Balancing Work and Life is Akin to a Tight Rope Walk
As the American novelist John Updike once said, ‘It’s a man’s world, they say; but in its daily textures it is a world created by and for women.”
In a world run mostly by men, women have it tough and women entrepreneurs have it tougher.
While it is understood when men carry work home; the same when done by a woman is questioned. As mothers and entrepreneurs, we are forever questioned on our choices.
Being a mompreneur who has faced the usual set of accusations along with a nagging fear of failure, I have come up with my own set of pointers to help balance home and work effectively.
So here they are:
Compartmentalizing: Compartmentalize your day. Once you have this sorted, it will be easy to figure out a schedule and work around your responsibilities.
Scheduling: Start scheduling not just your work, if need be, sit down with a pen and paper and schedule each hour and stick to that schedule. If the first couple of hours in the morning are scheduled for the house and family, then dedicate it entirely to them. Try and avoid sneaking in an important phone call or email because every call and email is bound to be important. This is easier said than done, but this will help you get a lot more done in the long run.
Prioritizing: Learn to prioritize depending on the importance of each task. Once you know what has to be done when, you can jump from one task to another seamlessly. You might even be surprised to find that you have extra time in hand once your tasks are complete.
Delegating: While most Indian women are used to have house-help for odd jobs at home, we are still not very comfortable delegating other tasks. It is important to start delegating to get more done in a day. Don’t shy from asking for their help for things like picking up children from school or babysitting them while you have a meeting. If you have a team, then delegate the less important tasks of calling, following up and scheduling and focus on the more important aspects of your business.
Technology: Use technology to the most optimum. You can set schedules, send emails, check on your children’s studies, conduct meetings over Skype and other video calling apps, schedule payments, shop online without having to step out and so much more.
Taking time out: You are also human, so remember to take some time out for yourself, your family and your children. Indulge in your interests and hobbies. This time out always refreshes the mind and charges you up for the next working day.
Avoiding the guilt trips: As a mother this is a rather important point to note! There will be days when you are unable to attend to an ailing child or attend a family function because of an emergency at work. It is ok and is not the end of the world. You are just human and can do only that much!
As a mother, an ambitious entrepreneur, wife, daughter-in-law and society woman; we sometimes tend to forget ourselves.
At the end of the day, remember the words of the most famous Women Entrepreneur, Indira Nooyi, “An important attribute of success is to be yourself. Never hide what makes you, YOU!”