In honor of our podcast, Making Life Work, we are interviewing our favorite creative and ambitious people. We’ve asked them to share their own schedules, obstacles and strategies for balancing work and life.
Name: Sarah Sanford
Job: Field Operations Administrator
Current passion project: Naturopathic lifestyle principles with a focus on homeopathic studies
Tell us about a typical day for you.
5:45am Alarm goes off and my husband and I alternate making coffee
6:30am Watch a.m. news mainly for weather
7am Make my husband lunch
7:30am Walk dogs
8:15 am Call sister for daily “check-in”. Talk about life, health, concerns, solutions, daily life challenges and coping options.
8:30am Start work
12:30pm Break for lunch, feed mules, run errands like food shopping
1:30pm Back to work
5:30pm End work, get dogs outside and decide what to make for dinner, evening chores
8pm Relax for evening
10pm Go to bed
What are your major responsibilities right now, in work + life? How do you balance them?
Work includes multiple financial responsibilities in generating revenue for company. My position requires self direction as well as keeping other people (internal and external) on track with paperwork/purchase orders. There is a lot of pressure to process $100,000+ a week in addition to other day-to-day field operations responsibilities.
Family includes monitoring my parents’ health care needs and finances (in their 80s). This responsibility is split with my sister – thank god! It’s hard to raise parents! Home also includes caring for 5 dogs, 1 cat, 1 bird and 2 mules – and I guess my husband :).
I come from a self-employed upbringing. So balancing work and home hasn’t been a problem for me. I am pretty rigid about what time I start work and when I stop. I do work long hours at the end of each quarter and I try to balance that off with extra Me time on the weekends.
Do you have any habits or rituals that help you prepare for the week?
My life is very structured during the work week. At this point in my life, it is habit for me to have everything mapped out by certain times of the day. I do, however, have flexibility to change direction when needed. I don’t have a meltdown if I don’t stay on my time schedule. The schedule is more of a template rather than an absolute. Weekends are not structured at all and changes frequently with what I am doing.
What do you do to relax?
My way to decompress is either being outside in nature or caretaking for my animals. Shoveling/cleaning the mules’ paddock and the dog pen allows for my head to either focus just on what I’m doing or allow for daydreaming. Walking the dogs gives me a reason to get out and exercise. Both are a form of meditation for me – I can exhale and release tension.
The other thing I take seriously is my alone time for self reflection and meditation/relaxation. From when I was very young, my father taught me about meditation and the positive affects it has on stress. This is something that I am constantly evolving with and learning new things.
What do you do to “right” yourself if you get thrown off balance?
Breath and encourage myself to slow down and re-focus on the end game. If that doesn’t work, then I take a homeopathic remedy to re-focus on what has to be done, how and take away anxiety.
What sort of activities or relationships fuel or support you?
My husband, sister and few close friends. I have many acquaintances but have learned I only need a few to really support and guide me through personal challenges.
Activities – Studying naturopathic lifestyle/principles for health and happiness
Working with animals has opened an awareness that it is better to work together and gain respect rather than doing something to them to make them “respect” me. This can be applied in other areas of life.
How would you describe your general mindset?
Positive and flexible.
What is your favorite thing to do?
Motorcycling with my husband. Walking with my husband and dogs. Being home with my family or entertaining close friends.
Guess I have a lot of favorites!