Hot yoga, tea and white wine. Ok, seriously now. I actually struggle with work/life balance a lot. Since launching my activewear line, Alexis Mera, I haven’t quite figured out the perfect balance yet, and I’m not sure if I ever will?
No two days are ever the same. Today (August 23rd) it’s 2:32PM and I have already met with a barre3 studio owner to chat about a pop up event collaboration and about stocking my line in their boutique, sent invoices to a few retailers for my fall wholesale orders, connected with a few other business women to set up meetings to hopefully partner and collaborate on events/projects in the future, and now I’m getting ready to edit a few images from a shoot I recently did with instructors from Bari Studio. We’re partnering on a pop up event this September. I’ve been up since 6AM (ok maybe 6:20, I’m a snoozer), which is the time I usually try to wake up, so I can get a jump start on my day and read and respond to a few emails hopefully before a morning workout class. Today it was yoga! Early morning is also the time I take a few minutes to check on my social media accounts to see how posts are performing and/or make an early morning post. Thank goodness tonight is my husband’s night to cook dinner!
My mornings are actually not very balanced at all. I am the most productive first thing in the morning, so I typically wake up, drink lots of water, make a cup of tea and jump right into work (I’ve been known to send emails at 5AM). Ideally, I’d like to spend more time with my husband before he leaves for work in the morning, but there’s just not enough time in the day!
In no particular order, these are 3 ways that I (try to) achieve work/life balance on a daily basis.
For me, exercise is a treat, it clears my mind, gives me confidence and makes me feel strong (both mentally and physically). If I go more than two days without a good sweat session I am grumpy and lack focus. I work from home and have many coffee shop offices. Exercise is also a way for me to be social. I enjoy group fitness classes and mix it up between Bikram Yoga and boot camp.
2. Friends and family
What would I do without them? I definitely don’t see them enough, which is a sacrifice you need to make when starting a business (at least in the beginning). I typically work 7 days a week with long hours (around 10-12 per day) Monday – Friday. On the weekends I work anywhere from 2 – 4 hours per day, sometimes longer if I have lots of deadlines coming up or if I have an event. If I’m really lucky, I get to take an entire Sunday off. This is what I signed up for though, and building something of your own doesn’t really feel like ‘work’. I try to schedule dinner plans at least once a week with friends, usually involving a little white wine (balance, right?) and on the weekends my husband and I try a new brunch spot or go for a bike ride, when it’s warm out. I’m pretty low key and enjoy the little things during my downtime. I especially enjoy my lunch dates with my father and try to visit my mother on long holiday weekends.
Lately, I’ve set a goal of unplugging by 7PM each night and waiting at least 20 – 30 minutes after I wake up to plug back in. By unplugging I mean 1) not checking my email 2) not checking social media, and if I’m lucky 3) setting my phone aside completely so I’m not even tempted to read and respond to text messages. This is where the work/life balance challenge arises again. End of day is usually when I have a moment to check in with friends and family, so to a certain extent it’s impossible to completely unplug, but I do my best!
At the end of the day, I think it’s most important to know your limits and boundaries. Avoid overdoing it and burning out (I need to listen to myself on this one) and don’t take yourself too seriously. I constantly have to remind myself that that email or text message can wait, that social media alert can wait too. There’s always tomorrow after all.