How often do we hear the phrase "work-life balance"? And how often does that make us stop and think what it means to have a perfect work-life balance? We bet the answer for most would be more often than not. That is because women still struggle with what is expected of them. Or better yet, what they think is expected of them.
Before we continue, we would like to point out that of course this perfect balance predicament occurs in the lives of many men as well-but statistics show that it's women who feel the majority of the pressure to succeed at wearing many hats. Many women strive to be super wives, mom of the year and successful career women. There are also many women who have a side dose of stress on more personal issues such as body image and competition in the work place-just to name a couple.
Unfortunately the phrase "work-life balance" issues an image of a woman ferociously straddling an impossible bridge where on one side is her work/passions/career and on the other side is family and/or other personal relationships. And this image can become an impossible feat to conquer, because a woman is in fact a whole being and the focus should be on her as a whole and not on just two aspects of her life.
Today we are sharing how to master balancing work and life. Although there may not be a science or step-by-step guide to perfecting a work-life balance, there are several steps and mindsets women can implement into their lifestyle so that living both aspects of their lives can be done to fullest.
“Women are often given the message that you can’t have it all. You can have it all; just not at the same time,” she said. “As your life changes, your priorities change, so it’s about reprioritizing and making shifts to your focus.” - COO at TD Wealth and chair of the bank’s Women Investor Program, Sandy Cimoroni.
- Understand that a perfect balance of giving 50-50 all of the time, is not realistic. Life fluctuates constantly and thinking that you can always give 50% of yourself to work and an even 50% of yourself to your personal life will just leave you feeling overwhelmed and under accomplished. Instead, understand that some weeks you will dedicate more time to work and other weeks more time your family and/or personal life.
- Realize that being dedicated to your career, passion and/or work doesn't make you less dedicated to your personal life. Instead, a recent study reported that the sense of self-worth and accomplishment women earned from their careers ultimately made them better and more inspiring mothers.
- Periodically take steps back and away from your calendar to be able to discern when it is time to switch gears in the case that you become too submersed in either work/career or personal life. To do this, make it a habit to regularly take a look at the time you’re investing in each aspect of your life and ask yourself if you’re happy with the way things are going. If not, you can always readjust your daily schedule and make simple changes so you feel more productive and more at ease.
- Find a mentor who can help. Research shows that women who have strong mentors advance more quickly in their careers and report high levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction. Mentors can offer priceless advice on their own personal experience and what has or hasn't worked for them over the course of their careers. These mentors can also introduce and help you surround yourself with like-minded and influential women.
- Organize and strategize. Entrepreneur Traci Bild spends two hours every Sunday planning out her entire week. She schedules in meetings, exercise sessions, and even her date nights. “I make sure everything I want and need to do is built into my calendar and in many cases remove things when it seems overloaded. When my week starts, I’m excited—I’m not reacting to what’s happening. I’m in control of what’s happening because I planned it all out. I feel organized and alive because this is the week I crafted, that I get to live."