I recently spoke to group of students at LIM College, and one of the first things they asked me was, “How do you do it all…and still manage to have a life?”
As someone who has been doing this for almost six years, I’ve definitely had my fair share of struggles when it comes to a healthy work-life balance. And I’m here to say that in six years, the work-life balance is still not something I’ve mastered. In fact, I still struggle with it every day.
But as I get older, and take on more responsibilities for my career and also my job, I have to learn how to approach my work-life balance differently. Everyone has a different idea of what a work-life balance should be, but we all strive for the “perfect balance”. Sure, there are days when I dream of having 8 hours a day to do things for me and me only. But at the end of the day, I am currently working 2 jobs that I absolutely love and want to keep succeeding in.
My reality looks much different than a “perfect” work-life balance. I currently am working 9-6 (some days are definitely longer), and when I come home I immediately hop onto my desktop to work on my blog. Mornings tend to be a bit tougher — I try to wake up early to get some more work done before heading into the office, but I usually fail and hit snooze one too many times. On weekends, I’m typically shooting or writing in the mornings. Then I can’t forget about the other things I need to get checked off the list: Errands (returning packages, appointments, picking up gifts, etc.), the commute to work (dreadful most of the time), and that little thing called exercise (right now, it’s strictly SoulCycle for me).
Oh and sleeping. Duh. I’m the kind of girl that really enjoys her sleep. So that means I need at least 6-7 hours.
That doesn’t leave me too much time in a day. My most productive days are typically filled with things related to work. And work. And more work.
Most of the time, I feel like I need to put all of this work in to “compete” (I’m using that term very lightly because I don’t see it as true competition) with those who do have those 8 hours in a day to get everything they want done. Of course, I’m doing this to myself. I made the decision to work two jobs. And I’m very grateful for everything that this job (blogging) has given me. But there comes a point in time when you need to put yourself first. And your relationships first. And things you love first.
I typically try to reserve weekends for “me” time. Whether it’s with Matt, my family, or my friends, I try not to be “on” (aka working). During the weekdays, I try to get to a few SoulCycle classes, eat a healthy dinner, and occasionally “forget” (aka say no) to attend a last minute press event because I know it’s just not something that will be beneficial to me or my brand. I just try to do things that make me forget my phone for a while.
So while I haven’t found that perfect work-life balance, I slowly feel like I’m getting a good grip on what my work-life balance actually is. And it’s been working for me. So now I’m coming to you for advice — How do YOU create a good/great/perfect work-life balance?