How I Manage Work Life Balance
Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
The question I get asked most of the times when attending any corporate meeting is ‘how I balance work and life?’ I am sure a lot of mothers out here would have been asked this question. Women are expected to juggle both work and life beautifully. So, my answer to this question has never been short or crisp. For there are so many ‘unsung’ heroes who support me to achieve this balance. Let me try to summarize the suggestions I received from my mentors while returning to work from maternity leave.
What is work-life balance? What is the downside of poor work life balance? How can anyone achieve this so called ‘balance’ in life?
Let’s look at the first question. What is work life balance? It is about balancing the time taken for work and time taken for family, personal development, etc. There is no perfect balance, in other words, there is no perfect recipe to achieve this balance. However, there are several examples and stories one can find on the internet about how women achieve this.
That begs for the second question. What is the downside of poor work life balance?
Simple and straight-forward answer. Increased stress levels for the woman who is trying to juggle the two. With improper or poor work-life balance, one cannot be productive both in work and outside work (while managing a family, for example). It may seem for the woman that she is working long hours, with less or no time for herself.
Here is the third question. How to achieve work-life balance? Like I said before, there is no perfect recipe to it. However, as a mother who also does a corporate job, I have received following suggestions to achieve work-life balance which is would like to share with future mommies and new mothers returning to work.
- Take it slow. Balancing a new member (I mean your little bundle of joy!) and work can be tedious for a new mother. A lot of adjustments are expected both from the mother and the child. You do not have to prove anything to anyone. Take each day as it comes.
- One-thing at a time. We all know women are known for multitasking, but according to me, it’s not for all. Not everyone can juggle multiple things at the same time. For example, If you are working from home after delivering a kid, set aside your ‘work time’ and concentrate only on work. During your baby-time or family time, forget about those unanswered work emails. Focus only on your family.
- Decide on what you want to achieve. Prioritize them accordingly. Trust me, most of us want to have the cake and eat it too. However, this mentality only adds on to the stress level.
- Have ‘me’ time. Do not feel guilty about binge watching your favorite TV series on Netflix or shopping online. Pursue a hobby that you would enjoy doing. Ensure to set aside some time and pursue your hobby.
- Be practical. We are called ‘Wonder Woman’ but we are human beings after all. Take some time out to analyze what went well and what didn’t. Seek help from your network, peers when you are stuck and in need of help
- Plan for a vacation and most importantly, take it. Take a break from work and take a vacation with family.
- Take a break. You may not take long leaves for vacation immediately after returning to work post maternity leave. Take short breaks to visit your friends, colleagues (outside office setup). This will boost your morale exponentially.
- Take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. There are tons of ideas and ways to achieve this. Yoga, meditation, Zumba classes, and many more. Choose something that would interest you and that you can do long term.
It is totally in your hands to be successful both in work and in personal life. All it requires is plan, prioritize, seek help, make incremental changes and work according to the plan. You cannot achieve all at once. Remember, Rome was not built in one day. The above steps are just a guideline, you can have your own way to achieve this balance (depending on your work and domestic situation). I am sure you will and rock both your work and personal life!
Vidhya is a full-time working mother. The time she is not working, she likes spending time with her family. A movie buff, she loves watching movies and binge-watching series. She also secretly wishes to be a writer one day. Connect with her on LinkedIn
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store