Productivity Programmes – Your roadmap to a better work life balance
A good work life balance is something very few of us achieve. Women often have to balance the demands at home with achieving a successful and fulfilling career. We tend to overextend ourselves in order to juggle everything. The result is often fatigue, stress and resentment. Either that or something has to give. Invariably our sanity and wellbeing.
I have worked with countless talented women who have experienced various levels of burn out and exhaustion because they are trying to manage it all. When I say this, I don’t mean that all of a sudden, it all becomes too much and they have a sudden meltdown. That’s not how it happens. Women can’t afford to have a meltdown. It’s the continuous and everyday management of the kids, the household and the job as well as everything else. It’s being a wife, mother, daughter, manager of people and an employee and every other role a woman is required to do. It’s about getting it all done whilst being exhausted but doing it anyway because it’s what has to happen. There is no other option. At the same time, we have to keep our sh*t together so that we don’t come across as emotional or as if we can’t cope. Women simply adapt and get used to ploughing on day after day. This is not to say that men don’t do their part, they do. But what we know to be true is that women still carry the burden.
Whilst my expertise and inclination isn’t in helping with strategies to manage the household or the kids, I do know what needs to happen to get the work bit right of the equation. Women are inclined towards overcompensation at work as well as home. We will simply keep on doing more and more and taking on more and more at work because they want to be seen to be contributing alongside everyone else and we believe that if we say no or if we ask for ‘special’ conditions, there might be repercussions. This is not entirely without foundation. Fifteen years ago, I was told that I wasn’t being put up for promotion because my boss had assumed that I was no longer interested in becoming more senior because I had asked to work for home on a part time basis for family reasons. Unbelievable.
Thankfully, times are changing and it is much more acceptable to get the required support from employers to help in our quest for a better work life balance. But, as women, we don’t. We are our own worst enemy. We don’t take the support, we don’t say no, we don’t ask for flexibility, we don’t do any of it. We just plough on and suffer in silence because, well, that’s what we are used to.
This has to change and it can change. I have never believed that women can’t have it all. Garbage. This is an outdated concept that has been overhyped and has held women back. I firmly believe women can have it all if only we allow ourselves to. It may come with some compromise. It may require some mental and emotional rewiring for us to ask for, and take advantage of, the support and flexibility available to us without feeling guilty or fearful but it can be done.
In the ‘Roadmap to a better work life balance’ programme you begin by examining your current situation and the demands upon your time. We explore why you might be struggling to get the balance right and what behaviours and attitudes might be holding you back. You work out what is important to you and what a healthy balance looks like. We implement strategies you can deploy at work to achieve this including how to have difficult conversations with your employer, productivity hacks to better manage your workload, prioritisation techniques and how to say no. We also discuss strategies to ensure that you don’t lose visibility or feel compromised by managing your workload differently. We learn to reframe it into a positive that you can role model within your organisation. Finally, you take away a roadmap with ongoing strategies to help you longer term.
- Definition of work life balance. How organisations are making the move towards flexible working. The art of the possible.
- Your work life balance. An Assessment.
- Why you struggle to get the balance right. Identification of energy drainers and the key contributors to a poor work life balance
- Changing your mindset. Unhelpful believes when it comes to a healthy work life balance. How to remove fear and guilt.
- Prioritisation techniques. Identifying what you should be spending your time on. What is worthwhile and what isn’t.
- The art of saying no without upsetting people (too much)
- Delegation (even when you have no one to delegate to)
- How to manage your employer. Your rights. How to manage and have difficult conversations. How to get what you need so both parties win.
- How to be a WLB role model
- Roadmap with ongoing strategies.