The Coronavirus has given many us an opportunity to pause and think about life, our purpose, and even the right work life balance. What’s your perspective and has it changed over time?

Michael Quan | Professional Organizer & Aerospace Project Engineer

When I started my corporate engineering career I was also a part time graduate student and had no work life balance at the time as the objective for both commitments was to advance my corporate career while learning skill sets that I could apply to it. After finishing graduate school, I really didn’t know what to do with the extra time in my week so I ended up spending it indulging in leisure activities, entertainment, and social events. Although these provided some great memories and friendships, it left me with a lingering desire to have more purpose in my life. In the current day I have my corporate career and my professional organizer business that is a passion project that became part of the “balance”. I see the complete “balance” now as spending time taking care of my personal well being and participating in activities and conversations that make a direct impact on the community. Read more>>

Nick Cincotta | Photographer

My day job is I am a special ed teacher. That takes a toll on me every day. Coupled with me being the union rep, it adds to the stress of my job. For the past five years I have been the union rep and in those 5 years I have had to change my work life balance. I do not want to burn out as a teacher, so I found other ways to cope with the added stress. The major way that I have coped is photography. Photography has become something that I am deeply passionate about. I find myself planning days in advance when I’m going to add the pictures so that I have time to decompress, time for my family, time for reading, or writing. You saw that right, I am in the process of writing my first novel as well, a historical fiction about the life of Barnum Brown. Since I have tried to make photography a side hustle, because let’s face it teachers are underpaid, I found that I need to plan my day is more so that I am able to have time away from the screen. Read more>>

Kara Cross | Owner of Soul Crafted Soap

While my business still consumes most of my free time, I have learned along the way that taking time to care for my body and mind are nourishing and necessary. I can tell people what I need, I can tell them no, I can take my time, I can ask for help in order to restore balance. My life might look out of balance to those outside of it, but when I feed what I love, that is when I feel balanced, and I love learning, healing, creating. Read more>>

Mari Kawamura | Pianist

I think balancing work is extremely important and it has changed for me over time. Performers are basically the same as athletes, building up muscles that are not necessarily used in our daily life by repetitive training (practice), and using our bodies to put on performances for an audience. However, unlike athletes, musicians tend not to be the fittest people in the world (myself very much included), since we often work indoors all day with no time for physical exercises. I used to keep a super intense schedule, practicing 8 to 10 hours a day during weekends, usually without having breakfast, since I had to rush to school to secure a practice room. Repeating this kind of routine, I eventually hurt my back and developed an injury that kept me in bed for a couple of months. Tough lesson! I recently read the book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr. Joe Dispenza, which helped me realize that I was in a survival mode for the entire time and made me think “how can I create anything if I’m in such a state. Read more>>

Peter Duff | Music Producer – Audio Engineer – YouTuber

Work life balance has always been a complicated struggle for me. Since I essentially turned my hobby into my job, the line gets a little blurry. There are of course obvious things that are clearly work or personal, like commenting with clients, marketing, accounting etc. But other things are a little more ambiguous. Is practicing guitar or piano fun personal recreation, or professional development? Is working on a song I’m really into work because it’s for a client, or is it personal because it’s fun and fulfilling? Is going to shows for experiencing live music and getting out of the house, or is it networking? In the early years of starting my studio and being self-employed I worked a ton, and my studio was in my home so it was constantly there. After getting burned out and working crazy long 10-14 sessions, I got more serious about trying to have have balance by using a the normal approaches most people recommend for people that work from home. Read more>>

DJ KZA | DJ, Streamer, Designer, Producer

Balance for me has become sporadic over time, tossing multiple things at once while making time for yourself, family, and etc. is a tough challenge and a learning experience that I am still continuing to work on. Balance for me doesn’t apply because to me, I think balance will make one stagnant. With all the curveballs being thrown at you, factors out of one’s control, and etc. It’s hard to say that there is a so-called “balance” when it comes to Work Life but its all part of the journey. Read more>>

Betzy Lynch | CEO Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center Jacobs Family Campus

I actually think work life balance is a myth. As CEO, mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend, if my goal was balance, I would feel inadequate and unfulfilled. I would have been unsuccessful in getting the priorities of my life to balance on either end of a scale. Additionally, the concept of work life balance comes from a place of privilege. It’s not reasonable for anyone to think work life balance is achievable. In fact, I would suggest it is impossible because work is part of life. My recommendation is to remove the expectations of balance and try to find meaning, purpose and joy in all parts of your life. When you are able to find learning and meaning even in the tough lessons life hands us, you are able to cope more easily and experience joy more deeply when it occurs. I would encourage all people to be less concerned about being accomplished since the constant striving for more feeds this unrealistic need for balance. Read more>>

Patty & Jose Galceran Coli | Founders of Volt Creative Co.

Owning a business definitely takes up most of our time but in the end it’s rewarding. As a couple we work together, we live together and we are basically with each other 24/7. Especially as a Covid brand we had to learn to separate work and life, and trust us it wasn’t that easy. We would say that initially it was great, but then there were times that we would lay in bed about to fall asleep and we would start talking about work, again. Simply because that was the only time we had each other’s attention. It became an issue between us and we started to let things get personal. There was constant frustration, holding each other accountable for our tasks became arguments, and we had to step back and figure out a solution. To continue to work together and have a healthy marriage something had to be done. The demand grew to the point that we found each other working all the time and not cherishing our relationship. Read more>>