How We Keep Our Plates Spinning in the Air

Let’s face it: life isn’t often easy even when everything’s going well. Good job? Check. Healthy family? Check. Work/life balance? That’s an entirely different story.

Work isn’t just a means to make money; it should serve you creatively, financially, and emotionally. But how do you achieve that trifecta when there are only so many hours in the day and so many people, professionally and personally, muscling for your time?

It seems that seeking work/life balance is the Holy Grail of 21st Century fulfillment. Here are some work/life balance tips we Rebels have for achieving it (or trying to).

1. Create a Realistic Schedule

Account director Ashley Romao doesn’t strive for the perfect schedule; she attempts to create a realistic one during her personal time. She’s disciplined about her post-work daily routine. “I’ve learned to be ok (or at least try to be) with mess. My kids will only be little for a little while, so the dishes can wait. As soon as I get home from work, I try my best to not be on my computer or phone. I only log on after they’re in bed if I have to get any work done.”

2. Remember to Laugh

“Have a sense of humor and try to laugh at yourself — and with others,” suggests vice president of creative and content, Allison Minutillo. She tries her mightiest to see the positive in everything, particularly things that don’t go as planned, instead of getting worked up — and stressed out — about it. “There are some things you can control and some you just can’t,” she says. “Especially with a toddler in tow.”

3. Keep Track of Your To-Dos

General counsel and director of human resources Jen Tindall “makes lots of lists” to keep herself organized. She also makes “vigorous use” of her phone’s personal hotspot when waiting at kids’ sports practices. Jen also understands that her family is just as happy (“if not happier”) with spaghetti or tacos as they would be with coq au vin. And every week, she says that Peapod delivery, “returns one-point-five hours of my life.”

4. Connect with Nature

“When the weather’s not too terrible, I walk as often as possible with my dogs in the woods.” Copy director Julie Curtis says she hikes not only for exercise — itself an important component of work/life balance — but because walking means creative ideation. “My best ideas come to me when I’m hiking,” she says.

5. Skip the Line and Shop Online

Ashley takes time-saving a step further: “I use a virtual shopping assistant that sends me a few items of clothing each month.” There’s nothing like a monthly fix of pre-made stitches to give one a little breathing room.

6. Ask for Help When you Need it

Allison says she’s learning what might be the most important lesson — for her — about thriving professionally and personally at the same time: She says she leans on others for help. “This was the hardest for me to figure out in life, and only after I had my son did I realize the importance of community. When people offer to help you, they genuinely mean it. And we all NEED that.”

Professionally, she ads: “People feel happiness and a sense of accomplishment when you trust them to take something off your plate. It’s a natural motivator and relationship-builder.”

7. Just do Your Best

Designer Laura Campell finds the balancing act can sometimes be overwhelming. “Even though I do everything I can for my kids, I often feel as if it’s not enough. Until I’m with my kids and other children their ages and see how they conduct themselves in public. That’s when I think: ‘you know what? I’m not doing too badly after all.’”

No matter how you arrange it — whether it’s checking out, walking about, ordering in, not clothes-shopping or asking for a little help — these tools can help you achieve even a small amount of balance in your life. Not perfection, not chaos, but balance. Every juggler knows that’s the key to keeping the plates spinning in the air at once…

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