I'm trying to describe someone who burns the candle at both ends. They work full-time, they study full-time, they have creative projects on the go, they raise their family and manage their property - etc... all at the same time.

I want to use a word to sum this up but will also hang a small definition on (similar to what is above) after the word to clear up what it means.

Words like multi-tasker spring to mind but this does not convey the meaning I want to give. I also considered words like dexterous and agile - but again, these don't seem quite right.

Given that people often use the term 'juggling' to describe people that 'juggle' their work, study and private lives, I thought there might be a nice adjective to describe the skill that a good juggler has but I can't find something suitable for this either.

Any help or ideas greatly appreciated. The context is that of a reference for employment or a CV.

  • I should maybe elaborate by saying that I want the chosen word to have good connotations. It should sort of say "This person does all these things at once - though no-one knows how - and manages to do it all efficiently and to a high standard." The skill/habit/ability being pointed out is a strength rather than a weakness in their character.
    – Swiss33
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 16:15
  • The "on-the-verge-of-a-nervous-breakdown" working mom yesterday finally decided to call it quits, and was last seen boarding a long-haul flight to Fiji. (link)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jan 14, 2018 at 11:28

6 Answers 6


Industrious. Ambitious. Assiduous. Productive. Hardworking. Hyperactive.

There is no word that specifically captures the exact notion you are describing, that is why we use sentences composed of multiple words to express nuanced ideas. The words provided above could fit your needs depending on context.

  • Thanks Dave, Some good words here (a couple I had wondered about earlier too, so that makes me feel good). Maybe we need to develop a neologism to cover this in the future. Surely there's a great portmanteau just begging to go social.
    – Swiss33
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 19:10
  • @Swiss33 Agreed. I'm always down to coin a new neologism, but I'm usually informed that the practice is frowned upon in answers on EL&U. Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 19:14

I can't think of a word to describe this but saying "(The person's name) juggles (his/her) work, study, family, and hobbies with grace/poise/great success" is more than adequate.


There is a concept called work-life balance which is the result of balancing all the different aspects of life. And the person who achieves this is called a work-life balancer colloquially.

Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) and "lifestyle" (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation).


But a more common adjective would be well-balanced or well-rounded. Of course, these adjectives has a broader meaning without a context so you can say:

a person with a well-balanced lifestyle

Below is an illustration of a wellness wheel that covers major life areas: (from http://achievewellness.co/)

enter image description here

  • I'm voting this up purely on the effort you went to with getting a graphic in here and all.
    – Swiss33
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 19:12
  • @Swiss33: Thanks. Graphic was just a bonus but the explanation is the real answer. You can feel free to choose as an answer also :)
    – ermanen
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 0:04
  • It's always worth a try. I've given it to Dave on this one because he came closest to my way of thinking. He also has a long way to go to get rep like yours...
    – Swiss33
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 20:16

If their projects have enough range, and they do it with poise and creative flair, then likening them to a rennaisance (wo)man might do the trick. The Wikipedia page for it redirects to polymath, which may be less suitable in your case because it connotes more about natural aptitude for different subjects than their ability to multitask.

  • I came across this information on Wikipedia too - when I was doing my research. I really like the term but I wonder how widespread it is. Even with my enormous vocabulary and incredible wit and grace, I hadn't come across it in this context.
    – Swiss33
    Commented Jul 18, 2014 at 20:18

Apparently, the generic

wonder woman - a woman who can be a successful wife and have a professional career at the same time

Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex

has made it to compound-noun status.

There doesn't seem to be a male equivalent ...

  • It's a shame there's no make equivalent. Regardless, it's possible that it would come off as too playful in a CV setting. Thanks for the idea though.
    – Swiss33
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 19:11

For a CV - did anyone mention 'well-rounded'? This means successful in a range of disparate areas, and implies balance. 'All-rounder' implies someone who is good at everything, like that. Can be used for both sexes. Often used for someone who is good at all subjects in school or college, can also be used in a work setting.


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