Juggling work and home obligations is a challenge for many successful women in leading positions. A typical day in such a woman’s life starts very early.
She gets ready and gets kids ready, makes breakfast, rushes off to the child care centre and then to work.
At work, she needs to be fully focused and committed for a long period of time to achieve the best results. And you would think that that’s quite enough for one day. But that’s where you’re wrong. After work, a busy, working female leader commits to doing her second job as a devoted mom.
And perhaps she even cleans up the house a bit, prepares dinner, works out, does homework with kids and so on. No wonder it feels almost impossible to achieve a proportional work-life balance.
However, even though it seems like a mission impossible, it is actually possible to achieve a balance in work and life. First of all, you need to be aware of the causes of poor work-life balance. These often include increased expenses, additional obligations at work or home and working long hours.
Then you can apply some tips and tricks that can help you achieve that balance. In order to do that you should prioritize yourself, take regular breaks and ask for flexibility, among other things. When it comes to tips related to home, you should set clear boundaries, work on relationships and spend quality time with your family.
To allow yourself more free time, you should take a look at some easy and quick ways to keep the house clean while working full time. There is a number of benefits of a work-life balance.
1. Causes of Poor Work-Life Balance
In order to achieve a better work-life balance, we need to know something about the causes of poor work-life balance. There are a few things that can cause a poor work-life balance. The first one is related to having bigger expenses, without an increase in salary.
Another substantial reason that makes having a work-life balance difficult are additional responsibilities at work and at home. And the third key cause is working kong hours, more than 40 a week. Also, having problems with a partner or in the family can be a cause as well.
In that case, what you can do is go to therapy or counselling. If that doesn’t help you can hire one of the best family lawyers to help you in solving the issue in the most optimal way for you.
2. How to Make a Work-Life Balance at Work
1. Learn to Make Priorities
Learning how to make priorities when it comes to work revolves around learning to say ‘no’. It’s one of the top soft skills we need in today’s business world. Even though it seems like an easy thing to do and an easy practice to acquire, it is in fact not so. You can do this by assessing the demands of a typical working day and making priorities. You should say ‘no’ to all the obligations that are not priorities.
2. Take Regular Breaks
Taking regular breaks should be an integral part of your job. There are so-called microbreaks that last around 30 to 60 seconds. They tend to improve your focus, reduce stress, keep you engaged and make your work more enjoyable. When doing something intense, however, you should take a longer 15-minute break every 75 to 90 minutes. It will help you keep your mind sharp.
3. Ask for Flexibility
To achieve a balance at work, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for flexibility. You should speak your mind, be open and honest about your needs and feelings. Your employer can’t help you if they don’t know what’s bothering you. It is all in the aim of higher productivity and hence profit. It should be the same if the situation is vice versa: you should be mindful of your employee and their needs.
4. Don’t Disregard Your Health
We won’t need any balance in work and life if we don’t have health. Health is a basis for our normal functioning. Health encompasses physical, mental and emotional well-being. So, to work on your health, you should be mindful of a few lifestyle habits. That means sleeping well, eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, exercising, meditation, practising gratitude and socializing.
5. Be self-Compassionate
Being self-compassionate is extremely difficult for many people, especially for women in high, leading positions. They are there for a number of reasons. They are hardworking, intelligent, persistent, resourceful and consistent, to name a few characteristics. However, at this point, you should learn how to let go of perfectionism in order to achieve a balance.
6. Enjoy Your Lunch Breaks
It often happens that you work through your lunch break and eat at your desk. However, that’s not the best way to enjoy your lunch break. You should go out someplace you like and enjoy being at. Eat your lunch mindfully. It will help you reset and get ready for upcoming challenges.
3. How to Make a Work-Life Balance at Home
1. Set Boundaries Related to Work
This is of utmost importance. When you come home, you don’t want anyone from work bothering you with work-related matters. To avoid this from happening, you should clearly state the boundaries to your colleagues. You can set up an automated email to respond to all emails you get while your off-hours.
2. Work on Relationships
Having strong relationships in our life actually helps us live longer. So, nurture the relationships you have with your partner, family and friends. By setting limits at work, you’ll have more free time on your hands to devote to close people.
3. Spend Quality Time with Your Family
For an ideal work-life balance, you should designate free time for spending with your family and doing some quality activities together. These strengthen the bond you have with your family as well as help in upbringing your children in the right way.
4. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Women who are high achievers often feel like they can do everything themselves. And they don’t want to bother anyone by asking for help. This behaviour is sometimes related to identity traits and feelings of obligation. By asking somebody for help, you allow those people to be an important part of a solution and support system.
4. Benefits of Having a Work-Life Balance
A plethora of benefits a work-life balance brings is a reason good enough to commit to making the necessary lifestyle changes. They refer both to you and your company. First of all, there is a possibility for fewer health issues. When you work long hours, you’re at risk of poor overall health, heart disease, fatigue and loss of close relationships.
Moreover, when you have a balance in your life, you are more productive. So, it’s beneficial both for you and for the company, as you feel great about your achievements and the company makes a progress. Also, burnouts tend to happen when you are mentally exhausted.
With a balance in your life, there’s less chance for mental exhaustion and hence, burnout. Lastly, mindfulness comes naturally as a result of well-balanced work and life. It refers to the ability to stay focused on the task at any given moment.
It’s not easy being a powerful and committed female leader and a devoted, loving mother. However, hopefully, these simple tips and tricks can help you get to that much-deserved balanced work and life.