Mastering Work-Life Balance: A Day in the Life of a Busy Professional

I am often asked how I do it all and sleep at least 8 hours per night. For years, I’ve used time blocks that have continuously evolved as I grow personally and professionally.  Does it always come together perfectly?  Not, but it serves as a guardrail for me gives me a semblance of organization to strive for peak performance, and helps me to prioritize.  For instance, sleep has always been top of the list at the end of the day ahead of screen time.  While I may not know what’s streaming on Netflix, I’m well-rested each morning.

By way of background, I am the broker/owner of a boutique commercial real estate firm, a new mom, president of an active local commercial real estate organization, a board member for a few other groups, and just started scaling one of my other businesses (more on that in weeks to come).

Closing a client deal with Rafael, one of Beyond Commercial’s associates.

In the not so distant past even with my time blocks, my schedule was admittedly more than 60 often 70 hours or more per week. So, I waited to start a family until my company grew to where I had a team to support me, but I was still working too much and felt like I was constantly on a treadmill.

After his daycare closed due to COVID-19, I pivoted to working on my business during his naps until his school reopened knowing that this was an opportunity with the shift.  I read books like “Knowing Isn’t Doing” by Rod Santomassimo and “Adapt” by Blaine Strickland. 

I also took that time I spent on my business further streamlining procedures and leveraging technology such as Calendly, which automates my scheduling and creation of conferences via Zoom.  I was also able to further hone my marketing to work with more manufacturing and warehousing clientele where I excel the most while supporting my team of agents with other commercial real estate assignments.

From left Adrian Little of JETechnology Solutions and Spouse, Amy and Phil Calandrino on the very right.

I have now developed a new daily flow amid this pandemic.  Here is a breakdown of my weekday schedule:

6:30 am: My morning nanny arrives.

My husband also runs his own business, so we found that we both can be home between 5:00 pm and 5:30 pm if we have help in the morning.

7:00 am: Gym time!

Going to the gym or even working out at home on my Peloton every morning is a must to get me going for the day.

8:30 am to 3:00 pm: “Work work work work work,” in the words of Rihanna

A day at work usually is filled with Zoom meetings, lunches, board meetings, phone conferences, and pounding out projects at the office. My husband Phil and I both run essential businesses out of the same building that we purchased last year, my company operates upstairs, and his law firm is downstairs.

3:00 pm to 4:00 pm: My afternoon nap!

My hyper-focus is quite intense while working, so I must shut my eyes for a half-hour to an hour each day. I like to use the Calm iPhone app, and often listen to Bob Ross to whisk me off to dreamland temporarily.

4:00 pm: Wrap up and leave.

I reorganize myself for the next day and go to pick up Gio from daycare. Depending upon the day, we may meet up with friends and go to the park to play with them or perhaps we will go to the grocery store.

my son, Giovanni!

5:30 pm: Gio’s dinner.

While Gio eats, we like to make video calls to friends and family as well.

6:30 pm: Bath and bedtime for Gio.

Post-baby bedtime:

If we haven’t eaten our dinner yet, my husband and I will eat together. After dinner, I tend to take time to myself and read or listen to music. At night starting around 5:30 pm, it’s time for my phone to be off or at least stowed away, and I stay away from work emails and texts. The only exception is if I know prior that there’s a pressing issue such as a deal being ready to close, I’m involved with, but this rarely happens.

I usually fall asleep by 9:30 pm and sleep until 6:30 am. I am fortunate enough that Gio sleeps through the night, but that is an entirely different post for another time.

There are a few things that are not readily apparent from the weekday schedule.  On Tuesdays and Fridays, I give myself some personal time for doctor appointments, hair, and other activities that I do not want to do in the evening or the weekends when I’m focused on my son, Giovanni.  For instance, in the visual above, on Tuesday, I have an acupuncture appointment every other week that helps immensely with maintaining my fast-paced lifestyle.

Admittedly, I do work a couple of hours on the weekend, but I always have. During that time, I clean out my email before penciling out my workflow, and calendar, and updating my to-do list. I use these paper trackers front and center during the day, so I stay on task and don’t get sidetracked. I’m staring at it right now as I type. To add context, I have “content article” written as one of my top three tasks to complete for today.

I’m accomplishing more in half the time in comparison to my pre-pandemic schedule. However, every day is a new opportunity. I’ve realized that if you want to be the best, you have to keep working on yourself. There’s always room to improve. When I look back at this blog a year from now, I surely hope that I have improved upon where I am today.