Some weeks, I complete my to-do list and still have time for family and friends. Other weeks, I decline every social invitation and lock myself in a room to work. With the demands of my full-time job, freelance work and side hustle, it feels like work-life balance almost always eludes me.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you’re not alone. The more responsibilities fall on your plate, the harder it becomes to achieve a sense of balance. That said, it’s not an impossible feat. It may look different for everyone (since we all juggle a unique mix of responsibilities), but you can certainly realize your own definition of it.
Take it from the three founders of women’s denim brand, All Year Round (AYR), who’ve been able to balance the demands of their personal life while building a business. Here are their tips:
Maggie Winter, Co-Founder & CEO
“At the end of most days, I find I’ve spent my time doing things I love: hanging out with my other co-founders, cracking jokes, making stuff, exploring ideas, telling stories and learning new tricks. Of course, most days end about three hours later than is probably healthy, and there are sometimes six of them in a week, but I work with my friends and I feel like together, we can do anything.
Building a business requires such relentless focus and consumes a tremendous amount of energy and emotion. I try to make sure I don’t sacrifice too much in pursuit of our goal, and I try to make sure to channel challenges into constructive change. I remind myself that my work is a choice, and that despite the sometimes overwhelming sense of responsibility, I ultimately have a lot of freedom. I know I will look back and think these are some of the best days.”
Jac Cameron, Co-Founder & Creative Director
“I think it’s always a struggle to balance and build structure around work and personal time. I would like to say there is a point at which you switch off, however in reality you never truly leave work at work. I feel very fortunate that my co-founders are my good friends and our team is small so we are an incredibly close group. My definition of “work” feels very different at AYR by nature of the environment we have built. We make sure our successes are celebrated and we have worked hard to create an environment that’s energetic, flexible, and above all, one that is enjoyable to work in.
Outside of work, I think it’s important to make time for the things that help center yourself. I go to yoga religiously and work out with Megan Roup who founded the Sculpt society. I make sure to get a good amount of rest so I can approach each day with clarity of mind. Good social time with your friends and powering down on vacation are both pretty integral to finding balance. I also take time to reflect when I’m at home and make sure to turn my phone onto airplane mode so that I force myself not to check it or respond to any ping that comes through.”