Our Culture: Balance

"You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once."

— Oprah Winfrey


I have a balanced approach to life, remembering that my spiritual, social, physical and family aspects are just as important as my financial and intellectual. I complete my work and my most important tasks first, so I can have quality time to myself, with my family and also to renew.

Why we seek well-being in the workplace:

Finding Our Smack Happy Place

Stress in the workplace can affect happiness, productivity, relationships, quality of work, and most importantly our overall mental and physical health.

Experiencing stress at work is inevitable, but the way in which we deal with it can bring more balance to our social, personal, and professional lives.

Over 55%

of Americans are stressed, and globally, Greece has the highest reported stress level at 59%.

- Gallup

Top Stressors at Work

Source: Wrike

  • communication
    40% Say

    Poor Communication

  • frustrated
    27% Say

    Team members not pulling weight in projects

  • waiting
    25% Say

    Bottlenecks waiting on others to take action

  • deadlines
    21% Say

    Unrealistic deadlines

  • overwhelmed
    27% Say

    Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed

Having strict cut-off times for work made a huge difference for me. I used to have a hard time stopping work, especially when working from home. By treating my WFH job as I would a regular job and ending at 5:00 PM each day had a big impact.

- Natalie, Web Developer

What We're Doing About It

As a company-wide effort to help combat workplace distress and create more balanced lives, we conducted a survey to find out how people manage stressors and ultimately achieve work-life balance.

Combined below, we’ve summed up balance tips and techniques shared graciously by our wonderful team and some of the best life coaches and wellness professionals in the biz.

That being said, here’s what some of us do to stay balanced, productive, and ultimately enjoy what we do at work as well as everything we do outside of it.

Tips for a new, more balanced daily grind.

When Working from Home:


Designate a workspace.


Keep strict work hours.


Set Hours

I pretty strictly only work between 9 am and 6 pm on the weekdays. This time is for work only. Personal things happen outside of that time.

No Notifications

I also turn off notifications on my phone and computer. (Fewer distractions!) I only look at things when I want to see them.


Notifications Off

I don’t push notifications to my phone, ever! I only check Slack and email on my computer.

Pet Kitties

When I need a break I stop to pet the kitties or go for a run, sometimes even watch a quick show during the day.


Set Boundaries

I’m working on setting better boundaries like working hours, shutting off technology, and completely unplugging.

Create Workspace

My current WIP is I’m creating a designated workspace to when I’m done with work, I can focus on relaxation.


Time Blocking

I block my personal activities off on my business calendar so nobody can overbook me.


One Thing at a Time

I will do tasks that require not a lot of deep thought to get warmed up, then dive into ONE more difficult thing at a time. That one difficult thing is always broken down and prioritized into several easier things, then added to my planner to tackle throughout the week.


Tough Tasks First

I try to tackle tough tasks first to maintain a sense of accomplishment and have a better progression in my day.


Prioritize Tasks

I prioritize tasks to try and balance time during the week instead of cramming everything into one day, and move less urgent items to days with time available.


No Notifications

Turn off Slack notifications after work hours.

smack happy lamp


of workers say stress & anxiety impacts their productivity.


say stress affects their workplace relationships.

Source: Wrike


Lean on people.

Sync workday hours with your partner.

Dedicate time to people you

Call or send a text to check in on others.


Seek Those Who Support You

First of all, surrounding myself with the right people is essential. I seek out people I respect who will challenge and support me, who encourage me to take the time for self-care and good habits. I get important feedback and use their suggestions and accountability to help keep me on track with my balance. I have a group for work, a group from church and wonderful family members that I rely on, in addition to friends.


Special Time with Kids

I dedicate the time I spend throughout the day eating snacks or meals as a special time to connect with my son. We love food and cooking together, so he really opens up during this time.

Try Not to Sweat the Small Stuff

If I've learned anything over the past year, it's to choose my battles wisely. If my seven-year-old really wants cheese for dinner, let us eat cheese. If he wants to do his homework in his underwear, so be it. If he wants to cry because he can't get his shoe on right, I'm there with open arms. I've really learned to just let go and give him the time and space he needs to express himself and be happy. It's truly made me a better mom in the process.


Make Time for Those Who Matter to You

I make time for the people who matter to me. When a client or friend calls or asks for help, I stop and I give them the time and space they need.

Remind Yourself to Reach Out

I also have reminders to reach out to the people I care about. Time just keeps going and before you know it, you haven't spoken to them in months! With my calendar reminders, I'm keeping in touch much more often. And my life feels full because I'm spending it with good people.


Coordinate Time With Your Partner

I work similar hours to my husband. We both try to stop working around the same time, so we can spend some time together in the evenings.


Remind Yourself to Check-In

Using reminders, I check in weekly to not neglect things that I had a tendency to in the past (reading, checking-in with people - relatives, friends and so on).


Take Quality Time

Setting aside dedicated quality time to spend with family, pets, and myself to recharge.

smack happy balloonies


of workers say stress & anxiety impacts their productivity.


reported stressed out eyes.


reported difficulty in sleeping because of stress.

Source: WM EDU

Physical Health:

Schedule time to

Drink lots of water.

Aim for

Take breaks during the day.


Workout a Few Days a Week

I workout at least three times a week.


Make Time for Activities

Set time aside every day to do something active, regardless of the pressure from other things.


Gym Time!

I schedule my visits to the gym 30 days in advance.


Take Breaks Throughout the Day

Take a break mid day to go on a walk.


Sleep & Drink Water

Make sure to get enough sleep every night and drink half your weight in ounces of water every day.


Save the Emails for Tomorrow!

Don’t read emails before bed, it can lead to terrible sleep!

smack happy sleep

3/5 adults in the U.S. needed more emotional support in the previous year to cope with stress.

Source: Mental Health America

Mental Health:

Be kind

Stick to your boundaries.

to quiet the mind.

Allow others to help you.


Daily Affirmations

For me, balance also means that I need to be willing to accept that some days just won't be balanced - but it's not every day. So, I always start my day reading positive affirmations, and saying them aloud. If things get wonky later in the day, I am able to recover easily by replacing icky thoughts with more positive ones.


I’m a mom and a serial caretaker. It feels abnormal for me not to help. Though, once I started delegating more consistently it became a positive habit. I truly found that allowing people to help me was an amazing source of growth for everyone involved.


Quiet the Mind

I meditate everyday.


Meditate Often

At least 4 to 5 mornings a week I meditate for at least 10 minutes.


Take Breaks to Regain Focus

When I'm feeling anxious about something and can't focus on work, I will take a break to do something that fills me up and calms me down. Those things are going for a walk, talking to my best friend, or sketching. After I've taken 15-30 minutes to do one of those things, I have a much better time sitting and getting things done.

smack happy plant

20% of Americans report they never engage in an activity to help relieve or manage their stress.

Source: American Psychological Association

Personal Development:

Seek others who your growth.

Record your thoughts and ideas.

Have fun and

Discover and try new things.


Hire a Professional Coach

I have a coach who I meet with daily.


Discover New Things

I read a lot of "self-help" and discovery books. I am constantly learning and growing, developing new programs and ideas.


I also journal consistently, either then or before I go to sleep to keep me aware and conscious of my thoughts and goals.


Read Non-Work Related Publications

I read non-business publications for at least an hour a day.


Play, Learn, Have Fun!

I love to play, learn, have fun, and try new activities as often as possible. It really helps calm my overactive brain and feel creatively focused, especially when it’s time to get back to work. Some things I've dabbled with lately are longer projects like my Andy Warhol / Marilyn Monroe portrait from tiny Lego dots, learning Greek on DuoLingo, creating a miniature diorama coffee shop, and (slowly but surely) building a gaming PC.

light bulbeeez

Balance isn't always consistent. Like most things, it's something you incorporate into your daily life. It’s a journey.

- Danielle

Balance is a Journey

We’re always exploring new paths to continuously evolve our work environment in positive ways. Our hope is that it not only benefits our team, but also our clients, friends, and families.

Our 7-Year Journey


  • Added international WFH opportunities.
  • Expanded hiring techniques that get to know people beyond the skills and abilities on their resume.


  • Improved overall processes to consider and encourage team healthfulness and personal boundary expectations.
  • Started quarterly team social events.


  • Committed to expansion of additional open door policies so all voices know they have equal opportunity to be heard.
  • Began ongoing team member recognition activities and events.


  • Accepted a more involved role to contribute to give to and support various causes and people we care about.
  • Ramped up referral, client, and vendor relationships to create continual, full-circle streams of long-lasting relationships.


  • Incorporated monthly workshops, casual co-working environments, support groups, and weekly wellness moments.
  • Evaluated and updated team culture, purpose, mission, and vision.


  • Incorporated The Five Ways to Wellbeing. Developed by the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, The Five Ways to Wellbeing are simple and proven actions we can all do to find more balance, build resilience and boost our mental well-being.


Before We Go, a Note from the Heart

As we reflect on what we’ve done to help create more Zen environments for ourselves and our future workforce, we know many do not have the luxury to do things like choose work hours, take a walk during the workday, or have the option to surround themselves with reliable support systems.

Beyond this article, our long-term, ongoing goal is to support and give back to the people and communities we know and love in any way we are able.

To the...

  • communities facing injustices
  • overtired, hard working parent
  • kids who are still trying to find their new normal
  • social butterfly stuck inside
  • overworked and underpaid
  • families and friends who’ve lost so much these past few years

We want to better ourselves, so we can be better for you.

Thank You!

A big thank you to all of the individuals below for participating. Connect on LinkedIn to learn more about them and the amazing services they offer.

Akeisha Johnson
Leadership & Performance Coach
An Inspired Story Coaching
Alice Shikina
Shikina Mediation & Arbitration
Claire Brown Kohler
President & Founder
We Empower Leaders, LLC
Jay Kingley
CEO & Client-Centric Marketer
Diane Pauley
Founder, Gimmie Sweet Words

Writer & Strategist
Smack Happy Design

Nicole Hanusek
Entrepreneur, Artist

Owner, CEO
Smack Happy Design

Natalie Milton
Owner, Ari Ventures

Web Developer
Smack Happy Design

Anna Byun
Owner, Dragonfly Studio

Web Designer & Developer
Smack Happy Design

Danielle Iera
Family-Owned Business Manager

Project Manager
Smack Happy Design

Ruben van Engelenburg
Owner, Redevelopment

Web Developer
Smack Happy Design

Viktor Angelopoulos
Partner, Webstart

Web Developer
Smack Happy Design