October 24, 2013

How Successful Women Balance Work and Life

It's certainly not the 1950's anymore, and women are making that fact known! Though most women want to contribute to something and make money doing so, many also want to be home with their children as much as possible. This does create a dilemma, so how can the modern, successful woman find that perfect balance between work and the rest of life? Read on to find out!

Defining The Balance
Giving an exact answer is very, very difficult. Every woman is going to have her own wants, needs and limits. Some women will want to spend more time at home with their children but still get out to work a little bit each day, perhaps twenty hours a week. Even women who don't have children might wish to pursue personal enrichment classes or a higher degree. You must decide what makes the most sense to you and plan a course of action according to those wishes. Where are your priorities? This should not be defined overnight.

The Financial Component
Now, if everyone could just do whatever he or she wanted to, crafting the right work/life balance would probably not be the struggle that it is. As you're deciding how to do so, you need to look at your budget. Determine exactly what you're able to live without, and if possible, see how to budget without them in your financial plan. The financial component is what holds a lot of people back from having balance in their lives. Fortunately, when you really take a close look at your budget, you'll probably be able to find items where you can do without, and that may mean you can work less. On the flipside, it may be that your commitments preclude you from working any less than full-time (or well over it).

woman and money

Find Nearby Sources
If you're trying to create a balance, think about what you already have available for utilization. For example, I'm an administrative assistant at a hospital. I want to be near my children, but I still want to maintain my job. I'm lucky that many large companies (like hospitals and universities) actually have daycare centers on-site, including my own! I can bring my little ones and check in on them whenever I want to. Not everyone is so lucky, but it's always worth googling tax breaks, speaking with your HR representative and even asking out friends and family for help when you're stretched too thin or simply need to make changes.

woman with laptop

Multi-tasked Efforts
Fortunately, you also have the opportunity to multi-task in certain situations. Say you like to do two things in your free time - read and exercise. You may be struggling with fitting in sufficient reading time while also making time to go for a jog everyday. Well, consider switching to biking or riding an elliptical - if you can make that change, you can read while you burn some calories! You'll feel twice as fulfilled upon completion.

Your Success Level
You also brought the word "successful" into this situation, and we need to focus on that a little bit. First of all, you need to define what success means for you. Perhaps you want to obtain a certain rank in your company or work your way up to a specific salary. On the other hand, you may wish to pursue your doctoral degree in a certain area. Whatever the case may be, defining your goals is important. You may find that some goal or plan you had for yourself isn't as important in the long run as you thought it was.

Creating a healthy balance between work and life CAN be done effectively, as long as you're willing to take a step back and consider your decisions objectively. It's also about making sure that you're only answering to yourself when it comes to the definitions of success, balance and happiness.

Martha Rodriguez writes all about careers and resources for women. Her recent work is on the Top Online Business Degrees.

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