A host of factors, developments, and dynamics have made most industries more competitive than ever. As a result so many of us wonder whether there is still such a thing as work-life balance. We reached out to the community to hear perspectives on finding the right balance.

Lauren Whitson | Director of Operations at Friends of the Katy Trail or Working Mom

Juggling a career and a family is difficult. Throw in a pandemic and it’s practically impossible. In fact, as I write this between meetings, I have a two year old napping nearby, a four year old in arms distance, and Scooby-Doo playing in the background. Early on the pandemic we were all in new territory. Our family of four went from spending more than 40 hours away from each other each week, to everyone under one roof 24/7. Our 1,800 square foot home started to feel like a pressure cooker knowing that someone might blow their top at any given moment. Almost a year later, things have mellowed and I can reflect on lessons learned. I’m the type of person who in the past probably took on too much. I thought, I’ll just do it because I know it will get done and get done right. It took being almost being buried to realize I needed to let things go. It’s all about prioritizing, just don’t let go of something you can’t get back – like time with your children or precious relationships. Read more>>

Francisco Gomez Palacio VI | Founder and Owner | Integrated Home Improvement

Balance is now one of my most important values, as it’s probably the most crucial thing I was missing for most of my life, and once I improved at life balance, I realized its power. In my experience so far, the biggest key to balance has been diversified discipline, because it forces me to allocate time to each of my priorities, whether it’s work, health, relationships, entertainment, errands, or anything else that takes up your time. Before, I had what I call concentrated discipline, which was great for putting in massive amounts of time into one thing, but it eventually blew up in my face, because it’s no way for a human to live.  Even Michael Jordan took golf breaks. It’s interesting that I was going all-in on one activity so I could achieve more, but, for me at least, living a balanced life increased the efficiency of the time that I put into my work. Read more>>

Margaret Ying | Sticker Maker & Procrastinator

Prior to running my own business, I worked in the visual effects industry where overtime was a norm. It was something I enjoyed so I thought of it as combining work with hobby time. I would work 12-13 hour days and sometimes weekends too. After a while, I realized it wasn’t sustainable if I wanted to start a family in the future. With that in mind, I took a leap of faith and decided to start my own business. Now, I run my own business but I have to admit – I work almost waking hour of the day. What I didn’t realize was that when you discover your dream and you get to do what you love, it is incredibly difficult to stop. I would be so entranced in my work that I would forget to eat, drink, or even think about sleep. I was just so excited to do what I love. For over 4 years, my entire life was all about work, and then I hit a breaking point. My mental and physical health suffered big time. I took a big step back and put my business on hiatus for a few months. Read more>>

Corey Bao Nguyen | Artist

The work/life balance is something that I have always battled with, especially starting out. We glorify the ‘grind’ and ‘hustle’ so much, we sometimes forget to simply take a moment to appreciate how far we have come and what we have accomplished. I didn’t notice how unbalanced I was until I started to feel burnt out. I pressured myself to constantly be producing something. Whether it was artwork, music, to starting my brand, I just kept pushing. With that, I found that my heart wasn’t in my work as much as I wanted it to. For my mental health, I simply took many steps back and dialed down. In doing so, I found that I was actually happiest not constantly creating. I made more time for my family and friends. I made time to take better care of my physical health. Instead of waking up and immediately responding to emails and messages, I am now taking my mornings to enjoy the moment. Read more>>

Zachary Slack | Owner of Sky Guys on Cedar Creek Lake – Real Estate Photography/Videography

In today’s society family heads are being pulled in many directions. Add owning your own business to the equation and it can easily get out of control ,which can have a dramatic effect on how we perform each assignment we have relating to work and home life. That being said, with the growth we experience in our town, as well as our own family, we admit it is a true challenge at keeping what is most important in the forefront of our minds each day. But in doing so it has proved successful in many areas. We have gained several clients over the three years we have been in business, and also acquired a couple of new family members. Both of these changes are exciting, and both require attention and prioritizing. So we “buy out the time” and use that time as wisely as we can. Read more>>

Christian Figueroa | Photographer & Group Fitness Instructor

Balance has been difficult to maintain since starting my own photography business. There’s days that I wish I could sleep all day and there’s days that I wish would be longer to get other tasks accomplished. Over time I spent more time working on my art instead of sitting around and not doing anything. Some people may think I’m crazy because of how un balance my life can be with working two jobs, going to school part time, and running a business on the side but I believe it has made me grow overall and made me see how important it’s to plan ahead. Read more>>

Preach The Poet | Poet/Teaching Artist

It’s one organism. I’m blessed at the moment to be able utilize my ability to teach poetry in some form or fashion in my work. I love being able to wake up every day and know I’m going to be spending some time with the youth and communicating. In my mind, in solving the problems of our world, healthy communication is key in our betterment. Read more>>

Audrey Kominski | Artist and Creative Professional

When I was in college, I had control over my entire schedule. I could work on evenings and weekends, meal plan for one, and go a couple weeks without doing laundry if I felt like it. My boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband) was busy with school too, so we only hung out a couple days per week. This left me the time to be on a nonstop grind. Balance looked like a weekly workout class before lunch on Mondays, or inviting a friend to hang out with me while I carved linoleum or mixed ink in the studio. Now that I am married and working full time, I have more responsibilities and less flexibility with my schedule. Balance looks like protecting time to watch TV with my husband on work nights, or allowing myself to go 24 hours without responding to any messages on my phone. I find work life balance to be a struggle to stick with what works for me, rather than comparing myself to everyone else. But I am learning and growing all the time. Read more>>