SL’s Leading Ladies series returns this week with some of the industry’s top women sharing their hard-earned advice and experience on how to achieve that mythical work / life balance (see the full line up here). From TV reporters to chefs, CEOs to in-demand bloggers, it’s safe to say these women lead pretty hectic lifestyles. Take a leaf out of their books and start to re-balance your work life with your home life, and trust us when we say their answers are honest! Here’s what they had to say…
“Perfect balance is impossible, even the most capable women I know don’t feel they ever get it right. So let’s stop beating ourselves up so much.”
Fiona McIntosh, Co-Founder & Creative Director of Blow LTD.
"Modern technology really helps me with multi-tasking, so embrace all the support technologies such as Skype for home-conferencing instead of business travel. I’m often asked if women in business can truly have it all – and the answer is “it depends how much you want”. I believe that a successful balance is getting most of it right, most of the time, and not trying to be Mrs Perfect."
Liz Earle, Founder of Liz Earle Wellbeing
“Support is essential from a physical, mental and emotional point of view - set the boundaries and create a good “team” around you to support you.
Eve Kalinik, Nutritional Therapist
“It is beyond difficult but possible - I can be quite cut-throat with my personal life and relationships, but they should be valued as much as work really.”
Sophie Michell, Executive Chef
“It’s so hard as work can really come in waves and you just need to plan your life, from what you’re going to have for dinner to when you have a night-in. My advice? Don’t say yes to everything.”
Natasha Corrett, Founder & Creator of Honestly Healthy
“It was difficult when I first opened PBB as I had so much to do. I have now learnt to delegate any tasks that can be done by the team, allowing me to have the much-needed time for my partner and my children. We always have a golden rule on Sundays: No work. I ensure that we have a meal together nearly every night and if I need to work at night it is usually when the children have finished their homework and are tucked away in bed.”
Paola Di Lanzo, Founder of Paola’s BodyBarre
“You absolutely have to make space for you. If you don’t, you are constantly giving your energy away to others, which depletes your energy to do the things you love and want to do. You re-charge when you give back to yourself.”
Julie Montagu, Creator of The Flexi Food
"Look after your personal life, because when you do stop working you’re going to need it! Family and friends are so important."
Kiki McDonough, Luxury London Jeweller
“I think the most important thing is to be present with your friends, not on Facebook or emails, when you are with them even if it’s once a month, just be with them.”
Madeleine Shaw, Nutritional Health Coach & Blogger
“Try to have a balance but things won’t be perfect and that’s ok, just accept it.”
Maria Hatzistefanis, Founder of Rodial
“Know where to set boundaries. It’s so easy for work to become all consuming – but know what works for you to be as efficient as you can be when you are in work-mode so you can make the time for home and personal life.”
Nicola McClafferty, CEO & Co-Founder of Covetique
“It’s critical to plan, plan, plan. I’m an early riser, up at 5am most days. This sets me up for a good day as I can get so much done early on.”
Jenny Irvine, Founder of The Pure Package
“It’s difficult to find the perfect balance, but generally being organised (boring, I know!) works. It’s mainly all about time management, which is an endless quest to improve upon.”
Emma O'Byrne, Makeup Artist
“Create a formula that works for you and don’t be taken by other people’s judgments. This is your life. Some days might feel successful and others not - it’s a work in progress. We cannot have it all, all the time but it’s a matter of being present within the task at hand.”
Tamara Arbib, Founder & CEO of Rebel Kitchen
“Simple - my weekends and evenings are always dedicated to family.”
Heidi Gosman, Co-Founder of Heidi Klein
“Everyone has a different definition of balance. Writing in a daily journal is a great way to get a sense check on how positive your balance is.”
Try The Five Minute Journal
Kathryn Parsons, CEO & Co-Founder of Decoded
“Simply remember to have a personal life! I think when you work for yourself it’s easy to work every night and weekend and I’m really trying to learn to make friends, exercise and me time a priority.”
Ella Woodward, Creator of Deliciously Ella
“I have set nights when I open my laptop in the evening and the nights when I don’t it’s about focusing on family. It’s all about planning and I sometimes get it right but quite often I don’t!”
Caroline Lucey, Director & Co-Founder of Active in Style
Nannies, au pairs, nursery, cleaners, parents and Ocado all help. I work at the weekend a lot at the moment so my husband can be with the children, it will change as they get older but it’s a bit of a balancing act right now.
Alexandra Hill, Broadcast Journalist and Presenter