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Work - Life Balance by Maznida Mokhtar
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Work - Life Balance by Maznida Mokhtar

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" Women being women, we tend to take work seriously, and if not balanced, will continue to work and neglect everything else, especially our families. A few instances that I've learn over the years, is …

" Women being women, we tend to take work seriously, and if not balanced, will continue to work and neglect everything else, especially our families. A few instances that I've learn over the years, is to make certain efforts and use the great family support network, if we have it." Maznida Mokhtar

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  • 1. I started out my work life with an accounting firm, working long hours but I was still single,so it did not really matter. I also knew that it was only temporary until I achieved theprofessional qualification, then I would go on to other things. So, after that I joined amerchant bank and got married a year later. That all went very well. The only snag thenwas the working hours – which I thought would be improved if I worked for myself. So,after a two-year slog in the merchant bank, I decided that was enough for me. Little did Iknow that as an entrepreneur, your hours are around the clock!
  • 2. I can’t say that I am happy or sad with the experiences but I feel it has enriched my life intoencountering future challenges and also opened my eyes to the real world of business, whichis an invaluable experience. Through SKALI, we had gone through roller coasters together,and survived those moments together also. Since then, I have now got 4 children, rangingfrom the age of 6 to 11 years, and I have learnt to multitask even better as a working mother.
  • 3. Like many female entrepreneurs, I achieve work-life balance between my job and mydemanding family, with the combination of a great family support network and a highlydisciplined approach to leaving the office early in order to achieve a measure of work-lifebalance. Still, I admit that it took me awhile to find the right formula. After working for 20+years now, I believe I’ve finally figured it out! My working routine now ensures I have time foreveryone including myself. I try not to leave the office late, so that I have time to wind downbefore starting to monitor the children doing their homework. Sometimes there are meetingsoutside so I attend those but I usually get home by about 7.30. Then I start monitoring [thechildren] doing their homework. By the time I finish with them, it’s almost 10pm. Then I look atwhat else needs to be done or I’ll deal with work matters. And of course, give the husbandtime!
  • 4. Some simple tips that I can share
  • 5. Try not to be the superwoman at home. In my case, I’ve been blessed as my1 husband enjoys cooking and loves to cook in his free time! I’m happy to say that I don’t feel the need to compete with him in the kitchen.
  • 6. There is also no need to be a domestic goddess at home. If you can afford it, get some domestic2 help in a maid, or daily cleaner. And if you are unable to do that, then not everything has to be perfectly shiny and spotless everyday.
  • 7. Teach your children to do things for themselves automatically, so that you only need to monitor3 them and not do things for them, e.g. homework, clean up their rooms, make their beds, take the dishes to the kitchen after eating, etc.
  • 8. Fit in some regular exercise time or recreational activity just to release stress and sweat it out. It4 would be even better if it can be done as a family. For me, Sunday mornings is that time.
  • 9. If necessary, send to children over to parents’ houses for sleepover so that you can spend some alone time to bond with your spouse without the hassle of the children. Your parents would be5 happy to spend some quality time with the grandchildren on their own, occasionally. If they are out of town, then arrange for them to have the children over a few days of the school holidays.
  • 10. Once all the above is sort of on autopilot, then you can arrange to meet other girlfriends-in-the- same-boat, for the occasional meal out, or just spend some retail therapy time together. Women6 need this, to just talk about nothing and everything, and to see that other women are also just like you.
  • 11. I hope you can try these tips though I do realise not all of them are suitable foreveryone. These have worked for me, and I believe, at lease 1 or 2, if not all,could help you out too.
  • 12. Maznida Mokhtar maznida@skali.netChief Financial Officer, SKALI Group