Yes, you can fit in a sweat sesh and Netflix without sacrificing work—here’s how


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Photo: Elena Mudd

Finding a healthy work-life balance can feel like chasing that ever-elusive runner’s high: You know it’s possible—you’ve heard the stories!—but how the heck do you achieve it IRL? Well for starters, when several über-successful women behind the world’s top companies offer up insightful tips for managing your nine-to-five alongside your five-to-nine, it pays to take the memo.

At last night’s Well+Good TALKS about career #goals, hosted at The Assemblage in New York City, panelists Andréa Mallard, Athleta‘s Chief Marketing Officer; Dee Poku-Spalding, founder of WIE Network and The Other Festival; and Kelly Coffey, CEO of J.P. Morgan’s U.S. Private Bank had oh-so much wisdom to share. Below, you’ll find their best advice for planning a holistic life that makes room for work, barre class, and your latest Netflix obsession.

Check out how three women at the top of their industries hack that elusive work-life balance.

Elena Mudd
Photo: Elena Mudd

1. Bring your whole self to work

“Do not apologize for being a whole person,” Mallard says. Whether you’re five minutes late to work because your kid’s school bus is tardy, or you just spent a tad to long in savasana in yoga class this morning, give your coworkers the honest truth rather than lying about a doctor’s appointment for the umpteenth time. “When you can bring your whole self to work, things get a lot better really, really quickly,” she says. There’s no need feel like you’re balancing your personalities when you transition from home life to work life. Basically, being your best, truest self will help you be a great employee.

2. Work efficiently, not exhaustively

According to Poku-Spalding, people will notice what you get done, not how long you spend doing it. So being the one who switches on the light on each morning and kills it each night as the last one leaving the office won’t necessarily get you valuable brownie points.

Instead, focus on the quality of your work and making sure you have a good relationship with the people who will appreciate it. If people know who you are and can vouch for you, they’ll be more likely to advocate for you in your next big meeting, or when that promo opportunity comes up.

3. Make sleep your top priority, and front-load your day with self-care

To work out or to log an extra hour of sleep? That’s the question every workout warrior asks herself when the alarm sounds at the crack of dawn (or before). Ask Coffey though, and she’ll tell you that the answer for her is always simple: “The only thing I think is more important than exercise is sleep. Arianna Huffington convinced me of that. I completely believe her. I get seven hours of sleep every single night with a rare exception,” she says.

And when she doesn’t have to choose between shut-eye and sweat, Coffey always sets her alarm for 5:30 a.m. in order to squeeze in her sweat sesh of choice before working away at the rest of her day.

Sleep, exercise, and treat yo’self time, check, check, check.

Special thanks to Athleta, as well as Caldrea, bareMinerals, EVER, Intelligent Change, 100% Pure, One Love Organics Skincare, and GEM, who provided the amazing treats for the goody bags our guests took home.  

Past Well+Good TALKS have been epic too. Here’s everything we learned about CBD and how Whole Foods employees snack

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