Feel like there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to do all of your work, prioritize your wellness routine and spend time with people you love? You’re not alone—balance is often cited as one of the biggest challenges for small business owners, executives and founders alike. We recently talked with six incredibly successful women to uncover the strategies that help them live their happiest and healthiest lives. Choose one or a few and stick with it to free up your schedule while maximizing your time.
1. Schedule Personal Time for Yourself
“Making time is a challenge,” Lyn Lewis, the CEO of Journelle admits. “Between being blessed with a fun (and demanding) job, a great network of friends and family nearby who I want to spend time with, and a desire to (at least occasionally hit the gym), I feel stretched sometimes. New York City also adds its own chaotic element; this city is exceptionally fast and has so many things to do and see.”
Her trick? Schedule personal time for yourself—and see that time as something that’s just as important as anything you calendar for work. “I’ve learned to run my personal life much like I run my work life,” Lewis says. “I schedule out weeks in advance my workouts, and six months in advance my bi-weekly dinners with my parents. Another thing that I believe is important to life-balance is being present. When I’m at work, 100 percent of my focus is there and when I’m out of work, I leave my phone in my purse during dinner or whenever I’m out with friends.”
Vanessa Packer, who founded modelFIT, uses the same tactic. “I schedule everything in my calendar; from workouts, to facials, to date nights, to chill nights at home cooking and vacations.” For Vanessa, this technique serves as a source of motivation too. “When I see those things in my calendar, I know I have to push to get to the reward.”
2. Outsource Help
Sometimes it’s actually impossible to get everything done. Katerina Schneider, the founder of Ritual, knows this first-hand. “I schedule everything from drive time to coffee breaks, but I also embrace help where I can get it by outsourcing things that aren’t the best use of my time,” she explains. “I’ve learned that there are people in my life who are better than me at certain things, and I rely on those people for help so I can focus on the things that matter and where I can add the most value.” This frees up Katerina so she can spend time with my family and grow Ritual to its maximum potential, which she says matter most to her.
Meg He, a co-founder at ADAY, also uses outsourcing as a way to free up time. “I only do things that bring me joy and good energy and try to outsource everything else,” she tells us. “This means that the ‘non-negotiables’ on my time are also things I enjoy and are thoroughly good for me. I’m very firm about saying ‘no’ to the things I don’t enjoy, even when obligated.” We love it.
3. Dedicate Yourself to a Mantra That Works For You
“As a mom, wife and the founder of Skylar Body, I constantly feel strapped for time,” Cat Chen acknowledges. “It was really difficult when I started Skylar Body to find time to ‘do it all’ and I often felt guilty for not finding enough time for one thing or another.”
Cat tells us that to make time for what matters, she dedicated herself to living by two rules: “Success comes with sacrifice and family comes first,” she shares. “Skylar Body is absolutely my passion, and with that comes time constraints and a lot of commitment, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Ultimately, though, my family comes first. So I find ways to prioritize my family by focusing on quality time with my daughter in every moment I’m with her. I also regularly unplug from work on the weekends so I can commit to my family. I’m not perfect but I try to find a balance for both myself and the people I love.
Looking for your new mantra? The old adage “less is more” applies to making time for things that matter to you too; after all, the less you commit to, the more free time you’ll have. Nina Faulhaber, a co-founder of ADAY says minimalism works wonders for her. “I’m very much into minimalism and this translates to everything I do, including my calendar. I focus on the essential, the things that are additive in some way to ADAY, others or me, and I cut out the rest,” she explains. “Quoting my friend Fern Olivia Langham and the book Goodbye Things, I ‘only attend meetings and events that deserve a “hell yes.”’” To that we say, heck yes.