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Every Wednesday, at 2pm EST, there’s an awesome chat that I’ve made a part of my weekly routine… #StartUpChat!  It has developed quite a regular following, so its really fun for me to see the same people each week, putting the social in social media.

Usually the topics are of a business-nature, but yesterday’s chat focused more on personal life – “Life Balance: how business professionals can thrive personally and professionally”.   @startupprincess asked guiding questions for the chat, and @speakmichelle, Managing Director for Startup Princess, was there as well to share her knowledge.  For the full chat, search #startupchat on Twitter.

Q1: How many times a week do you feel stressed or overwhelmed running a business and a personal life?

@speakmichelle I know for me, it’s hard to know where work ends and fun begins, because I LOVE my job. But that doesn’t mean I can “work” 24-7.

@littlelambweb You can’t change the fact you have extra work, but you CAN change your reaction to it.  Don’t allow the situation that caused the extra work to distract you from the actual tasks that need to be done.

@3kidshere with little ones, it’s hard to make time for both business and family but with focus it can be done.  it’s relative to workload & family demands.Some weeks I feel like I can conquer it all-other weeks I’m stressed every day.

@Mustlovepopcorn Honestly, a few times a week. Its not easy to run a busy biz & have a life. Always tell myself if it was easy every1 would have 1.

Q2: What current techniques do you currently use to feel more balanced with work and life?

@speakmichelle I use what I call my “Life Priority System”.I don’t believe u can have “balance” daily, but I can focus on a specific priority. One thing I think is key is “Success is Scheduled.” – Brendon Burchard, but it’s so true. Schedule “work”  “family” “fun”. I use what I call a “Time Map” It helps me schedule my MOST IMPORTANT roles for the week. I want to schedule my success.

@Leanne_Caine its good to put a stop on when ur working & putting time aside for personal interests so they don’t get lost!

@Tweetsweettooth aiming to be disciplined about work time and family time, set hours etc. doesn’t always work, laundry still distracts me.

@littlelambweb always try to be careful with over working. while you love what you do, you don’t want to start resenting it either.

@ParijatDesh I add personal things to calendar. I’m more likely to do them than if I assume it’ll get done. Scheduling everything helps!

Q3: For those of you who work from home or have kids, how do you ensure your kids needs are met?

@startupprincess I make sure when I’m with my kids, the laptop is down and the phone is not a distraction.

@speakmichelle CONNECTION is key. It’s not about the time spent, its about connecting with kids, spouse, friends, when you ARE with them. With family, it’s important to ENROLL them in what you are doing. Involve them, let them know about your goals.Ask for support. Another part of enrollment is to make commitments of time and stick to them. Loved ones want time trust.

@GoodiesForGifts A very good husband who helps out ALOT. Quality time with each them when possible with NO PHONE!

@KellyNow Family Meetings. We set aside the time to make sure everyone’s needs are heard.

@speckledbirdtm If your family is apart of your business that makes a big difference. Make time for family away from your business.

Q4: How do you schedule your day? What tools or systems do you use?

@speakmichelle I’ve used it all. Palms, online systems, old fashioned calendars, etc. They all work if you’re dedicated to the system

@TianfenConsult I am a list person, 3 dry erase boards and 2 calendars. My iPhone keeps me organized.

@KCbakes I use my Gmail calendar. Email alerts are so helpful. Gives me a good visual of what my week is looking like as well.

@Mustlovepopcorn I set aside time blocks for all things I need to do, than arrange them in the order that I want to do them.

@littlelambweb hootsuite is pretty awesome. i schedule my tweets a whole month at a time.

Q5: How much time do you block out a week for “down time”? Do you work on the weekends? Night?

@ParijatDesh I say no calls/emails after 7pm and work only 1 weekend a month. Sometimes I add more but at least its not much more. I used to work all the time at night and w/e and it would take a huge toll on personal life so had to make hard boundary.

@kreyolicious It varies. Some nights, some wknds. in gen’l every biz should set apart at least 30min-1hr per day.

@cynthiaschames M-F I see kids in AM only; long commute, long hours. No work on wknds though, unless special project.

@KellyNow Movie night and Game night HAVE to happen at my house. The rest of the week is fluid.

@GoodiesForGifts I wing it! As long as I feel happy at the end of the day I am good – that how I judge success.

WOW, you all work A LOT. Q6: How do you meet your own personal needs with such busy schedules?

@speakmichelle I do a “Power Up” in the morning and a “Power down” at night. I get up before my kids and before email and I exercise+read. I do an exercise calle “Roles and Goals” I go through the roles I play & see what needs I need to fill. Keeps me “on priority”.

@KCbakes I try to get some “me” time, by getting a pedicure or something, but my mind wanders & I find myself on my phone! So hard. The time you take off def. depends on your type of business. Weekends are when ppl like to shop.

@GoodiesForGifts I do it all at once. Hair, nails, wax. I put it off so long, I am a mess by the time I roll myself into the salon.

@seeshell2083 Plan tomorrow the night before, to do’s, goals ect. Makes it easier to shut down and relax.

@TianfenConsult: I have 2 brands that need attention: ME and @TianfenConsult, so I treat brand ME like a biz. Every Tuesday night is movie night in our home…breaks up the monotony of the week! And NO cell phones at dinner.

We’re also big on vision boards. Kelly and I both do vision boards. Do you have a vision board?

@startupprincess A vision board is a visual representation of your goals and dreams. You can put it on a posterboard or something else. I update my vision board once a year or when I’ve received everything on it! Kelly’s also done them with her kids for things they want to do for summer vacation. What a fun tradition!

@KCbakes Pinterest is a great tool to create digital vision boards. I have one of my Pinterest boards linked to my website so ppl get ideas how to use their cake pop stands. Here’s how I use my Pinterest board to help my business…http://www.kcbakes.com/recipes-with-sticks.html

@KellyNow My teens and I do Vision Boards together each New Years Day. I learn so much about them thru it.

@speakmichelle I use a corkboard and tack up my pics, then I can take things off and add as I wish.  I have a video about vision boards here: http://bit.ly/vy3WbH How to create one and a peek at one of mine.

@seeshell2083 Vision boards are a must! Keeps you motivated and focused.

Wrap-Up Thoughts: 

@scdiCEO everyone’s balance is different. It’s about what works for u as a person not what others think/works for them

@startupprincess I also learned from @TheHopeGiver to create a Joy list.Make a list of 30 things, big and little, that bring you joy. Do 1/week.

@speckledbirdtm You must set aside time for yourself first, if you break down then what?

@KCbakes here’s a great quote that goes along great with today’s theme…

Balance, peace, and joy are the fruit of a successful life. It starts with recognizing your talents and finding ways to serve others by using them.  Thomas Kinkade