Balancing Act

How busy executives make their lives work

of — town meeting in the same place as her daughters’ extracurricular activities helps prevent scheduling conflicts. “If it doesn’t fit on the calendar, then we can’t do it.” Lucas says that her commitment to following the calendar makes it a lot easier to avoid committing to too many things.

Managing her family and career has been “more about juggling than balancing,” states Alonzo. Long hours at the TV station, constant travel, and frequent after — work social events require Alonzo, the mother of two daughters, Alexa, 14, and Isabella, 10, to manage activities in the various parts of her life. “It’s difficult keeping all the balls in the air,” she admits. Despite the difficulty, the cable network executive, who has ascended the ranks of the television industry over 17 years, has the following suggestions for fellow jugglers:

Focus on the task at hand. “I give 110% to whatever I’m doing at the time so that I’m not sidetracked when I’m doing something else,” Alonzo says. At the office, Alonzo minimizes distractions by using voice mail to record messages, checking her e — mails at scheduled intervals during the day, and making certain that her childcare is in place at home. When at home, Alonzo completes any office work she has only after the girls have gone to bed. She says, “When I’m at home, it’s all about my girls.”

Create a support network. Early on Alonzo identified personal and professional individuals who could assist her with managing work and family responsibilities. The supporting cast can include your spouse, parents, siblings, friends, caregivers, mentors, and co — workers. Alonzo relies on her mother and her husband, Luis, to take care of the children when she’s at work.

Take time out for yourself. Alonzo uses downtime during her commute or while traveling to refocus and reorganize. She says the “me time” allows her to get away from the grind, clear her mind, and refocus her juggling efforts. “Even if your ‘me time’ is not [gotten] in the typical or ideal way, get it somehow!”

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