Women in business and work life balance
Most women entrepreneurs start up their business with dreams of an ideal work life balance – and so they should!
However the reality can often be far from work life balance and as you strive to grow your business the pressures can be immense from a number of arenas:
in your business you may wear all the hats from marketing to accounts to IT-guru and everything in-between,
in your personal life you may be striving to balance family, relationships, health, adventure, chill time…..
and in addition many women entrepreneurs place huge pressure on themselves to live up to very high standards!
The upshot of all this is that the “life” bit of work life balance can go out the window…. but it doesn't have to remain an unachievable dream.
If you are serious about unleashing your ideal work life balance, there are a couple of steps that you must take!
Note: with the advent of the smart phone (a device intended to make life easier) the boundary between work and life is even more blurry, so you must be hugely conscious in your decision making if you are to set yourself with the best chance of attaining work life balance.
Define Your Ideal Work Life Balance
One of the keys to work life balance is deciding what it actually looks like for you.
Where do the boundaries lie?
For some women, work life balance might mean only working from 9 – 3 every day with no distractions and having the rest of your time free to attend to other aspects of your life. It may mean no emails, cell phones or work interactions on evenings or weekends.
For others, work life balance may look a lot more fluid, and a key feature may be flexibility and an ability to work as and when needed. It may include being able to update your clients from wherever you are and similarly being able to spend time with your family during “office hours”.
Of course there is no right or wrong, but an essential part of your pursuit of work life balance is in defining what it looks like for you…. cos then you will be well set up to make it happen.
Choose to make Work Life Balance happen
Once you are clear on what it looks like for you, the next step is to consciously make it happen. Don't assume that just because you really really want it you will achieve work life balance. Like anything else you desire you do need to take steps to make it happen. So here are some ideas to get you started.
5 ways to live YOUR work life balance:
brainstorm what your ideal work life balance looks like. Get really clear so you'll know when you are there. Where are your boundaries? What will be the ideal set up for you that feels like the ultimate freedom?
this one is pretty specific but useful….ensure your work and personal emails are separate so that when you check your emails on the weekend you don't get pulled into work (and vice versa).
create a 'parking lot' so you can easily note down work ideas that pop up in your play time. This is simply a place to jot down thoughts and ensures that you capture all those work-related ideas you have while out walking, in the shower, or cooking a meal, but means you don't interrupt your time with others getting sidetracked with work. (You could also create a 'personal parking lot' for when you are working, so you don't get distracted by out-of-work tasks).
create a ritual for switching off at the end of the day – clearly mark the transition from work to out-of-work so you can switch off and get into gear for everything else you do.
share your intentions with someone who can help keep you on track. This might be someone you spend a lot of time with either in or out of work, who can provide gentle reminders when you stray off your ideal work life balance track!
By consciously choosing to focus on work life balance, you are much more likely to make it happen – so if you really want to have more of your ideal work life balance, get to it!