Balancing Work & Personal Life: Tips for Artists
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 10 min read


Artists—be they painters, musicians or actors—are often so immersed in their creative processes that they may sometimes find it hard to strike the right balance between work and personal life. If you're a performing artist, you might feel like your art is your life, and that's okay. But remember, even as you pour your heart and soul into your craft, it's equally important to take care of yourself and not let your personal life fall by the wayside. This blog is here to help you achieve that delicate balance. Let's dive into the world of balancing work and personal life as a performing artist.

Why balance matters for artists

As a performing artist, you might find yourself asking: why should I worry about balancing work and personal life? Isn't my work my life? The answer is simple. While your art is indeed a huge part of your life, it's not the only thing that defines you. Here are some reasons why you should consider balancing work and personal life:

  • Mental Health: Constant work can lead to burnout, stress, and even mental health issues. Prioritizing your personal life can help you avoid these problems and maintain a healthy mindset.
  • Physical Health: Regular breaks from work are necessary for your body to rest and recharge. Ignoring this can lead to fatigue and other physical health issues.
  • Improved Creativity: Believe it or not, taking time off from your art can actually enhance your creativity. New experiences and perspectives gained during personal time can feed into your art in surprising ways.
  • Relationships: Relationships with friends and family are just as important as your relationship with your art. They provide emotional support and enrich your life in ways work cannot.
  • Personal Growth: Personal growth and self-discovery often happen outside of work. Engaging in non-art related activities can help you learn new things about yourself and the world around you.

Remember, balancing work and personal life as a performing artist doesn't mean sacrificing one for the other. It's all about creating a harmonious blend of both. Because a happy, well-rounded artist is a successful artist.

Set clear boundaries between work and personal life

Setting clear boundaries is key to balancing work and personal life as a performing artist. It's easy to blur the lines when your work is your passion, but boundaries help ensure that each aspect of your life gets the attention it deserves.

First, establish your work hours. Decide when you'll start and finish each day, and stick to it. This might be challenging, especially when you're in the zone, but remember, even Picasso took breaks. Your mind and body need rest to maintain peak performance.

Second, create a separate workspace. This can be a studio, an office, or just a corner of your living room. Just make sure it's a place where you can focus on your art without distractions. When you're in this space, you're working. When you leave it, you're not.

Third, don't bring work into your personal time. If you've set aside time for a movie night with friends or a family dinner, don't let work creep in. Leave your sketches, scripts, or musical scores in your workspace. This might be tough, especially when inspiration strikes at odd hours, but it's a habit worth cultivating.

Lastly, communicate your boundaries to others. Make sure your friends, family, and colleagues understand your work schedule and respect it. This way, they can help you maintain the balance you're striving for.

Remember, setting boundaries is not about limiting your creativity—it's about giving yourself the freedom to create without sacrificing your personal life. After all, a balanced life is a happier and more productive life!

Manage Your Time Effectively

Time management is a linchpin in the quest of balancing work and personal life as a performing artist. When you manage your time well, you open up space for both your work and personal commitments.

Start with planning your day. Having a clear plan helps you stay organized and focused. You don't need a fancy planner for this—good old-fashioned pen and paper works just fine. List down your tasks for the day, prioritize them, and then stick to your plan.

Next, break your work into manageable chunks. Working on a big project can feel overwhelming. But when you divide it into smaller tasks, it becomes more manageable. Plus, it's satisfying to tick off tasks from your list—it gives you a sense of progress and momentum.

And don't forget to take breaks. Yes, you heard that right. Taking regular breaks can actually improve your productivity. It gives your brain a chance to rest and recharge, so you can come back to your work with fresh eyes and renewed energy.

Lastly, learn to say no. As an artist, it's easy to get excited about new projects and opportunities. But taking on too much can lead to burnout. So, before you say yes, consider if the opportunity aligns with your goals and if you have the time and energy to commit to it.

Remember, effective time management is not about squeezing more work into your day. It's about making the most of your time so you can do more of what you love—both in your work and personal life.

Incorporate Self-Care Into Your Routine

When balancing work and personal life as a performing artist, self-care is not a luxury—it's a necessity. Even the most passionate artists need to recharge and rejuvenate. After all, you can't pour from an empty cup, right?

Start by paying attention to your basic needs. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating balanced meals? Are you moving your body regularly? These might sound elementary, but they are the foundation of your wellbeing. And when you're well, you can perform your best—both on and off the stage.

Next, make time for relaxation. This could be anything that helps you unwind. Maybe it's reading a book, taking a walk in nature, meditating, or just taking a nap. Whatever it is, make it a part of your routine. It's easy to overlook relaxation when you're busy, but it's essential for your mental health.

And don't forget to nurture your creative spirit. As a performing artist, your creativity is your greatest asset. So, take time to explore new ideas, learn new skills, and immerse yourself in the arts. This not only fuels your creativity but also brings you joy and fulfillment.

Lastly, practice mindfulness. Being present in the moment can help you reduce stress and enjoy your life more. Whether you're rehearsing for a performance or spending time with your loved ones, be fully present. It makes each moment more meaningful and fulfilling.

Incorporating self-care into your routine might require some effort initially. But once you start seeing its benefits, you'll realize it's well worth the effort. Because at the end of the day, you're not just an artist—you're a human being who deserves care and nurturing.

Establish a Supportive Network

When it comes to balancing work and personal life as a performing artist, you shouldn't have to go it alone. A supportive network can make all the difference. This network can include anyone who provides support, encouragement, or inspiration.

Start with your family and friends. They've likely been there through your ups and downs, and they likely understand your dreams and struggles. Lean on them, share your triumphs and troubles, and let them be the safe space you need.

Next, consider your peers. Other artists can provide a unique form of support because they know what it's like to walk in your shoes. They can offer practical advice, share opportunities, and provide a sense of camaraderie. Try to connect with them—maybe at rehearsals, classes, or even online.

Don't forget mentors or coaches. Their guidance can be invaluable. They can help you navigate your career, develop your skills, and stay focused on your goals. If you don't have a mentor yet, consider seeking one. And remember, a mentor doesn't always have to be older or more experienced. Sometimes, the best insights come from those who are just a few steps ahead.

Lastly, consider joining or creating an artist's group. This can provide a sense of community and a platform to share ideas, experiences, and resources. Plus, it's a great way to meet like-minded individuals and build lasting connections.

Remember, your network is not just there to support you—you're also there to support them. So, be generous with your time, knowledge, and encouragement. After all, we rise by lifting others.

Seek Professional Help When Needed

As a performing artist, you might often find yourself in high-stress situations. The pressure to perform, the uncertainty of gigs, and the constant need to push your creativity can take a toll. That's why, when it comes to balancing work and personal life as a performing artist, it's okay to seek professional help when needed.

Therapists and counselors can be invaluable resources. They can provide tools and strategies to manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health challenges that can arise in your line of work. You might even consider working with a specialist who understands the unique pressures of the artistic world. Remember, seeking help isn't a sign of weakness—it's a sign of strength and self-awareness.

Coaches and career counselors can also provide valuable guidance. They can help you set career goals, make strategic decisions, and manage your time effectively. They can provide an objective perspective and help you see opportunities you might have missed.

And then there are financial advisors. Let's be honest: the financial landscape of a performing artist can be unpredictable. Having a professional to guide you through budgeting, saving, and planning for the future can make a big difference in your financial stability—and your peace of mind.

Remember, it's okay to ask for help. In fact, seeking professional guidance can be a game-changer in your journey towards balancing work and personal life as a performing artist. You don't have to do it all on your own—there are professionals out there who can help.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

As a performing artist, you're in the business of creation. And today, technology offers countless tools to help you create, manage your time, and keep your life in balance.

For starters, consider productivity apps. These nifty tools can help you manage your to-do lists, schedule your day, and even block out distractions. Evernote, for instance, is a great app for jotting down ideas or organizing your projects. Trello, on the other hand, can help you manage your tasks and deadlines.

Next, consider time-tracking apps. Are you spending more time on social media than you thought? Or maybe you're not dedicating enough time to rehearsing or creating? Apps like RescueTime can give you a detailed breakdown of where your time goes. This insight can help you make necessary adjustments and find balance between your work and personal life.

And let's not forget about apps for mental wellness. Calm and Headspace are popular options for guided meditations and mindfulness exercises. Just a few minutes a day can help reduce stress and increase your focus.

Finally, there are numerous online platforms and social media networks where you can showcase your work, connect with your audience, and even find new opportunities. Instagram, YouTube, and Patreon are just a few examples.

Embrace the power of technology. It can be a powerful ally in your quest for balancing work and personal life as a performing artist.

As a performing artist, it's easy to get so wrapped up in your craft that you forget there's a whole world outside of it. While it's important to stay dedicated to your art, it's equally important to remember that variety is the spice of life.

Engaging in activities unrelated to your work can be a wonderful way to destress and recharge. It could be as simple as reading a book, baking a loaf of bread, or taking a walk in the park. These activities allow your mind to rest and rejuvenate, helping you return to your art with renewed energy and fresh perspectives.

Non-art related activities also provide opportunities to learn and grow in different ways. Picking up a new hobby like gardening or learning a new language can stimulate your brain and even inspire your art in unexpected ways.

Spending time with friends and family, too, is important. Our relationships are vital sources of support and happiness, and nurturing them can give you the emotional balance necessary for your artistic journey.

Remember, you are not just a performing artist — you are a multi-faceted individual with diverse interests and connections. Making time for non-art related activities is a critical part of balancing work and personal life as a performing artist.

Maintain a Positive Mindset

Keeping a positive mindset is a core aspect of balancing work and personal life as a performing artist. The art world can be tough, filled with rejections, criticisms, and occasional failures. But remember, this is all part of the process. Each setback is a stepping stone towards your next success, each critique an opportunity to grow.

It's easy to get lost in the negatives, especially after a tough day at work. But instead of dwelling on the things that went wrong, try focusing on the positives. Celebrate your small victories, whether that's mastering a difficult piece of choreography, or nailing a tricky note in a song. Be proud of your progress, no matter how small.

And most importantly, remind yourself of why you love your art. Is it the rush of performing in front of a live audience? The satisfaction of creating something beautiful? Or the joy of expressing yourself through your work? Whatever your reasons, hold onto them. They'll be your guiding light in dark times.

Remember, your mindset shapes your reality. A positive mindset can give you the resilience and motivation to navigate the ups and downs of life as a performing artist.

Stay True to Your Artistic Vision

When balancing work and personal life as a performing artist, it's essential to remain faithful to your artistic vision. The art industry is highly subjective and constantly changing. One day, you might be the talk of the town, and the next, you might feel like you're being pushed to the sidelines. This rollercoaster can take a toll on your self-esteem and even cause you to question your worth as an artist.

But here's the truth: Your worth as an artist is not determined by external validation, but by your commitment to your craft and your artistic vision. It's what sets you apart from others, it's your unique selling point.

Don’t let the noise of the industry overshadow your vision. You may encounter people who urge you to conform to the current trends, but don't let them sway you. If you're a playwright who loves to write historical dramas in a world obsessed with modern thrillers, stick to your genre. If you're a dancer who prefers ballet in an industry dominated by hip-hop, then pirouette to your heart's content.

Remember, trends come and go, but authenticity never goes out of style. So, stay true to yourself and your vision, because that's how you'll create art that's truly meaningful to you and your audience.

If you're looking for more tips on balancing work and personal life as an artist, we highly recommend checking out the workshop 'How to Maintain Being a Multi-Hyphenated Artist' by Celina Rodriguez. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and strategies to effectively juggle your artistic pursuits while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.