Much has been written about the skewed ratio of female leaders in organizations, but there is much less research on how women can become leaders. There are many moments in a woman’s life when she has to make important career decisions, while growing professionally and personally.
I believe women are innate multitaskers, and can juggle different roles easily with their family’s support. To me, the operative word in “work-life balance” is balance, and here is how I try to maintain that balance while working in different roles.
- Prioritization-Reprioritization: As leaders, we manage our workday by applying prioritization and reprioritization techniques. We should apply the same technique to our personal lives as well, in order to provide equal attention to all our undertakings.
- Overcome the guilt factor: For a working mother, it is natural to feel guilty for not being able to devote the same attention to your children as a homemaker can. It is important to overcome this guilt by making up for the quantity of time with quality time. As professionals, we are well acquainted with the concept of quality over quantity, so that should be applied to your home life as well.
- Positivity all around: Run away from all the negativity that surrounds you – use the ignore button tactfully. Learn from your colleagues, your team and your leaders, and look for the positive side in every interaction you have. I firmly believe that positivity and success go hand-in-hand, and these simple steps will create positivity in and around you.
- De-stress yourself with small breaks: If you have the option to take small breaks, go for it. However, time management during these small breaks is extremely important, because they can also have adverse effects on your career. If not well planned, you can lose motivation, focus and confidence in your work. When you plan these breaks, be sure to set goals for them. After you have achieved your goal, you will feel rejuvenated and ready to resume your career race.
- Respect domestic help: Domestic help is a working woman’s backbone. Getting help with household chores is a must, and you should think of it as an outsourcing program – complete with proper governance and a human touch. It is important to run a talent management and growth program at home, just the way we run them at work. Remember that your domestic service providers are also working professionals, so be sure to give respect so you are respected in return.
I have been practicing these guidelines with all my professional and personal stakeholders. It has helped me play my role effectively in boardroom, in the kitchen, and back in the boardroom.