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Find out more about our Incredible Women: Jacqui Cesan

30 Mar 2016 3 Minute Read


Although her three sons don’t live at home anymore, there’s still not much time left in Jacqui’s day to stop and smell the roses. Amongst other things, Jacqui works as the Arts Coordinator at Auckland’s Mt Albert Grammar School, runs a highly regarded dance studio, sits on numerous boards and is instrumental in efforts to bring free dance classes to the Glen Innes community.

She’s also managed to fill her nest back up again, by kindly opening her home up to several dance students, ensuring they have the opportunity to develop their talents.

It’s little wonder colleagues have described Jacqui as a “pocket dynamo”. And it’s also little wonder her friends and family think she needs to bring some balance back into her life.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

I get usually about 6.30am (I’ve always been an early riser), have breakfast and race to school for 8am. I teach classes as well as being the Arts coordinator, so the days are full and fast. After school I usually have meetings or I’ll go to the Dance Studio and I still teach a couple of after school classes.

I normally do chores as soon as I get home and then sort out my dinner.

If I am lucky enough not to have meetings after school I catch up on emails, paperwork or prep for classes. I do however have a compulsory 10pm STOP (unless I have a deadline for something) so that I do get some time to relax before bed.

I never have a problem falling asleep at night and lately have been nodding off watching TV and I keep missing the end of programmes!

With the Symbio campaign, how did it feel watching your friends and family describe your busy life and all the things you do for them? Did anything they say surprise you?

I felt quite overwhelmed at some of the comments. I hadn’t realised that people took as much notice of my busy lifestyle as they had. I had a good laugh at some of my boys comments as again while they do hassle me about chilling out it’s generally after I’ve asked them to get or do something, but it was lovely that they said so many nice things.

What practical strategies, if any, have you since put in place to try and get some balance back, with some “me” time every now and then?

The 10pm curfew is new for me, and watching TV chills me right out (when I can stay awake). I have one class a week I attend as a student rather than having to be the teacher and I’m learning not to say YES to everything I’m asked to do. I am definitly getting more me time time than before.

In what ways have your family and friends and dance students chipped in to help you get some balance back into your life?

My boys encourage me to do things for myself rather than always doing things for others. They also cook meals for me. My students are always offering to help me and lighten the load and these days I am starting to let them.

Now that you’ve had the chance to really see how busy you are and how important it is to take better care of yourself, what one tip or piece of advice would you offer to all the other incredible Kiwi women out there, busy putting everyone else first?

Make some rules for your schedule to ensure you have regular time aside for yourself, regardless of whether you have something to do or not.

Learn to delegate tasks rather than taking on too much for yourself even if you CAN do it more efficiently. People won’t learn to do something if you don’t give them an opportunity to try.

Make the time to eat properly instead of on the run, even if you have take yourself out to do it!!

The Symbio™ Probalance™ 14 Day Challenge is a simple and delicious way to start to get your balance back.