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.

Keith Two | Visual Artist

This is such an interesting question because I don’t think I ever really thought about work-life balance when I was younger, single, with no kids. Now a husband, father of two, working a day job in addition to my own business, work-life balance is something that I’ve had to wrestle with. I had to confront the myth that balance meant equality; 3 hours with the kids, 3 hours with my wife, 3 hours working on my business. I discovered that it was about priorities, what needs to come first, second, and so on. This approach helps me stay flexible because, as we all know, each day can be unpredictable. Another skill that has become invaluable to me is communication with my spouse. Giving her a view into my business lets her know some of my goals, and when I need to lean on her when a deadline is approaching, it doesn’t seem so unexpected. Read more>>

Kellye’ McRae | Ortho/Spine Unit Nurse Educator & Mentor

My work life balance has always been an area where I have to adjust and evaluate, then re-adjust and re-evaluate as time moves forward. The more my family grows and as I advance in my career, work life balance takes a small or large shift. My life before kids and career, my focus was working two jobs and saving up to pay for my classes out of pocket for nursing school. I had a very little social life but I always made time for friends and visiting my mom, dad, and grandmother 2 hours away. Overtime, now being a wife, mother of two children ages 3 and 4, an online graduate student, full time staff nurse and unit educator, independent paparazzi accessory consultant and managing my own brand of Kellye knows nursing, I have to meticulously plan each minute of my time. I spend late nights after my kids are sleep studying or planning for the next day. Some nights finding the energy to stay up and watching a movie with my husband is a struggle but I make the time to do that as well. I will schedule a mentor call on days I am off and t visit my family in SC I use weekends that I am off to go back to my hometown. Read more>>

Jamie Johnson | Health and Wellness Coach

My work like balance has changed tremendously over time. Balancing having a daughter to jumping head first into entrepreneurship has been a tough task. Ultimately, I always feel like if I’m successful with one I’m failing with the other. Once I started to shift my perspective on what success looks like for myself and not anyone else balance became easier to manage. Leaning on my support system is balance, self care is balance, saying no is balance! Once I started to prioritize what’s important in my life the balance just followed. I’m still working everyday to create the balance that works best for me. Read more>>

Melinda | Social Media Consultant & Trainer

I used to get behind, feel overwhelmed, and spend one or two nights working till 1 am only to realize the lack of sleep made it hard to function effectively the next day. Plus, the gains I made by working late didn’t last long. Before you know it I would be overwhelmed again, sometimes within a couple of days. I’ve come to realize there will always be work to get done. You never arrive at the end of your list. Learning this lesson has made it easier to say no, to not accept every opportunity that comes my way. However, it’s a continual process to balance family needs with customer needs. I’m still working on saving some energy for my family at the end of the day so I can give them my best and not the leftovers. Read more>>

Brittany Johnson | Executive Director @ CEO

I have learned over the years that there is no such thing as balance, it’s more about prioritizing everything in your life. Prioritizing comes with discipline and calendaring everything. If you were to see my calendar right now, you would probably get a headache. Lol I look at balancing as something you are wanting to give attention to equally. The way my life is set up, that’s not going to happen. Read more>>

Sean & Michelle Clark | Owners of Double Dutch Aerobics

Work life balance? It doesn’t exist as we continuously cross the lines between work, parenting and leisure. Read more>>

Jasmine Anderson | Makeup Artist and Master Eyelash Extension Technician & Educator

I remember as a child in school, it was my daily routine that kept me focused on my goals. I got the results I wanted in school because of the discipline my mother instilled in me all those years. Becoming a full time entrepreneur, I learned very quickly that there’s a different level of discipline required to be successful. This year, I have had to rework systems, implement new habits, and create a routine with personal and business goals to achieve each day of the week. Changing my behavior to match my mindset is a daily challenge, but I always keep in mind that everyday is a new opportunity to be a better ME. Read more>>

Misti Dort | Colorist and Stylist

2020 definitely shifted my perspective on what I think “balance” is. I went from working six days a week to my business being completely shut down for eight weeks. Then once I was allowed to reopen I was faced with new COVID restrictions. My hours were limited, my work days were limited, I was limited with the amount of clients I could take. I was forced into “balance” like never before. I decided to focus on the silver linings. I was more rested than I’ve ever been in my life, I was able to focus on my fitness goals, and I was finally able to take the time to learn to cook! Now that we’re into 2021, I’ve decided to incorporate some of these new take aways into my existing ‘new normal.’ I don’t see things going back 100% to the way that they were, and that’s okay. Read more>>

Daphne Hill | Bridal Boutique Owner

Over time, work life balance has become more and more important. I have always made my family a priority but didn’t make time for recreation and rest. The past few years, I realize how I did myself a disservice and have been paying more attention to self-care. I have learned that taking care of myself and having balance makes me better overall but also better at running my business. We really must give attention to every area of our life. Read more>>

Zach Paradis | Recording Artist & Music Producer

This is a question I’ve been trying to answer for several years now. When I first started in my career, my plan for achieving success was to simply work all the time. I wanted to be a recording artist and music producer and I already was working as an audio engineer, which is in the same field but a different role. So I would engineer full-time and come home to work on the other projects I had, whether it was making beats or writing songs. I had no balance really because all I did was work. I had just moved to Atlanta and so I knew very few people and work replaced my social life. I became very good at being busy. I now freelance with music-related projects full-time, which made balance even more difficult to maintain because I was often stressed about making enough money. Thankfully, the balance has changed over time to include more rest. Read more>>

Krista Knudtsen | Graphic Designer and Illustrator

Work life balance can be quite tricky in the arts because creatives are often in roles that have less specific time structures like 9-5 positions, or they are focusing productivity in the times they feel inspired. Because of this, doing your best to protect your work-life balance can be very needed. For many of us, I think this often means providing boundaries with clients and projects as much as possible and remembering to prioritize health and rest. However, I think an even more important part of this balance is making sure to refuel your creativity with things that bring you joy and inspiration, as well as learning when to let go of something–maybe even a work position–when it is not serving you anymore. Read more>>

Call Me Spinster Amelia Jacobs, Rachel Graber, Rosalie Graber | Band

We are the daughters of rural, small-town midwesterners and were raised in a pretty old-school way in some regards. Our dad was born Amish and raised Mennonite, and as in many agrarian societies, the separation between “work” and “life” is a foreign and very modern concept. We grew up in the city but our family retained some of that agrarian ethos, spending most of our time together doing things – Saturday house cleaning, helping dad change the oil or futz with a broken furnace. Acceptable leisure activities were justified as group activities, and the more elaborate the better – making taffy or brewing beer, woodsy hikes and mushroom hunting, campfire sings. It’s not surprising that, despite years of protest, we landed on a common group activity as a means of spending time together peaceably. Being a band as adult siblings gave us a collaborative purpose that was somehow safer in our family trope of workleisure. Read more>>