Our Women Entrepreneurs Meetup on March 2, 2019 was another awesome evening. The topic of Work (Business)/Life Harmony resonated with all in attendance. For many reasons this whole achieving harmony thing seemed to be a struggle for most of us. We discussed the signs of business/life disharmony, problems (both physical and mental) associated with disharmony and shared insights on how we could achieve greater harmony in our lives. All enjoyed using the “Wheel of Life” tool to help us understand our priorities and the level of effort that we’re extending in those areas. We observed that the most difficult part of this exercise, for most of us, was creating our list of priorities and determining (without guilt) the level of effort which we truly wanted to extend in those areas. Many of us realized that we were extending too much effort in areas that were not top priorities while sacrificing effort in those areas that were. The important thing was to now make decisions about the actions we would take to make the required changes.
Make time for ourselves– Schedule an appointment with ourselves the same way that we would with a client or business colleague. We should then use that time to do whatever brings us pleasure and relaxes us.
Ask for help – We often don’t ask for help because we want to appear as though we’ve got things under control. Or, we feel that others won’t do as great a job on the tasks as we would. Believe it or not, people are willing to help but sometimes they may not realize that we need help. There’s nothing wrong with asking because that frees up time that we can spend on other areas that are greater priorities in our lives.
Just say NO! – This was a biggie and provoked a lot of discussion. Many felt that it was hard for us, as women, to say no because we either want to make everyone happy or don’t want to disappoint anyone. Some commented that there was nothing wrong with saying no to tasks that didn’t fit with our established list of priorities. The key here is in understanding what those priorities are and making a commitment to only engage in those tasks that would help us reach our goals.
Get enough sleep – We often sacrifice sleep in order to get things done. Research shows that we are more productive when we get more sleep.
Take a break – Take a 24-hour (or more) break from work once in a while. Give yourself a staycation if you can’t go out of town. Turn off your technology/media devices during your break. Many commented that they can’t take time off, but all agreed that we would be forced to do so if we were ill. Taking a break rejuvenates us and helps us to be more productive when we do return to our priorities.
All in all, we realized that that there is no ideal ‘work/life balance’ as it will look different for all of us. However, we can begin to individually identify those areas that are top priorities in our lives and work towards achieving greater harmony among those areas.