Getting that work-life balance is one of those phrases that seems to be very popular at the moment. We are constantly urged to look at our lives and see what changes we can make to work smarter, not harder and to be more productive while still having time away from the office. Sometimes, it is easier said than done! But there are some good tips out there to help achieve some of these aims that everyone can use.
Bringing in the balance
To achieve your own version of a happier work-life balance, you will often have to learn about saying no. Sounds simple, such a little word! But there are deep meanings in our psyche that mean in a work environment, we often don’t say the word. We say ‘yes’ when we mean ‘no’ or we create excuses in its place.
Sometimes it is about confidence and being able to say no in a polite, authoritative way. We don’t need to be snappy or sharp nor do we need to give a ten-minute lecture on why we won’t do what we are being asked. We simply need the confidence to say ‘sorry, no that doesn’t work for me’.
Delegating and being a better leader
For others, the problem is more about letting go a little and allowing others to do their share while becoming a better leader. There is always the urge to do everything yourself to make sure it is done properly but this kills morale in your team. You need to have confidence in the people who work with or for you and allow them to do their job. This in turn allows you to ease off, go home and relax.
The little things
Sometimes the problem comes from the little things and top of the list is checking your work email outside work. A few years back there was a story that the French government was going to ban workers from checking emails after 6pm. While it didn’t prove to be true, it highlighted a growing problem – we can’t leave work at work. The always-on approach means we are constantly connected to our job even when we are at home. So set a time limit and once you leave the office, don’t check that work account.
Getting a happier work life balance is really about setting yourself goals about what you want to achieve and how you are going to do this. Plan for the future and give yourself something to aim for – it might be the next family holiday, a move of house in a few years or even planning for your retirement. Use this planning to focus your out-of-work time and move your attention away from your job.
We Asked Successful Business Women for their Top Tips
Lillie Cawthorn, author of the international bestselling book, The Money Factory says “Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you. When negative people bring you down, repeat your affirmations, double time! Stay strong, never give up, no one else is doing what you do!”
Tierra Wilson - who is Tierra? Can we add something like business woman or whatever her role is to this? - adds “The best piece of advice I can give to any business woman who is looking to achieve work-life balance is to ask yourself honestly, what does work-life balance mean to you?
It worked for me and allowed me to put together an actual strategy that has worked. After working too hard for over a year, my yearly checkup with my doctor gave me a grave warning that I needed to change my lifestyle immediately. Not only had I gained too much weight, but I also had vitamin deficiencies, a lowered immune system, borderline pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic sinusitis, allergies, and more.
I was jeopardising my health for success. The same success that I would never get to enjoy if I didn’t start finding balance. I dug deep and asked myself some hard questions including:
What Does Work-Life Balance Look Like For You?
What In Your Life Can You Outsource?
What Would a Perfectly Balanced Week Look Like?
Do You Give Yourself Permission to Fail?
The biggest takeaway: Life is not perfect, and it doesn’t fit into little squares. For work-life balance to work, you have to give yourself permission to fail every day. Work-life balance isn’t about having a perfect life; it’s about trying to find balance every day, in the midst of chaos.”
Dr Karen Phillip says “The first thing women need to determine is what they want. Women deserve to have a career although they struggle with the guilt of working as a mother of young children. Social pressures place this upon them.
Balance within the home and relationship is essential and women need to learn how to achieve this support. Training, if you like, is required for husband and children, to enable them to step up and alleviate the pressure on the women. Women are sometimes their own worst enemy trying too be everything to everyone before becoming overwhelmed, angry and distressed. Women need to usually learn to delegate, hand over, and educate their family to step up to alleviate their pressure and reinforce the ability of their husband and kids.”
Finding Your Work Life Balance
There are some great resources out there to help you loosen the reins a little and allow your people to blossom. I recently spoke to a fellow boss who had worked with Stuart from Double C Coaching who helped her be a better leader. Don’t be afraid to get a fresh opinion on your leadership style and don’t try to be the martyr who does everything themselves.