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.

Tesia Bunton | Restaurant Consultant & Personal Chef

Wow….so I would say that ever since I started my business back in 2013 balance wasn’t a priority. I worked 2 full-time jobs when I relocated to Atlanta and for the most part. I worked 6am until 2pm and then 3pm until 1am. And honestly…I didn’t think twice about it. You know, it like with the industry I’m in it’s almost had to do with bragging rights. Like I was conditioned to be the first in and the last out. Like that was the way to show how successful I was. And you know what, I don’t know what I was thinking. But when I tell you after I had my daughter a light clicked! It was a compete 180. Over the past 6 years work life balance has taken on a whole new meaning. Being a mother and small business owner has shown me that working smarter not harder is what is going to create longevity and growth in my business. Read more>>

Verina Zonise | Creator

In the beginning of starting my business I had no balance it was work 26/9. I was even dreaming about what to work on next so over time as i begin to get burned out and things And people were not going the attention they needed from me I had to have a shift. I began to set certain hours and days for work and stick to it. I think balance is very necessary for success as a person. What good is it to build and empire and no one to share it with and your health too poor to enjoy it itself. It’s still a work in progress as it’s hard for me to turn off a passion when it feels like play not work. Read more>>

Mysta Ry | Performing Artist, Cosmetology Student, and Dance Instructor

I love this question. I love it because you actually get a moment to reflect on personal balance. I believe that, growing up I’ve watched many people project. We pour, and pour until we are exhausted. But then, you run into an unfamiliar element of life called peace. It makes you feel weird at first, because it catches you in a vulnerable stand point. Teaching yourself how to let your guard down with no pressure. Accepting this lifestyle from nature, and not by societal trend. By that, I mean give yourself permission to have that for you and not just for the people that’s looking in. It’s cliché to say, but idolize Beyonce for her natural layer of balance, that she projects so well. I then evaluate my career, and my personal life. Knowing that the two meet in the middle, but I ask myself, “is there balance?”. Without copying any methods, and only coping with what I never allowed myself to answer out loud…I felt it. Read more>>

Willie and Kesia Arnold | Licensed Realtors, serving Metro-Atlanta

As Real Estate Agents, we are always “on”. Meaning, there is a lot of work that is put into education, marketing, and customer service. In addition, there is also a level of availability that we have to our clients. When a client calls, we have to be available, have a system or team in place to respond to our client needs. Early on in our career, we took calls day or night, weekdays and weekends. It really did not matter. This is typical for most individuals starting off in the real estate business. But, we learned very quickly that we have to set expectations for not only our clients, but also ourselves. Read more>>

Tyler Nelson | Photographer & Firefighter

Yes, my balance has changed over time significantly! I think about balancing my priorities daily. I have a full-time job, I have hobbies, family to tend to, and so many other things I must do. I realize I must utilize tools such as planners or a schedule to help me manage my time wisely. Every day I want to make sure I’m not going over my limit and overworking myself. Sometimes business is slow, which is normal. In that case, I try to make sure I spend some time doing self-development, practicing, watching YouTube, etc. I think balance is between managing work and life is great because it keeps me on my toes. It’s somewhat fun to have order and reasons to be busy. I enjoy living for what I need to get done. Read more>>

Natalie Milhouse | Founder & Chief Editor of Divine Enthusiast

I’ve been in a bit of a transformative state when it comes to my work/life balance which included me quitting my 9-5 last December. I was trying to balance that, freelancing as a graphic designer, and growing Divine Enthusiast. I think during that time, Looking back, I realized how much I neglected myself. These days I’ve been very intentional about taking time out for myself. One practice for me is designating personal days, one of them being in the middle of the week. It’s working for me, so far and it allows me to reset, cater to my space, and do some self-care practices that sustain my momentum. Above everything though, balance looks like giving my body what it needs when it needs it. Read more>>

Frank Wickstead | Built Environment Pro & Professor

My opinions on work-life balance has evolved over the years and looking back, it was a very natural transition. I should start with the context that I am holding on to my 40’s for just another month…actually, as I type, 5 days short of a month. In my early to mid 20’s, early in my career, work-life balance meant being able to spend my weekends how I pleased. The week was spent working at my day job while incorporating side design jobs here and there. I didn’t really consider time for “balance” during the week. My focus was on impressing firm leadership and my clients. And it helped that I loved what I did (at least half the time, which was enough to keep me engaged). On weekends, I would feed my need for mindlessness and hands-on by building decks and fences with a group of friends that I’d drag out of bed early every Saturday morning. That was my time at a commercial architecture firm with tight deadlines and cool downtown projects. Read more>>

Mike Pimentel | Caterer and Pop-up Owner – Adobo

I think of work-life balance as about being able to do what you enjoy without sacrificing your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. It takes practice to find the balance and to maintain it. I found that taking time to plan ahead and spacing out my prep work over a few days make tasks less overwhelming and stressful. Getting overworked can take a toll physically, which can lead to more problems, so it is important to value downtime and recovery outside of work. Read more>>

Kendra Norwood-Jackson | Writer & Teacher

During the pandemic things that are important to you start to prioritize it and how you can balance everything out. Working from home and working on my book was amazing but I still needed to balance other parts of my life in this new norm. Creating a schedule where I was able to focus on my mental, spiritual and physical help me get through balancing everything out. I would also find some time for fun. A typical day would like to do yoga in the morning and writing down my goals for the day, then I will move on to just sitting in silence and doing some deep breathing. Next, I would drink some tea and being to work on my book. I would take breaks and go outside for fresh air or to have some lunch. Balance has changed because I think everyone including myself focuses more on self-care. Read more>>

Victoria Hagood | Multimedia artist

It’s honestly been hard during the pandemic, but finding that balance between school, work, and my art is the number one thing I had to figure out. Whenever I get the creative bug I drop everything else and just work for hours. It’s either that or it leaves and doesn’t leave room for me to continue my work. Now my balance lies within my mental health. If I feel good mentally everything else just falls into place. Read more>>

T’ka Martin-Hines | Digital Media Coordinator, Dancer, and Co-Owner of Kingston Bay

The one thing last year taught me was the importance of Self Care. Obtaining a great work life balance was my goal for 2021. As a work from home mommy with a 1 year old around the house, it has been tough to stay on top of projects, assignments, and deliverables, as well as making sure my 1 year old is taken care of. I decided that it was important to give myself time each day, whether it’s an hour or two to practice self-care! The moment I spend to elevate myself brings forth a positive energy and mindset to tackle all of my work. It can be morning meditation, dancing, watching a TV show I’m been dying to see, or sleeping. I also set boundaries on my work hours. I try not to over exert myself while reserving time to spend with my son and family. Read more>>

Fiza Pirani | Atlanta-based writer, editor, artist and founder of the award-winning newsletter Foreign Bodies

I used to be a workaholic, something I learned from my parents and something marginalized people—especially my fellow immigrants and people of color—have had to internalize as the norm. I remember always turning down lunch outings with coworkers and producing more than I needed to if I did take lunch. I am proud to say I am nothing like that anymore. I am trying to embrace a life of rest and play without prioritizing work as much—and I’m pushing my parents to find more time for themselves, too. Sure, I have days where I’ll work for 15+ hours, especially when I’m on a reporting deadline or when I have commissioned art I need to mail out, but I have as many days where I work for just a few hours and spend the rest of my time learning, imagining, exploring, reading or writing. What I do during these rest hours often fuels my work, but more than that, the rest fuels me to wake up the next day with invigoration, excited to be alive—and that’s something I’ve been struggling with for years. Read more>>

Angelica Leontyne | Choreographer & Actress

Like many others, the pandemic has completely shifted my thoughts on balance. I’m a single mom that not only works but is in graduate school…on top of that has the nerve to start her own business! This past year I’ve learned to do what you can and relax. Being busy is one thing but being productive is another. Being at home more has taught me so much about balance and protecting my mental health that even when times were really hard, I appreciate the lessons within a year. So, prioritizing what’s important (ME! my sanity & relaxation, my sons & my personal relationships) are what really took over. Read more>>

Tierra London | Christian Millennial, Creative, & Visionary

I started working early. I was 16 years old. My first job was at Walgreens. I remember falling asleep everyday almost in 7th period and my teacher was not used to that. I was a straight A student that was highly attentive and focused. I worked mostly evenings after school and it took toll on my body. I still wanted to be super active in high school, attend all the events, get homework done, hang out with friends, but just couldn’t manage balancing well. Fast work to 11 years later, I have created such a healthy balance, and of course that comes with growth, maturity, time, and wisdom. I actively work full time, manage to stay consistent with a podcast show, a youtube channel. ministry work, plus school. I manage to create a healthy balance with God giving me the grace to do so. I think you just have to find what works for you and do it your way. Everyone has a formula but I figured out what works for me. I still have fun, exercise, and do what I love with discipline. Read more>>

Markita D. Collins | Certified Master Life Coach, Prophet, Advisor, best selling author

That’s a great question. I’ve learned the hard way that I don’t have to balance everything. I need to prioritize. Meaning, what do I give my attention and focus to that day, week, month, heck that moment. If I balance everything that will become heavy and potentially stressful, but if I prioritize I’ll have the space to choose what’s of importance in that moment and focus on that. Read more>>

Amanda Jackson | TaylorMade Candles

I am great at putting a lot on my plate. I feel the more you put on your plate the more knowledge you can or the more you grown and learn new things. It can become very overwhelming, but eventually worth it at the end. My balance has tremendously changed and it has become for challenging. It’s like survive and thrive! I I work a a full time job, while getting my second degree in Nursing, and running a business. Also while trying to have some type of life. It’s difficult but I know it will be rewarding at the end. I think of balance as being organized and prioritizing. I am a believe in the app “Reminders” on my phone. That gets me through each and every day. I try to plan ahead or set things that is major first and get that knocked out. Read more>>

Steven & Kimberly McRoyal | Entrepreneurs

Finding time to “turn off” work and enjoy time with one another and our family was a struggle in the beginning. Trying to gather and create content can take hours. Also with running an online blog trying to have the current news can require that you’re “on-call” so to speak so that you can get that content out to your viewers. Over time we came to realize that always staying on can cause burnout, quick! to avoid that it’s important to treat running an online business just like you were going into the office. The hours may change but learning when to end the workday is important so that you are well-rested and have the mental well-being to go at it another day. Read more>>

Diana Riley | Actress

My balance shifts from time to time depending on where the momentum in my work and personal life are. For my own mental health and sanity, I try to keep them somewhat evenly-proportioned though. If you put all of your eggs in one basket, you’ve got nothing left if the basket tips over. I’ve also found that being more balanced helps me be a better partner, friend, and actor because I diversify where I can get my needs met. In the past, I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into one thing, and it always ends in a devastating crash at some point when things go awry, so I try to avoid that trap as much as I can now. Read more>>


As an employee, small business owner, wife and mother, my meaning of work life balance has changed drastically since the pandemic. I have learned to pivot, adjust and flow in order to grow through the ever-evolving meaning of balance or “harmony” in my life. I have learned to level up my moments of self-care daily, in order to maintain peace and harmony within through prayer, faith, leaning on Jesus and connecting within. Read more>>

LaNaja Love | Hair Stylist & Wig Slayer

This is a very important question to me. Balance has to be one of the most complicated things when it comes to being a business owner. I still don’t believe I have finally managed it because sometimes I do feel like I’m still all over the place. It’s all about being strict with yourself, knowing your limits. You have to sit down and take time to yourself. It’s all about figuring out what days deserve your business and what days strictly just deserve you and your self care time. Read more>>

Deon “DK” Turner | Creative Portrait Photographer and Retoucher

Balance is something that is often downplayed but is very necessary to be successful. As a young creative who is obsessed with my craft, I normally would overlook balance for the sake of working nonstop. I used to see this as being “dedicated” but it’s actually working hard and not smart. Anything you do too much of, even if you love it, will burn you out. I didn’t believe that until it started happening to me. So I’ve had to learn that it actually IS okay to stop taking pictures for a day or two and do something else I love. It IS okay to have a rest day and regroup your mental and physical by taking it easy every once and a while. We must forgive ourselves for wanting to take a break because it is OKAY! That balance is needed so when you jump back into your work, purpose, or craft…you can give it all you’ve got! Read more>>

Suiki Sparks | Blogger/Influencer

Eclectic Milieu /e•klec•tic/ /mil•yoo/, an inspired destination highlighting interior styling, concepts and ambiance from a broad range of sources. I launched EM as a creative outlet, escape from my corporate day job and also a platform to share my admiration of interiors. Quite simply, I LOVE interesting spaces and known to find inspiration in just about any type of venue or setting. As an experienced HR professional, I am keenly aware of the importance of work-life balance. Having worked in the field for over 15 years, I suffered from burnout coupled with resentment because I did not take the time to focus on my own aspirations/dreams. This neglect is actually the premise behind my departure from corporate America in 2020. I decided to take a gap year and focus on my personal passion(s), dreams, and evolving self. Read more>>

Veronica Williams-Crenshaw | Educator & Advocate

Balance has been something that I have struggled with my entire life. I used to be one to pour out to everyone and everything with nothing left for myself. When my mental and physical health started to be effected, I knew I had to make a change – QUICK. For me it started with a daily 5 minute meditation to an entire 30 minute morning self care routine. I routinely take time to pamper myself – whether a massage or manicure/pedicure- and I make time to work out and eat better. When I became a mom, my kids became a priority. Making time for them was critical. I learned to set boundaries at work and in my personal life to make time for myself and my family. I am cognizant of the balance and can now tell when I’m off balance so I can pivot and make the necessary changes. Read more>>

Jazz Thorpe | Summer Daze Owner | Graduate Student

My name is Jazz Thorpe. I own Summer Daze Beauty Brand. Summer Daze is a handmade, organic skincare brand that stands behind supporting and promoting using natural products in skincare to all people. When thinking about my work-life balance, I realize most times that I am an extremely busy woman. Not only am I a full time business owner and the only employee of Summer Daze, I am also a full time graduate student, obtaining a Masters of Public Health. On top of that, I work a full-time job . A lot of people tend to ask me “how do I do it?”, well the answer to that question may seem as if it should be complex but it’s simple. Time-management. Overtime, I’ve learned how to plan my days of the week. I work Monday-Thursday until 5 pm. Monday and Wednesday evenings are dedicated to doing school work. Tuesday and Thursday evenings are dedicated to relaxing. The weekends are set for planning Summer Daze’s next moves and making orders to ship out to our wonderful customers. Read more>>

Elizabeth Blake-Thomas | Storyteller

2001: London, cold, wet, dark. Leave the house by 8am. Have approximately a new meeting every hour. Return on the busy commuter train 8pm, it’s still, cold, wet and dark. 2011: Los Angeles, warm, dry, bright. Leave the house by 8am, have approximately 4 meetings in the day due to the driving in between. Return home by car 8pm to watch the sunset. 2021: Los Angeles, wake up to the sea lions, seagulls and a blue sky on my boat. Make a cup of hot lemon and ginger. Write my morning pages. Read a chapter of my book. Meditate. Paddle board. Make a phone call. Get dressed. Head to my lunchtime meeting. Return 4pm, make another phone call. Play a game with my daughter. Chat to friends. Create some new concepts. Listen/watch a podcast. Have a cup of tea. Read a chapter of my book. Paint/draw/write. Fall asleep to the sounds of the creaking boat. Read more>>

C. Alexandra | Media Personality, Multi-Creative, and Entrepreneur

My work-life balance has changed tremendously from when I first started in the media industry in 2016. Working as an intern at Radio 2 Atlanta before graduating college, I was unsure of what to expect and what job opportunities would come my way. At the time I felt my mentors, Rhodell Lewis and Aretha Cleveland, had prepared me for the industry I was about to enter, but when I received my first internship post-college, I received a crash course in the media business. They say that to truly learn something, you have to experience it and it’s true because some of my best learning experiences in the industry happened after college. I have interned with a multitude of different media companies, such as Rolling Out Magazine, Makin’ It Magazine, Magazine Muzic, Rap Plug, MeetTheUnderDogs, AllHipHop, DirtySouthHipHop, and even was a brand ambassador for BET+. I personally interned under DJ Romeo International for his media brand “Remixx, and Krystal Lee of Praise 102.5, for her brand GirlPlusGod. Read more>>

Balance change my life for the better. After going to multiple gigs without being in line with myself and the creator. I found I wasn’t able to perform at my highest capacity. . Therefore, I took the proper tome to align my mental, spiritual, and physical health so I can always give my all. Read more>>

Lola Ladae | Artists & Founder

A lot of people know me for always working. I am always into something or planning something. I believe balance is very important. I get overwhelmed a lot and I am still working on work life balance, especially now since the work is my own. Read more>>

Allison Jones | Mompreneur and Children’s Book Author

As an entrepreneur, a wife, and a mom, one thing that I have learned is that balance is a myth. I wish that I could say that I have mastered work life balance, but, the truth is, I don’t think any of us ever do. I think what’s more accurate is that life is full of different seasons in which our priorities will change. I recently shared on Instagram that for the first year of my daughter’s life, my whole world revolved around her. As a small business owner, my creativity and productivity took a major dip during that season, but it passed. There will be peaks and valleys to your productivity and creativity, and that’s OK. Read more>>

Kyra Mitchell Lewis | Founder of Glow Up, Gyrl

When you’re living the 9 to 5 life simultaneously with the entrepreneur life, it can be hard to strike the perfect work-life balance. And, last year when I launched Glow Up, Gyrl, I was working every night after my corporate job and working all day and into the evenings on the weekend doing Glow Up, Gyrl business. While I enjoyed every moment of seeing my vision for Glow Up, Gyrl come to life, I also realized that I needed to create better balance even for something I absolutely love doing! We talk a lot about giving grace to others and I realized I needed to give myself that same grace that I so easily extended to others. I gave myself permission to take off one Saturday each month to rest and reset. It’s still hard because I’m tempted to work on small projects or check emails, but just as starting a business requires discipline, taking time to recharge requires it as well. Read more>>

April Jackson-Hunter | Award Winning Author, Blogger, Speaker, Podcaster, and the Founder, and President of Mercedes Closet Inc

As a Black female Entrepreneur I wear many hats, which includes wife, mother, and grandmother. Unfortunately, my life didn’t come with a manual on how to juggle them all. Finding a balance between my professional life and my work life took the help of a mentor and coach to get on the right path to success. Now I think of balance as a necessity in both my professional and personal life. Read more>>

Audrey Hinds | Children’s Book Author & Publisher

Over the past two years, I have learned to create work life balance, Previously, I had not and I found myself burning out even though I was following my purpose and passionate about my work. I would start working as early as 4:30am, go to my full time job, come home to mom duties and activities for my children and end my days with more work. Looking back, I am not sure how I survived outside of me loving writing and publishing. But, I also quickly recognized my schedule wasn’t sustainable, so I created a one year exit strategy with my job. During that year, I worked harder than I ever had, but I could clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel. By the time, the year was over I was at peace and grateful to finally experience the freedom I had been seeking all along. Nowadays, I find balance by creating much needed boundaries with my work and personal life, doing simple self care activities like walking our dog, and being intentional about the work and opportunities I take advantage of. Read more>>

Camille Elizabeth | Creative Director & Wardrobe Stylist

Avoiding burnout and maintaining balance is really important to me. It’s not something I always made room for until recently. I find that the times I feel uninspired, unmotivated, or exhausted are usually a sign that I have neglected to check in with myself and take the time to reset. I’ve had a job since I was 14 years old and early on I focused heavily on academics until I graduated from college. My energy levels and capacity for work was different then. To me, balance requires adaptability and being honest with yourself about who you are and what your needs are in that moment or season of your life. Needs are important and they tend to change as we grow and as our circumstances evolve. My needs as a college student with two jobs were very different than my needs now as a entrepreneur with a family and a passion turned business. Read more>>

Rashatta Daugett | The Balancing Act of Life

My work life balance has constantly changed, as my life changes. When I had our first child, I battled between being a housewife and giving up my career goals or finding a way to make them both work without lowering the standards I personally had in each perspective role. With the wisdom of God, I was able to do so. Leaning more on my entrepreneurial skills has been a must when balancing family life and career life. I then looked for work that would fit my lifestyle weather it was virtual work or kid friendly environments that would allow me to bring my daughter to work with me. Read more>>

Jermaine Sain | Media Personality

I believe that my work life balance has gotten better over time but as any business owner knows, it could be better. Once I redefined what work life balance meant for me, is when it got better. When you are starting a business that is truly your passion, it is easy to find yourself working and not really considering it as work because you love what you are doing but once I realized that even that event that I attended was still work, it help me identify that I didn’t truly have a work life balance. Read more>>

Jordan Bennett | Composer, Musician and Sound Designer

I enjoy comfort zones as much as the next person, but I think if you’re not evolving, you’re staying stagnant. From balancing school, a day job AND a career to balancing a corporate job AND a career to now being a Stay-At-Home Working dad, there’s never been a time where I didn’t feel like I was figuring it out on the fly. In the past year, I’ve had a baby and started prioritizing my physical and mental health, as well as trying to find time to simply enjoy being with my wife, who is busier than I am and a fantastic, inspiring success. Since I’m at home with the baby and working on various projects, I’ve had to find a way to make sure I can spark my creativity at a moment’s notice and be efficient in writing as much music as I can in 45-60 min timeframes. Read more>>

Ashanti Harris | Actress | Dancer | Real Estate Agent

Well, going from only being worried about self to now have to also worry about my child has changed my work life balance tremendously. With my daughter, majority of everything important that has to get done will be done either while she is at daycare or when she naps or goes to sleep at night. I can no longer procrastinate with things because if I do, things will take days to get done and that’s not acceptable. I have to really plan things around her. Auditions are done at night once she is asleep, errands are done during the day while she is at school because trying to do these things with a baby who loves to follow you is not always the easiest thing to do. The rest of the time when she is with me and awake, I give her attention and teach her things and have fun with her. Of course any mom or parent needs their me time by themselves and/or with friends. Read more>>

Autumn-Dawn Lewis | International Podcast Host and Ms.Black Peach State International Ambassador 2020-2021

The more I step into the woman I’m becoming, the more I realize that balance is important. In 2019, I began taking that balance lifestyle more seriously and creating necessary boundaries. Those boundaries have allowed me to stop thinking I have to constantly be in a state of movement and to appreciate and refresh in my quiet moments. My weekly podcast, The Balanced Boss Podcast by Autumn Lewis, encourages others to do the same. Read more>>

AJ Hebrew | Professional musician; multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer

Balance has definitely changed a lot lately due to the pandemic of course. Whereas before, I was more focused on balancing which gigs I have with which bands on which instrument. Now I’m more focused on which instrument I need to practice more and what sounds do I need to make sure that this patch on my keyboard sounds as close to the record as possible; things of that nature. Because gigs had slowed down, I had more time to work on making the gigs I DID have more effective on my end. So there was more practicing, more recording, more learning, more creativity which is what I needed especially when working on my writing and producing my 2nd EP. Read more>>

Gessie Dessalines | Registered Nurse & Small Business Owner

I’ve definitely gotten much busier with running my business and working two jobs as a nurse. It’s pretty hard trying to juggle everything but I’m a busy body and I don’t like to stay put too much anyway! I am definitely working on my scheduling though because I want to have adequate time for everything, not just my jobs but my family too. Read more>>