Balancing Your Work and Family LifePresentation Transcript
Business Owner’s Guide to Balancing Work & Family Life Life Management Systems - Employee Assistance Program 225 Pictoria Drive, Suite 320 Cincinnati, OH 45246 Mariel Broadus – Sales Manager (513) 551-1496 [email_address]
Why Is A Balance Important?
A balanced life is one where we spread our energy and effort – emotional, intellectual, imaginative, spiritual and physical – between key areas of importance. The neglect of one or more areas, or anchor points, may threaten the vitality of the whole
Does This Sound Familiar?
“ Longer working hours and unpredictable work schedules can all add up to less flexibility, less personal or family time, and ultimately, more stress”
Dr. Susan Black, President, Catalyst
The Myth of “Superwoman”
In the late 1980s and 1990s the superwoman myth was ripe.
Women increasingly expected to combine a paid job with motherhood, and, dual earning households became more prevalent. As a result, few families now fit the traditional mould of the man as sole breadwinner and the woman as housekeeper and primary care-giver.
The Myth Continued Instead of trying to “balance” your work and life, working parents need to be realistic and employ time management into their lives. Having a full time career and being at work eight or nine hours a day, means you can not be at home for those eight or nine (or twelve or fourteen) hours per day. Would you attempt two full-time jobs? No, probably not. Being a full-time parent and having a full-time career is like attempting two jobs, and at some point one will need more attention than the other.
The Myth Continued If you realize this, then you can decide about your career and family trajectories. Instigating time management and incorporating all elements of your life into one life – instead of the work/life segregation, will allow you to see the full spectrum of all the types of work, leisure and family activities that you wish to include in your life. Then you will have a realistic and achievable path to a balanced life.
Advice From Those in the Trenches
As professional women, we all deal with the challenge of “life-balance”. This is especially true for entrepreneurs.
Wherever you are on the career continuum (starting a new business, at a firm or firmly established) and whatever your family structure, there is always a difficult balancing act between family and work responsibilities that must be constantly juggled.
How do some top women professionals handle the challenge of maintaining a contented family and a successful career?
What is the secret to becoming a personal success while raising children and maintaining a relationship?
Some familiar and recurring strategies arose from speaking with leading attorneys
Define Your Environment
You may be surprised to find out you DO have a choice regarding the environment in which you will work. There is a perception that women professionals with young children tend to draw back from the commitment and necessary marketing it takes to become a success, and somewhere along the way they “jump ship” or leave their businesses altogether.
As an entrepreneur, you have the best possible opportunity to create a culture that is supportive of flexible time or an alternate business path.
Take time to speak to other entrepreneurs to find ways to support your business and your life.
Organize Your Chaos
This concept is not as easy as “using your time well”
Beyond merely multitasking, it requires you to apportion time for each sector of your life: work, family, play and quietude, and committing to that model. Like it or not, life for women entrepreneurs is just too hectic now to float through the day and hope you will get to all the things you want to do. This latter approach is the surest way to bring about tension and stress
Organize Your Chaos
Use a system to prioritize your day, your week and your year – and select a system that will work for you.
Many professionals suggest that writing out a strategy each and every day reduces their anxiety about obligations and task completion.
At the end of the day, one professional has rituals that help her relax and assuage the tension – she keeps that time to herself sacred and purposeful – even if it is just 10 minutes!
Stop Feeling Guilty
Your children or spouse do not need huge amounts of time to be able to connect with you; it is important however, to maintain a constant and reliable presence in their lives.
If you are a person that thrives on exertion and the excitement of the deal or complex negotiations, be true to yourself!
Remind yourself that part of what you are doing is role modeling.
Finding ways to convey your availability and interacting in your children’s lives should be frequent, but do not have to be complicated (try a surprise note in a lunch box or coat pocket).
Work Hard, Work Smart
Keep your priorities set at the office and tackle the important matters you would most like to neglect.
Sometimes taking care of those things you look forward to least, first thing in the morning, will decrease your stress level all day.
Since you are lucky enough to have flexibility in your schedule, spend your precious time working on the important tasks rather than getting sidetracked by the trivial.
Taking care of many simple, insignificant things will shorten the to-do list, but will not get you closer to a real sense of accomplishment.
Work Hard, Work Smart Cont.
All of us go through periods of complete pandemonium where time at work exceeds the normal routine – for entrepreneurs, this time might last a few years!
If you are feeling overwhelmed, ask for assistance and remember to delegate – ask for help at home with chores, with shopping, laundry, cooking, etc.
Remember – willingness to delegate is an earmark of success Don’t fall into the trap of doing it all.
Having grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner and socks that are not perfectly folded are much better than no dinner at all or the stress of overflowing laundry hampers!
When it comes to the home and kids, take up offers to help. Most women professionals cited family members as their greatest resource.
Another way to find family time is to indulge in hiring a cleaning person a couple of times a month and take your kids to the park for the day instead.
You can also find out if there are other people in the neighborhood with similar situations; suggest sitting for one another one night a week so you have an evening off without worrying about finding a babysitter.
Develop Resources, continued
On the professional front, women are recognizing the need to network more than any other career tool – we see its success here today.
You may not have time to go to a cocktail party at 5 pm but seminars during the day or getting together with another professional for coffee, a quick lunch or breakfast are options as well.
Once you find ways to share your experiences with peers, you will soon discover many creative solutions for time management and business development.
How Do You Define A “Good Life”?
Time with your kids?
A devotional life with your church?
Mentoring to others?
A satisfying love life?
A tidy home? Clean clothes?
A balanced checkbook?
A roof over your heads and food in the fridge?
Friends, extended family?
How Do You Define A “Good Life”?
Are You Thinking More Ambitiously?
Contribution to the community?
Mentoring to others?
Time to volunteer?
Opportunity to exercise
A few minutes to zone out with a beverage in your hand and your Grey’s Anatomy?
Your spouse has only one wife/husband
Your children have only one mother/father
Time with your family only comes around once in your life
What Can Stress Do To Us?
Nearly 1/3 of this country’s employees often or very often feel overworked or overwhelmed
43% of Americans suffer from stress-related health problems from lowered immunity to cardiovascular troubles
What Can Stress Do To Us?
Lack of sleep and the stress it causes will result in other related issues
Being too exhausted to have an intimate life results in more friction in a marriage already pushed to the limit
Women Entrepreneurs Can Create Their Own Success
Motherhood is the single largest risk factor for poverty in old age!
Beginning with the six weeks of unpaid maternity leave
When the six weeks are up, choices in returning to work can be pretty slim – full-time employment or none at all
Those who caregive full-time lose out not only on wages but also on social security benefits
Holes in resumes may one day be submitted to employers who might regard child-rearing as nothing more than babysitting
If divorce happens, that “choice” of one parent staying home while the other brings home a paycheque is negated
What Can We Do?
Become aware of all of the parts in life that make us whole (e.g. physical, mental, spiritual, etc.) and how to “balance” those parts to be healthy.
Learn how to formulate specific goals and objectives towards having a balanced life.
Learn ways to balance time to stay focused towards meeting your life goals!
Identify thinking patterns that keep you from having a balanced life!
Finding Balance in Your Life
What If We See Time as Money?
We can only manage our resources, decisions, thoughts, activities, goals, money, attitudes, etc. Time will continue to move on with or without us
Each day we make dozens of decisions as to how we spend our time – and not always wisely!
This is why we must prioritize daily!
There Are only 24 Hours in a Day!
There are several areas in your life that demand a portion of your day or should: Family, career, social, personal, spiritual, physical, health (including sleeping and eating)
When one area is out of balance, or we spend too much time on it, all the other areas are impacted.
Think of balancing your life the same way you think about spending your money – choosing to do one thing means you choose to not do another.
Why Do People Get Out of Balance?
Unrealistic goals or lack of goals
Lack of planning
Need for approval
Inadequate personal growth
Inability to say no
Desire to please
Need for power
Lack of self-awareness
Do you work to live, or live to work?
When was the last time your family ate a meal together ?
Do your behaviors match your personal goals?
Where Does Your Day Go?
Break your hours down (i.e. sleep, work, housework, TV, phone, commute, housework, kid activities, etc).
Where do you waste time?
What can you give up? Are the kids too over involved? Are you too over involved?
You are walking up to a door which says “Enter – This is a Balanced Life”
We are the architects, so let’s design a “balanced” life with all the parts – professional, family, finances, mental, physical, social and spiritual
Get Up and Goal!
Each person must come up with one goal for each part of the whole and objectives to meet the goals:
Conceive it – visualize
Establish order of objectives
What resources are needed
Set a deadline for completion
Tips For Making It Work
Get up earlier
Watch less TV
Don’t let others waste your time
Prioritize what has to get done
Eliminate activities that don’t contribute to your life
Do the toughest jobs first
Know your limitations
Search out job shortcuts
More Tips For Making It Work
Make an appointment with yourself!
Care for your body!
Cut yourself some slack
Take a break
Do what you love
Your Thinking Can Sabotage Your Life!
Negative self-talk can keep you from moving ahead with your goals!