What are your thoughts on work-life balance? Do you apply any techniques to achieve work-life balance?

Nikita Ladwa

Founder of The Naked Laundry

Some may disagree, but I work to the hour. Of course, I will always overrun those hours but I will do my best to time myself and be as productive during this time. Setting smaller targets to achieve bigger targets is how I try to balance my work load, allowing myself some socialising time.

Shazia Mustafa

Founder of Third Door

Having a work life balance now is so much easier than it was when we set up Third Door. Ten years on, I have a great team of people that run Third Door who follow all the systems and processes we have put in place. My husband tends to do the morning run and I will pick up the children and spend the afternoon taking them to their after-school activities. My children’s school has recently introduced a flexible/ad-hoc after-school service which means that I can book the children if I need to especially around meetings. Having set up a business with the intention of helping parents with their work/ life harmony, I always make sure I too spend enough time with my children during the week. Similarly, I will happily rearrange my working week if I feel that it is impacting my work/ life balance.

As a mother in business, I would remind mothers to remember to look after themselves both physically and mentally. That’s why I love going to the gym to do weightlifting, spending time at home baking, reading the latest book about feminism (!) or watching a great movie. Step away when you need to and work on your own schedule, not somebody else’s. Relationships with loved ones are more important than building your legacy or money. Because when all that fails, it is only relationships that you can fall back on to support you. Nurture yourself first and your relationships and everything else will work out. I step away from my work for a few days every few months and then go back to my ‘why’. I also make sure I have downtime for myself, as well as my family. I can’t stress how important self-care is. Likewise, to aid this focus on self-care, I also try to work shorter focused bursts, rather than long stressful days.

Please refer to the answer of s.5.

Tatjana Apukhtina

Co-Founder of TeaPro

Make sure to schedule time to have fun. It sounds ridiculous, but (if you're a workaholic like me) unless you schedule it in - you'll miss out.

Laila Datoo

Founder of a.life.more.mindful

I think work-life balance is a bit of a myth. One area of your life will always be a priority at any given point and that's natural. I think balance comes from the awareness of where you want to and need to focus your energies (it might be family for a few years or business at the start of growing a business) and knowing what self care techniques you need in place to help get you there in a healthy way.

I have some techniques I try and maintain no matter what is happening in my life. Meditation, pausing and taking breaks (big and small), exercise and being aware of where my stress levels are.

Rani Malik

Co-Founder of Venue 5 and Social Dhaba

In life everything can be balanced,people get flustered and all worked up for no reason due to society, kitty groups and what people in the community are going to say. As a business woman I find time to chill work and balance all I need to it's all about commitment and positivity

Teresa Faley

Founder of Letterbox Brownies

Finding a work-life balance has been difficult for me, and I definitely wouldn't say I've achieved the right balance yet! I've started doing little things such as setting a time to turn off my work phone each day - it doesn't necessarily mark the end of my work day, but it creates some structure knowing that calls will only be accepted until a certain time.
I'd like to eventually give myself set working hours so I can completely switch off at a certain time.

Sarah Asgaraly

Founder of Beyond Sarah

Generally speaking, as I work for myself I have a good work-life balance and I think it is really important for your mental health. I usually go to the gym every morning, work, go shopping when I have some spare time and also meet friends.

Fei Yao

Co-Founder of NewCampus

I find the concept of work-life balance a little too simple. Do we mean balance day to day? Week to week? Or over the course of a career? I think it’s important to assess (and regularly reassess) your current goals and priorities, and tip the scales into the direction of what needs attention right now. Sometimes it’ll mean you need to focus more on work, sometimes it’ll mean friends or family, or sometimes it’ll mean health and rest. And that’s okay. That being said, I think it’s important for companies to proactively implement policies that are inclusive of these dynamic situations.

Praneeja Roy

Founder of Roy Events

Time blocking! You need to time block and have a set routine where you work a few hours a day and maintain a work-life balance. When I started the business I use to think I need to work 24/7 to become successful and get the clients. However now thinking back at that strategy, you cannot be creative or productive with little sleep and feeling burnt out. Being an event planner I work most weekends, which means missing out on personal events and celebrations. So every week I try to time block everything I need to get done that week, from the biggest to the smallest of tasks like scheduling time to hang out with friends and netflix!

Shabari Saha

Founder of the London Vegan Business Network

I think that it’s very important to achieve a work-life balance. Stress can cause a lot of health problems. It’s easy to become a workaholic whether you work for yourself or for someone else, as you might be thinking that you need to put in all the hours to get your work done. However, you need to think of your health first. In regard to techniques, make sure that each day you give yourself some me time. Do things you love doing, rather than need to do. Whether it’s cooking, writing, reading a book, listening to music, singing, taking a brisk walk, dancing, or making something. Unless, you look after your well-being, which includes eating healthily, taking exercise and getting enough sleep, you won’t be able to function properly and your health will suffer.

Tenesia Pascal

Founder of Earth To Earth Organics

It’s so hard to maintain especially with a new business and a full time job. Honestly my life at the moment is 80% work 20% everything else. We’ve got two allotment plots, I really enjoy growing food being at the allotment is a nice respite from everything else. Danny and I make sure that we go on holiday at least once per year it’s really the only time that we really get to switch off.

Carly Thompsett

Founder of Anaphase Store

I am strict with myself on this and a lot of people are surprised I limit my time. A lot of people think you need to work 24/7 to run your business but you don’t wanna burn yourself out or start hating what you do. I work between 8am and 6pm Monday to Saturday; I use this time to check stocks, do my emails – literally run my business and I will only go outside these times if its an emergency or theirs an urgent request with a customer.

Priya Shah

Founder of BAME in Property

I work on BAME in Property in conjunction with my day job as a Public Affairs Consultant in the property and planning sectors. I enjoy the collaborative nature of both roles but sometimes it will feed in to evenings and weekends. I’ve never seen this as an issue as I enjoy working on BAME in Property but managing my time has been key. I’ve become better as multi-tasking and prioritising tasks.

Having time for my friends and socialising is key – it keeps me insane and regularly meeting friends is an opportunity to share ideas and learn more from them. Having time to myself is also important and I try to make time to go the gym. My real solace is backpacking around a new country every few months, where I am officially ‘out of office’, and it gives me an opportunity to develop my ideas further.

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