Women’s Leadership: Tips on How to Achieve Work Life Balance
When people ask me how I achieve work life balance in this industry, my initial response is – “I don’t.” We work in an industry that is fast-paced, high-stress, travel-heavy and personal-time-draining. It is hard to juggle its demands with the demands of our personal lives. However, after considering the questions more, I realized that I do make an effort to balance both worlds.
For me, my one rule is that I do not commit to anything over the weekend that does not include my husband. I don’t go shopping or out to eat with friends or family, I don’t go to bridal or baby showers (I do send gifts though), I don’t go to home demonstrations and I certainly don’t work unless it is absolutely necessary. I book all of my social activities and networking during the week so that my weekend are fully my own. Does this make for an exhausting week? Absolutely, but I just keep looking forward to the weekend!
Some may think that my rule is unattainable, or even rigid, but I strive to uphold it. I have about a 95% achievement rate! Here are what some other industry women have to say about achieving work life balance.
“I believe finding that #balance is different for everyone and that the need for it is more pronounced during certain life stages. One thing I find is that varying my daily routine to fit in personal joys in even small ways can help achieve a better overall balance.” – Mary Davar, MBA, CMM, CMP, Compliant Meetings & Controls, Pfizer
“The idea of work life balance is best when we accept that things won’t always be in perfect balance. Finding work or a company that provides flexibility is important and I’ve always talked about integrating work and family. I also make it a priority to spend weekends with family and participate in special events and sports activities that are important to my children. Balance is something I strive for every day…” – Christine Duffy, former President & CEO, Maritz Inc.
“With all of the traveling that I do, weekends have become sacrosanct. This is the time I focus on my family and friends. I rarely check my Blackberry (this was a hard habit to break but I succeeded) on weekends. I find that walking 2 miles on the treadmill to my favorite songs on my iPod really helps me release the stress and I try to do this daily.” – Elizabeth George, CMM, Northeast Regional Sales, New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau
“For me, achieving balance is really more about personal satisfaction. My best advice is to approach life with PASSION. In order to achieve your goals, whether in business or your private life, you really have to love what you doing in order to make the sacrifices often demanded. When you can incorporate contentment into your work, it, too, becomes a source of joy and pleasure.” – Mary Love, President, MUSE Event Design, Inc.
“I am about to learn soon about work/life balance with the arrival of my first child. Right now, turning off the Blackberry when I walk in the house is one practice I’ve instituted after my husband was ignored because of it…at 10:00 PM!” – Maria A Ramos, CMP.
“To me, work/life balance is not about balance as much as it is about accomplishment. I don’t worry so much about balancing time because time is just a quantitative measure and it has nothing to do with quality or goals. If I can end each day accomplishing what I set out to accomplish that day in both work life and personal life, then that is a successful day. It doesn’t matter if I accomplished an equal number of work or personal goals, or how much time I spend on either side, as long as all (or at least most) of the daily goals were accomplished.” -Julie Smith, CMP, CEO, OpenSpark
How are you achieving work life balance? Do you set goals like Julie? Do you have a “cut-off” time like Maria? Do you clear your weekends for personal time only? What ever it is that you do, know that work life balance is possible!