As women we have come a long way to be able to have rewarding careers outside of the home. It can be rewarding and also very exhausting. It doesn’t matter if you are a career woman, working mom, sole breadwinner, or a two income family, you can benefit from establishing a work-life balance.
Establishing A Work-Life Balance
The good news is that you and I are not the only ones who struggle with this. Even CEO’s have to work at maintaining balance. The key is to make balance a priority and not a passive hope. Act with intention and purpose to maximize your time at work and home.
One of the most difficult parts of establishing work-life balance is having clear lines between the two parts. They can often become blurred, especially with today’s digital devices. The work email is always right there calling. On the flip side of the coin, your family can text you all day at work.
So it becomes important to intentionally define the break between the two. A transition period between the two will help with this.
Get to work 10 minutes early and before you start checking emails, grab a cup of coffee. Spend a couple minutes reading an article you’ve been meaning to. Chat with a co-worker. They key here is not to just jump into your day.
The workday can be stressful. We don’t want to bring that home and spill over into our personal lives. My husband and I used to talk on the phone the whole way home from work. We found that when we got home we were at each other’s throats.
When we started allowing the other person to have that time on the drive home to listen to music or sports radio they were much more decompressed when they got home. We had a long drive. For you maybe this is just being able to come home turn on the radio, go for a walk, or enjoy a glass of wine.
Make sure you maximize your time at both home and work by setting boundaries. That may look different for everyone.
When I worked a 9-5 job I would try to leave my phone in my purse to avoid temptation of texting or social media. My family and daughter’s daycare had my office number if anyone needed me. This allowed me to get as much done at work as possible so I left for the day feeling accomplished and not fretting over all I would walk into the next day.
Once I started working from home the line between work and family became even more blurred. I set a firm boundary that from the time my husband got home until my daughter went to bed I would put my phone down. I was fully present with them and created more quality time.
If you absolutely have to do work once you get home set it for a time that doesn’t take away from your family and set a time frame on it. Try not to sacrifice sleep either. It’s important to take care of yourself or you won’t be able to enjoy your new balance.
Establishing a work-life balance is difficult and that balance will change again and again as you go through different stages of your life. The key is to make the balance a priority. Just because you have a family doesn’t mean that you aren’t dedicated to your job and vice versa. As busy women we can work towards establishing a work-life balance.
Want more suggestions on how to establish balance? Come join our community to discuss it with like minded women.