Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance

by Alyson Gainsford

Work-Life Balance Test

Women in Business

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 34% of business owners are women, representing 45% increase of women in business over the past 20 years.

More than 2 in 5 women business operators are aged 40-54, 42% have a diploma or degree.

Women business owners are most likely to live in couple families where both partners work and have dependent children.

It is not surprising then, one of the main reasons women become entrepreneurs is to provide a solution to a common challenge in striking a balance between work and family responsibilities. This allows women to have a rewarding and challenging career whilst providing flexibility and power to choose when, how, what and where their work gets done.

Certainly the return of women in the workforce and increase in women owning their own business has significantly changed the workforce landscape compared to a generation or so ago.

Whilst the notion of work-life balance is high on the list of priorities, it can take some practise juggling a career, business, health, pleasure, leisure, kids, partner, family and friends.

At times women might look like a contortionist, skilled at stretching their bodies (and time) into different spaces, displaying great flexibility and strength as they balance life. At other times they may feel uncomfortable, pulled, pushed and stretched in all directions.

The risk being, any change in footing, movement, focus, direction or shift in weight or energy changes their whole alignment, sending their body out of balance with the potential to cause discomfort and damage if unattended.

One common element effected by the imbalance of work-life is relationships; relationship with self and others.

Women business owners are at the centre of a network of various relationships that include a mix of family, community and business.

Work-life balance is like the wheels on your car, they need to be checked, maintained and adjusted regularly for optimal performance, safety and drive.

Optimal Work-Life Balance

Here’s my top tips for Optimal Work-Life Balance:

  • Time Management – spend time on things that are productive vs being busy or active. Allocate shorter timeframes and deadlines on tasks and make them critical so that you don’t fill time. Limit information overload! Ask yourself is it relevant or am I collecting information for information sake? Be aware of time wasting activities and avoid them or set strict short timeframes and stick to the time allocated.
  • Learn to say 'no' - practise focused and decisive decision making.
  • Spend Time on Things That Add Meaning and Value to Your Life – this will give you energy! Allocate time on things you love doing, and people you love being around and want to develop, grow, nurture, connect, reconnect, recharge and rekindle with. Limit or avoid things and people that zap your energy!
  • Delegate, Delete or Outsource – tasks that you don’t need to do.
  • Leave Work at Work – be aware of the energy you bring home and share with others. Spend 10-15 minutes after work each day transitioning from work, to switch off and leave work at work. If you find it hard to switch off from work, go for a walk in nature, swim in the ocean or bike ride, take a relaxing bath, listen to music, yoga or meditate.
  • Switch Off Distractions – switch off electronic devices and technology so that you can be fully present, connected and in the moment with your partner, kids, family and friends.
  • Make Time for You – reconnect and find peace with your inner self. Get comfortable with 'you time', this is where your growth lies.
  • Nurture Your Mind, Body and Soul – be mindful what you feed your brain, your language, your thoughts, your actions, what you eat and put into your body (and how that impacts on your emotions, mood and body). Eat healthy, exercise regularly and allow time for your body to rest, recover and rejuvenate. Start with short 10-15 minutes per day relaxation techniques such as meditation and breathing exercises to recharge your batteries.
  • Work-Life Balance Test – take the work-life balance test to raise your awareness around what needs more focus, attention, maintenance and adjustment in your life for optimal performance.

Author, Alyson Gainsford, is the founder and Peak Performance Coach, Trainer, HR and Business Specialist at Dynamic HRM Solutions.

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