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If you’re a leader in the culture space, your work likely isn’t confined to the usual 9-to-5 schedule. Industries such as entertainment, fashion and hospitality often lend themselves to hectic or unpredictable work schedules. As a result, it can be difficult to balance your personal life with the demands of your career.
As top culture leaders themselves, the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council recommend the strategies they use to achieve better work-life balance and carve out time for what truly matters to them.
Don’t Bring Work Problems Home With You
As a chef and owner of Common Lot, as a husband and as a father of a two-year-old, it’s certainly a juggling act. I’m fortunate enough that my wife is also in the industry and also my business partner at work. We are used to the awkward hours, long days and weekend shifts. It’s about not bringing problems home from work, focusing on family time and dealing with problems from work during “work hours.” – Ehren Ryan, Common Lot Restaurant
Block Out Time for Yourself on Your Daily Calendar
My production schedule can be fairly chaotic. At any time, we can have a variety of products in development, such as mobile games or scientific illustrations. I have to constantly shift mindsets depending on which product I’m overseeing. It gets incredibly exhausting. To combat fatigue, I assign time in my calendar for myself at the beginning and end of each day to do things like workout or read. – Ashley Deese, Smithsonian Institution
Focus on Personal Wellness
I have found over the course of the pandemic that it’s been crucial to concentrate on personal wellness and try to put positive habits like fitness and reading above the hectic work schedule. Placing importance on wellness actually gives me a sense of normalcy and makes it easier to concentrate on work at a time like this. – Bridget Hilton, LSTN Sound Co.
Prioritize Family and Self-Care
You have to love what you do, but also remember that family and self-care are extremely important. I like to block out parts of my day for other activities in my work calendar so I remember to take a break. To be honest, working from home this year has taught me that there are ways to balance work and life much more effectively, which I didn’t realize when I was commuting every day. – Bernadine Brocker Wieder, Vastari
Set Strict Time Boundaries
The key to staying sane and not burning out is to set strict boundaries on time. If the clock hits 7 p.m. on a weekday, even if I’m in the middle of something, I stop and pick it back up the next day. What I’ve found is that I get more done in less time by forcing myself to stick to this schedule, which has totally transformed the way I work. – James Simpson, GoldFire Studios
Be Selective With Your Time
It’s all about time management. I am selective about how, where and with whom I spend my time. It is not easy as this is a heavily relationship-driven industry, but for the sake of avoiding burnout, it’s best to schedule in a way that allows you to still be your optimal self. – Nicole Plantin
Write Things Down
Prioritize your time by first writing things down. Buy a notebook and use it or use the notepad on your phone. It’s better if you use paper and a pen (or pencil) to engage your brain and get the feedback of the slight vibration between the two. Once you have several notes, start to match them up to projects. It doesn’t matter whether or not these are paying projects. – Michael Polk, Billboardology.com
Make Sure You’re There for Your Family
It’s all about balance, isn’t it? I work long hours with demanding clients but I have always made a strong effort to be there for my family for all important events. It is a constant struggle, but balance is achieved through being able to pivot quickly, set a priority and maintain communication with the family and the clients and employees. It’s tough to do but so worth the rewards. – Domenic Rom, Goldcrest
Move Through Each Day With Consistency and Intention
As an industry pioneer, I have learned that consistency breeds balance. Therefore, every day I intend to do five things well: sleep, eat, hydrate, move and socialize. When I move through every day with intention, I’m able to better manage my unpredictable schedule. – Courtney Caldwell, ShearShare, Inc.
Respect Personal Time Like Any Other Meeting
This is a tough one. It comes down to prioritization and really scheduling your personal time and respecting it as you would any other meeting. I have a firm rule that I do not work on weekends. There are always fires and sometimes I have to make exceptions. But, I’ve found that voicing my boundaries with employees helps me and them respect them. Treat workouts like meetings — respect the time slot. – Catalina Girald, Naja
Try Out a Four-Day Workweek
We recently shifted our company to a four-day workweek as part of an ongoing effort to help our team achieve a better work-life balance. That scheduling shift has had a massive impact on my own ability to recover and bring my best self to work, in spite of the natural challenges of running a growing business. We have to take care of ourselves! This is a marathon, not a sprint. – Dan Giuliani, Volt Athletics
Accept That You Can’t Do It Alone
I give in to the fact that I can’t do it all alone. I allocate as much as I can to team members whose judgment I trust. You’re nothing without a solid crew. I try to make sure to have some personal time to be able to decompress and unload tension. – Danny Fuentes, Lethal Amounts