In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to shed light on the incredible balancing act businesswomen take on daily. I visited with women in all different stages of life to learn how they achieve balance both at work and at home. Below, businesswomen at Scalar share their personal insights and experiences.
Stay Organized and Prioritize Your Schedule
Organization is necessary when trying to live a balanced life. To stay organized, it helps to pick and choose what needs to be done first and what can wait until another day. Compartmentalizing and planning ahead has allowed Genia Bruce to limit the surprises in her day.
“Time management is so crucial as we are asked to do more and more. I am a ‘yes’ person, and I’ve learned over time to graciously say no. I’d rather do a few things really well than do a bunch of things with mediocrity. Doing this has helped me enjoy my time both at work and at home more. Taking into account my values and goals helps me categorize my day by what is most important.”
Play Hard and Work Hard
Mahina Bantilan and her husband understand the importance of working hard and playing hard. After an hour commute to and from work, it’s easy to fall into the habit of sitting down on the couch to watch a show. However, Mahina and her husband understand that participating in activities after work helps break up the day. Instead of spending all day and night indoors, they stay involved in activities that build friendships and get them off the couch.
“I try to be active throughout the week. Even though I enjoy work, I don’t want to spend my whole day working and feel like that’s all I do every day. I try my best to keep work and life separate. It helps me break up the 24 hours of every day. I make sure the environment I have at work is very different from the environment I have at home.”
Prepare Meals Ahead of Time
While some people may meal prep, Kendra Morrey finds “food prepping” to be the key to finding balance in her life. Instead of spending hours meal prepping on a Sunday, she uses that day off from work to spend time with her loved ones. When Kendra’s already cooking, she makes extra to cover her lunch for the next day at work. Doing this helps Kendra stay on schedule, both in her personal and work life.
“I am able to dedicate my time more effectively at work because I know I don’t plan on leaving work to grab lunch. I don’t have to plan time into my workday to eat when more tasks are always popping up that I didn’t expect. I plan my day to go one way, but it usually goes a completely different way. A lot of jobs are like that. Food prepping gives me the flexibility I need when days are especially busy.”
Lean on Supportive Family and Friends
At times, life is so busy that the thought of asking for help doesn’t cross our minds. Thankfully, we have friends, family, and neighbors who are there to support us. Cheryl Provard achieves balance in her life by leaning on her significant other to help everything run smoothly.
“My husband’s and my schedules don’t line up perfectly, so we have learned to work together to make sure our kids are taken care of and are where they need to be. We rely on each other and share the household responsibilities because we are both working. We have also learned to not sweat the small stuff. If something doesn’t get done now, it will eventually.”
Create and Stick to a Morning Routine
Creating and sticking to a morning routine is a great way to invite balance. Kayla Belnap maintains her morning routine to help her focus and feel fulfilled. She wakes up at 5 a.m. and enjoys a slow morning by running with her dog and getting errands done before work. While at work, she doesn’t worry about feeling lethargic or needing to run errands since she took care of those beforehand.
“Because of my routine, I can just jump into what needs to be done at work. And although I don’t have kids now, I don’t plan on being a stay-at-home mom in the future. I will always have a morning routine so I can have my own, selfish time. Then I can focus all my attention to work, then all my attention to my family (or whoever) at the end of the day.”
Utilize Your Time in the Car
Finding balance while working full time and raising young kids can often be tricky. While not at work, Kara Sabin‘s days are focused on her two young children (both under the age of three) who constantly keep her and her husband on their toes. In order to prepare for different parts of the day, Kara tries to utilize her time in the car to mentally organize the day ahead so she can enjoy time with her kids and still be efficient at the office.
“I’ve found that car rides to and from school are great opportunities to keep connected with my kids—we sing songs, talk about our days, make up silly stories, and play little games. After I drop them off, I try to spend time thinking about the work tasks I need to get done for the day and organize my game plan. My drive to pick them up is my decompression time from work when I try to let things go so I can really focus on my kids and not be stressed from the day’s activities. It’s amazing what some loud music and horrible car singing can do for you!”
Avoid Working on the Weekends If Possible
In today’s mobile-friendly world, it can be easy to bring work home on the weekends. Denise Jardine strives to find balance by not working on the weekends. Although it is common for people to have their work emails synced to their phones, Denise makes a conscious effort to be in the moment with her family on the weekends.
“I really try not to work during the weekend. I put my laptop away unless something extremely urgent comes up—which isn’t common. In a busy family with high schoolers, the week can get hectic with deadlines, homework, and after-school activities. By taking time away from work on the weekends, I get to enjoy time with my family that I don’t always get during the week.”
How have I, Ciera Kueser, found work-life balance?
Sitting in a chair for hours is not the best idea for the human body. Although most of our jobs are sedentary and require time in a seat, we can still prioritize moving our body to help us stay healthy, happy, and attentive.
I have found that exercising daily helps me not only be a better wife and partner but also a better employee. Even though working out might initially make me a bit tired, I feel like consistent exercise actually gives me more energy. I feel like I can focus longer while at work, and I feel much better during the day. Taking time to focus on me and my body, regardless of whether it’s in the morning or evening, helps me feel fulfilled and strong. It’s okay to take time for yourself.
Finding a balance takes time and practice. Even when you have a good system in place, you can still learn from others. Regardless of your title or stage in life, the key is to continue to grow and become a better version of yourself.
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