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.

Claudia Parducci | Artist

Balance? (Brief pause while I snort coffee out of my nose!) Like most creatives, I figured out pretty fast that art is no way to get rich, and besides, I am still old-fashioned enough to see an inherent conflict there- creative freedom vs financial stability. So in addition to being an artist with a daily practice, I have worked numerous other jobs to pay the rent, while also raising a child. My goal is always to side gig as little as possible for as much money as possible, leaving me as much time in the studio as possible. I’ve played music for a living, written grants and managed an AirBnB. This is the point where I need to confess a caffeine addiction. (Ok, also a dependence on nicotine gum!) Over time, as my child and my art career grew, I have been fortunate to gain more undisturbed time in the studio, but work/life has never approached anything I would consider balanced, even with a life partner who has shared the burden. I am pretty proud if I remember to walk the dog, and am absolutely ecstatic when I manage to catch a nap. Read more>>

Ashley Scott | Founder at Scout Modern

I think right now “balance” is a bit of a buzz-word. It’s incredibly important, don’t get me wrong, but I think when you’re a business owner (and a parent!) it’s always going to be difficult to get it right. I have tried working on a more structured schedule, having clear and strict boundaries regarding work hours and many other approaches, but the thing that makes me the happiest and the outcome the best is just pushing through when inspiration strikes and allowing my creative energy to flow when and where it needs to. When I follow my intuition and work in this way, I feel more fulfilled, my work is better, and my clients are happier. The thing about best practices is that they can be a great place to work from, but if they don’t work for you or help you achieve the best result, you can totally make up your own unique way to do things. Read more>>

Lisa Menard Schmahl | Yoga Instructor

Balance is everything in yoga, as it is in life. The joy is found in the constant ebb and flow. It was through yoga that I found increased balance in my life. As I found my center growing stronger, I learned to trust and rely on the tiny adjustments my body would make to keep me upright. Those tiny adjustments to the body in yoga are the same changes you make in your life to find balance. Throughout the past few years, my life and business have simultaneously made many tiny adjustments. After having our boy four years ago, I had to make changes to meet the demands of motherhood as a business owner. I learned to trust the small shifts I needed to stay authentic to my core principles, as well as what I needed to heal my body after childbirth. Read more>>

Wonji Grace Lee | Small Business Owner

I went from working a full time corporate job to opening my own small business, during this COVID-19 and quarantine season. It wasn’t by choice that I had made that transition initially, as I was simply furloughed from my job and was expecting to return to the office. Now that I have fully transitioned into running a small business as my main work after being fully laid off from my corporate job, I can say that the work life balance has changed tremendously. Working a corporate job meant that I had to be in the office Monday through Friday, 8:30am until 6pm and many times with having to work overtime. By the time I came home after a long day at work, I had barely any energy or the mental capacity to enjoy spending time with friends and family, go to the gym to get in a workout, go on date nights with my boyfriend or even cook a decent dinner. Read more>>

Marie Freschl | Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

When I was training to be a therapist, there was so much talk about prioritizing ourselves and engaging in “self-care”. Yet, when it came to action, the mental health field often perpetrated a culture that was quite the opposite. In my early years, I often neglected work life balance and that negatively impacted my overall well-being. As a therapist, it is imperative that I take care of myself and model what balance looks like. If i’m not in a good space, that could directly impact the people that I work with in the therapeutic environment, as well as cultivate a trajectory leading to burn out. Being a co-founder of my practice, I was able to ensure that my career didn’t take precedence over my personal self. Read more>>

Amari Barber-Downs | Clothing Designer

I believe my biggest challenge to date is finding balance with both my personal life and my work life, my kids, and my fiancé . the clothing line, my friends etc. I recently let go of my 9-5 to peruse my dream job . Which is my clothing line, I’m having to learn a new meaning of balance. I’ve learned my balance will continue to change and be adjusted so long as I continue to grow and take risks. I actually have the perfect life partner. I believe that has a lot to do with finding balance. Balance financially, emotionally and physically as we have two babies as well So there’s quite a bit to balance. But being open to change allows transitioning and finding balance again a bit easier! Read more>>

Edwin Schaap | Animator

I used to work day and night, out of passion, but also because I wanted to learn as much as possible. My view back then: The more I make, the more experience I have. Now I’m a little older I also learned that taking a break is just as important. To ‘live’ and gain experiences in life will give you the inspiration and experience you can implement in your ideas for new work. Read more>>

Jay Russell | Film Director

I had just made my second $100 million dollar plus grossing film in a row. I was arguably at the height of my directing career. But then, something happened – In a devastating flash, the economy collapsed and it became difficult to get movies made. The entire industry was contracting and I began to panic about work. I had spent many obsessive years focused solely on achieving my career goals, and it was all in jeopardy. But then, something else happened – Both of my parents became terminally ill – at the same time. And meanwhile, my son was growing up fast and would soon be out of the house and off to college. I had missed a lot of his early years while on a film set or sitting in an editing room. It was a moment of deep reflection for me and the question of balance between life and work couldn’t have had a sharper edge. Read more>>

Devin Cutter | Cinematographer

Over the past few years, my work-life balance has favored heavily towards the work. I was constantly juggling numerous projects while also striving to learn and improve my skills during the spare minutes in between tasks. When the pandemic hit, things slowed down abruptly. Suddenly I wasn’t traveling, I had no commute, and productions stopped. I was fortunate enough to have work that I could do from home, but at a much lighter capacity than I had been dealing with before the lockdown. I found myself in this period of respite from the grind I’d been on for so long — there was all this time for myself and I didn’t immediately know how to spend it. I had more time to connect with my family, I was able to cook, I could exercise, play games, read, and generally get caught up on the endless backlog of things I’d been wanting to do. Read more>>

Camille Di Maio | Mom, Author, and Real Estate Investor

Every parent knows that the art of balance is an important, but often elusive one. As a homeschooling mom of four, a top Realtor in my large city, and a bestselling author, I believed that a woman could “have it all”. I had a career, a realized dream, volunteered regularly at my church, and enjoyed plenty of time with my husband and kids. This constituted a perfect balance from my perspective, and it was glued together by caffeine and nights with four hours of sleep. In my early thirties, my body could handle all of that neglect, or so I thought. I was still at the age where we think we’re invincible. But not even a decade later, my long-term massage therapist gave me some worrisome news: I was showing the signs of being on the verge of a heart attack or a stroke. My husband and I realized that another cliche – “Life’s too short” was all too real and we had a serious talk about what our goals were. Read more>>

Sonia Schmidt | Musician

I think I have learned that taking care of myself is part of my creative process. Sometimes that looks like going for a long hike in nature and reading a book, and letting my mind wonder and ponder for a while. I would really stress out about not being more ‘productive’ and had to unlearn the idea that productivity only looks like actually doing the work. The creative process encompasses all aspects of daily life, nothing is wasted. It’s about being disciplined to do the right things, but also about letting myself live my best life while doing it if that makes sense. Read more>>