Aim for Balance
Women carry a lot of responsibility. Whether at home caring for children or parents, or in the office taking care of customers or employees, there are requirements, crises, and emergencies that compete for our time, energy, and attention every day. Working at being a superstar mother and employee immediately presents a tension considering time is a fixed resource.
Striving for a fully integrated and well-balanced life is not only on the minds of working mothers. I speak to many people who struggle to find the time for everything in their life that is important.
When asked how I’ve attained balance in building my career while raising my three children, I answer that it’s still a work in process. The biggest key is keeping perspective on what is truly important.
Rule #1: Ask for Help
Many women feel pressure to be a supermom who does anything and everything at home and at the office. Asking for help is crucial to keep your sanity. This is easier when you consider that you’d most likely help anyone that asks you!
Rule #2: Learn to Say No
Saying no is hard. We’re hardwired to be helpful, responsive, and generous. Being selfish with our time is not the same as being a selfish person. Saying no is the best way to take care of yourself, a prerequisite before you can give to others.
Rule #3: Be Patient with Your Career
Society has portrayed success as holding certain jobs or titles. Salary or making it to the corner office have also been traditional signs that you’ve “made it”. The good news is that’s an old framework. The definition of success is personal, and we all get to write our own story of our careers and lives as they unfold.
Rule #4: Practice Flexibility
We get so bogged down with meetings, emails, and phone calls that we can easily lose sight of what’s truly important. When you’re more objective and realistic about what really matters, you can make better decisions with your time and energy.
Rule #5: Be Present
At its simplest, this rule means that when you’re at work, be fully present there. And when you’re at home, be completely present there. Do a puzzle, color a picture, or read a book with your children. Put your email and phone aside. You can get back to your work tomorrow.
Rule #6: Practice Gratitude
Showing gratitude, appreciation, and recognition goes a long way and benefits the giver and receiver. Taking this moment reminds you to connect with people about things that genuinely matter, even if only for a fleeting moment.