The Coronavirus has given many us an opportunity to pause and think about life, our purpose, and even the right work life balance. What’s your perspective and has it changed over time?

Dr. Busola Akinbote: Clinical Pharmacist and Holistic Health Advocate

Balance has become a state that most women are not inclined to attempt because of its historical definition of an equal distribution of weight to a variety of elements, commonly work and life, as if we only have work and life to balance. I think of balance as a musical harmony. There are multiple pieces that ebb and flow at different times to create a beautiful song. I maintain balance by adjusting my expectations with each life transition. Balance looks like saying no in order to pursue and maintain peace in my life and avoid being busy. Balance looks like getting my pre-scheduled home facial and soak because that is simply what happens on Mondays and Fridays regardless of my to-do list. As life becomes more complex with my husband, 3 children, career, business, and passions, I have learned that it is imperative to ground myself first. Knowing who I am and prioritizing my relationship with God ends the need for me to prove to or please anyone, including myself. I am embracing the complete journey of becoming who God has called me to be with the highs, lows, and plateaus. Read more>>

Linda D. Addison: Speculative poet/writer

Work life balance was a three sided reality for me. I grew up with a lack of money, but with the earliest memory of making up fantastical stories. My mother told wonderful fables which gave me permission to let my imagination flow. I also found I was good at math and science. The end result was 1) a career in software development in the day time, 2) writing speculative poetry and stories at night, while 3) having a family. This meant finding a corner to write, when others were spending time relaxing watching television in the evening, or lunchtime at the job socializing. Writing fulfilled my spirit, so it wasn’t the same as work. Now that I’ve retired from the day job, I still have to balance writing my own work and mentoring, working with others on projects. It’s a good problem to have. Read more>>

Sarah Zolecki: 8 Figure Business Coach that teaches women how to simply build a business online and create big results without sacrificing their family.

Most people when they start a business don’t realize that many of us are going to have to make up in time what we lack in skills in the beginning. I had to be ok with putting more time in than I would actually make in revenue. As I honed my skills and focused on growing my business daily, it actually started to flip. I was able to put in less time and make more money. I believe everyone’s idea of balance is different. For me, the way I balance is simple. It’s all about being present at that specific moment. Whoever I am with at that time, I am 100 percent all theirs. I focus on them, fully listening and let them be heard. I do that with my co-workers, my peers, my spouse and my kids. It has served me well over the years. Read more>>

Lillimure: Recording Artist

It’s easy for the line of life and work to blur when you do everything from the same room. It’s really important to take walks and spend time with friends if the circumstance allows. With the pandemic limiting what I could do and where I could go I found it really important to separate the space that I did have in the apartment based on what kind of activity I was doing. Also having roof access helped a lot too 🙂 It’s really easy to get overwhelmed when your work is also your passion. I just remind myself to take breaks every once in a while and know that eventually I will find the answer I am looking for. As things start opening back up I am excited to be able to immerse myself physically into creative spaces and live shows. As a musician I love to support other musicians and attend as many live shows as I can, in this way it’s nice to have a balance of shows I play and shows I watch. Read more>>

Jewel Baker: Photographer, Videographer, Video Editor, and Flyer Designer

Over the almost three years of my company being official, I’ve always had to balance school life, extracurricular activities, and my company. Being involved with various activities in my Senior year, such as Dance Team, JROTC, Drumline, Latinx Dance Club, Yearbook Photo Editor, and more truly showed me my time management skills. Over time, I’ve had to also balance with beginning my Freshman year at Columbia College Chicago starting in 2020. It was a shift, especially having mostly virtual classes, but with my calendar and my reminders app, I figured out the two. With my company, I realized that I could not cater to photoshoots or video shoots every day during my college school year and had to put a boundary on that. Once figuring out my schedule, I set shoots to only happen on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Read more>>

Amy Pryke: Entrepreneur/Restaurateur

As we just opened our first brick and mortar location in February of this year, finding balance is definitely still a work in progress. To me, balance is about ensuring that the business doesn’t become all consuming and that I don’t define my self worth by how the business is doing. Although Native Noodles is my baby and so important to me, it’s crucial to remember that work is still only one part of life! I try to make small commitments to spend time on things that interest me and that are good for self-development, like staying physically active, reading, and spending quality time with family and friends. I think about balance less as putting pressure on myself to spend X less hours at work and X more hours doing other things, but more as setting boundaries and establishing habits that allow for a healthy relationship with work and that give me space for self-development and relationship building. Read more>>

Breanna Powell: Content Creator + Influencer

Balance for me has definitely changed, grown, adapted, and everything in between! It took a whiiiile for me to establish any balance at all because I was / am so used to constantly being in go-mode and in a constant state of “doing!” It got to a point where I thought that I’d established a good work-life balance simply because I was literally doing it all – I was in school, I was working part-time, I was going out on the weekends; but, I was EXHAUSTED. So I had to reevaluate what balance really was. To me, balance means that I am creating and prioritizing space for rest just as much (if not more) as I am doing so for work, my brand, content creation, etc. If I don’t have that balance, I start fumbling opportunities and giving less than my best – is it really worth it for me to take on all of these opportunities if I’m too tired to complete them in excellence? For me, the answer is absolutely not. Read more>>

Alisha Filmore: Fundraiser & Fitness Professional

Trying to create a work-life balance is a conundrum that will make you feel like you’re never doing enough. I instead rely heavily on scheduling things out. Working a few weeks ahead of schedule will keep you from providing poor quality, yet takes the time pressure off of you. Also, some projects are considered ‘4th quarter’ moments, and I know going into it that there will be early mornings, late evenings, and limited social interaction. But just like sports, I know the 4th quarter will only last so long and full recovery will follow. Sacrifice is necessary, but I’ve learned not to try and run on an empty cup. Read more>>

Taylor Jones: Cosmetic Wholesaler/ Distributor

With me only being 15 years old starting my brand, being in highschool while still doing extracurricular activities was a struggle at first while running a business. Especially with finals and massive tests that I had to take really shocked me when it came to balancing. My only advice would to be to understand your priorities. I had to understand that my priorities are school first then my Job. I’m so happy and thrilled to say that because I put my priorities first,I have the highest honor roll in my grade averaging 95+ . Also, business is moving so well. I’m almost at my 50k Mark in sales in just over a little more than a year being in business. Read more>>

Nicole Drake: Pet Portrait Artist

From the literal worst relationship between work and life to the best work/life balance I’ve ever had in my entire life (and I’m still working towards a healthier relationship, too). I was raised with a poor work/life balance example from my parents and the scarcity mentality was prevalent in my family growing up. (Sorry for spilling the tea, mom + dad, I love you both, haha).My mom immigrated from the Philippines and raised me to get straight A’s and ensure my academic resume was so spectacular because that’s the only way I’ll be able to afford to go to college and college is the only way I can get a job to make a living. My dad worked upwards of 70 hours a week to just afford to pay our bills and help my mom’s family that was still in the Philippines. Read more>>

Jeff Ponders II: Author, Saxophonist, Business Strategist

I’ve learned that it’s not about “work-life” balance… but simply life balance. We often talk about work like it’s just something modular that we do… that we can leave it behind when we clock out and go on to our lives. The truth is, work isn’t a separate structure. It’s one part of our whole lives. I believe when we make conscious decisions about what success means, what matters most to us, and the impact we want to leave on the world, we can start to move forward toward balance. The other thing I’ve learned is that balance is a fluid concept. It’s like standing on one foot and trying to not fall over. Your foot is consistently moving and adjusting to keep you upright. As life goes on, our priorities shift, resources change, and relationships. Establishing balance is really about understanding what’s important today and being open to the changes that may come tomorrow. Read more>>

Danielle Dove: Makeup Dealer & CEO

Work Life Balance has changed drastically for me since I started my brand in July of 2020. I am almost feel like the energizer bunny, always going because a typical day for me is jammed packed. I still work my corporate job Monday through Friday, so I have to find time in between that to still focus on my brand. Learning how to complete my work for my corporate job, tend to my 4 year old son who has been home since last year due to the pandemic, still being a great wife, and keep my house in order is quite a task! Overall, I am still trying to learn what works best for my brand. I have gotten better at learning to plan my day accordingly so I am not overwhelmed. Time management is so key, but I am learning to enjoy this process and growth for 7twenty5 Cosmetics. Read more>>