rejection is a Blessing in Disguise’. This is my experience, and so I have read it is, for many great achievers. In the middle of 2015, when I was kind of planning on expanding my designs and my client base, the software company for which I was working went through management change. Read more>>

Kyle Mann | Recording Engineer & Mixer

If someone made a venn diagram of my work and my life, it would be a single overlapping circle. I’m sure that seems unhealthy, but I’m lucky to get to do something I love, and if I weren’t doing it as a job, I’d be doing it as a hobby. Read more>>

Jacqueline Rivera | Independent Graphic Designer & Maker

When I first began my career as a freelance graphic designer 8 years ago before I had my two boys, establishing a healthy and productive work-life balance was not a problem. It was easy to establish a compartmentalized routine that balanced my needs with my work. During this time, I had plenty of opportunity to explore my creativity and process. I could stay up all night working and creating because I wanted to, not because of a deadline. It was a gloriously selfish time! Now as a freelancer, crafter, wife and mother with two kids under 6yrs old, establishing a good work-life balance is my greatest challenge. Most days it’s not about balance but a crazy juggling act! The only routine is my children’s needs and in between this priority, I make the time to keep up my business and explore other creative endeavors. Read more>>

Rita Kealey | Event Planner & Realtor

WOW! What an important question and one that truly resonates with me. I have found myself thinking about this often. Work.. life…balance. Becoming a mom has really shown me how precious time is and how important proper time management is. I have a 4 year old and a 22 month old and I am running my own. business during a pandemic! My work as as event planner has really helped me strategize and make the most of my time and my day. I have created a routine that really works for me where I get to spend quality time with my children while also not having to sacrifice my career. As a new mother, I. really struggled with the balance. I tried to do everything all at once and I felt like I was failing at it all. There must a plan in place to really make things work smoothly. Read more>>

Daisi Pollard Sepulveda | Modelpreneur

I believe having a “perfect” work-life balance is more of a myth than a reality. Taking time for yourself, your family, and friends are important to your relationships and your mental and emotional health. However, constantly trying to evenly split those things up can make you extremely unhappy. I’ve found that most of the content out there attempting to help people curate “optimal” work-life balance is selling people false hopes and dreams. My approach has drastically changed over time. When I first started out in business, I believed and tried to practice what I was consuming on the subject – even when it wasn’t what I wanted to do or what really made me happy. Since I’ve evolved my approach. During my downtime, I really love spending time at home. I don’t feel like I need to catch up with every single friend over say, the weekend. Read more>>

Misty Thorne | Restaurant Owner

My staff and customers have always been the priority. I care about them the way I care about my family. Balance for me is finding joy within the hustle. Which in restaurant life’s everyday. Being at work is my home. Truly caring about the people I surround myself with makes those tough days worth it. My work is life. My life is work. One in the same. Read more>

Skyler Kogachi | Commercial and Residential Architect & Interior Designer

There are two things I do to keep my overhead low: I utilize technology to make myself more productive and I work from home. The great thing about working from home, is that you are always at home. The worst thing about working from home, is that you are always at work. Getting the balance between work and home when you work from home can be challenging. Some people have a hard time motivating themselves while they are at home. Others may find it difficult to stop working and start living. Here are a few tips I have found helped me tremendously. 1. Exercise in the morning. Every morning I either go to the gym or swim at a pool or work out with an app at home. It wakes me up and puts me in the right mindset to get things done. 2. Keep a routine. That means going to sleep at the same time every night, and getting up the same time every morning. Read more>>

Margaret Haas | Calligrapher & Shop Owner

It’s true what is said about small business owners- we are always working. Our small business is always on our mind. I know that next week will look a little different than last week, and I’ve learned to be ok with that. Being flexible is the most important aspect of work/life balance as a small business owner. For example, there are periods of time where we are really busy. Usually the holidays are when small shops make most of their income. What is earned during the 4th quarter is what carries us through to the season of retail from the start of the new year on to spring, which is notoriously slow. I am not sure how the holiday season is going to look this year due to COVID. Our retail space is tiny and social distancing is not even possible so I’ve made the decision to not offer in person shopping during the pandemic in an effort to keep people safe. Read more>>

Angie Johnson | Home Decor Product Designer

When I started my company 14 years ago I basically worked nonstop. People would ask me “how do you get so much done?!” and my answer was always “when I’m not sleeping, I’m working”, and it wasn’t really an exaggeration. I fit in a bit of socializing (I was only 27 after all) but in general, work took priority. After about 5 years of that though I realized this wasn’t sustainable, both for my health and my relationships. I was always hoping I would “catch up” on work, that something would somehow magically change to allow me to have more time. But increasing sales and making more money did not automatically equal more time off. Slowly I realized nothing was going to change on its own. So I started by taking Sundays off, without fail. The only exception I allowed was if there was some sort of weekend selling event, and then I would force myself to take a weekday off to make up for it. Read more>>

Connie Huffa | Mom, Artist, Engineer & Entrepreneur

Work life balance is an interesting and illusive concept, because the premise of balancing something automatically implies something is sacrificed or compromised rather than a natural choice. I’m not going to lie. Finding time to do everything I want to do is challenging. Living in the creative hub LA is or where I grew up in Philadelphia, makes for exponential options when art, science, music, and math are all connected and overlapping. It always seems there are not enough hours in a day or months in a year. But, creative people like me thrive on what others see as pure chaos. A creative life chose me at birth and it’s one that is overscheduled and messy, with a little bit of unpredictability, rather than organized into neat boxes. If I wanted a neat cookie cutter life, I’d live somewhere else. By overscheduled, I don’t mean always running late. Read more>>