Finding Balance… Myth or Reality?

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Chasing careers ambitions, irrespective of sex, will definitely stress all of the things that matter in your life. Demands on women are for practical purposes even greater than that of our male counterparts because of traditional roles and expectations surrounding them. Whether you are the breadwinner or merely trying to be a good role model for your kids, the act of juggling home, career, community and all things important can be daunting. Successfully striking that perfect balance is often viewed as an impossible task forcing us to make hard decisions about where to put our time and efforts. There are several steps we can take to ensure achieving balance becomes a reality for you!

10 Rules for Finding your Balance

  1. Know where you are going: a lack of clear goals will undoubtedly put you on the treadmill to nowhere (at least no where you want to go). Make sure you chart out the course ahead of time and plan, plan, plan!
  2. Know why: what was once an exception is now the new norm with dual income households. Early financial advantages have turned into financial necessity. Understand how your income makes an impact for your family and what it means in all aspects.
  3. Involve your loved ones: there are definite tradeoffs pushing things to that next level, know the commitment required and make sure the reward is there to back it up. Find ways to incorporate family into work activities and create enough transparency so that your family knows what you do and what you are doing it for.
  4. Be realistic: life can take control, it happens to all of us. Make sure if your employer (or you if your are self employed) understands and appreciates long-term success. People have to be successful both at work AND at home. Having a career doesn’t mean that you don’t get to have a life. Bringing the right skills to the table affords you the ability to set the right expectations to ensure everyone is happy.
  5. Managing technology: knowing when to put away that iPhone, Android, etc….   Set up rules for what is allowed and stick to it. For example: No scanning your email while you are eating at home with your significant other or kids. Learn to put it away… technology and the ability to stay plugged in 24 x 7 can do as much harm as good if not carefully managed.
  6. Network: manage who you spend your time with on all fronts. Time is precious, invest the time in relationships that matter and those that add value to you and your family. Investing in the wrong ones will make you less productive.
  7. Air cover: get an executive sponsor where you work. Having someone up the chain that has a personal stake in your success is absolutely critical to your long-term success.
  8. Pick a Mentor:  A great mentor is someone that you look up to who can help guide your success on many different levels. Mentors are people you trust, often outside the company you work for. Having a great degree of confidence and trust in your mentor ensures you can open up the covers and share anything.
  9. Divide and Conquer at home:  men (especially the good guys) are very open to helping you find your balance on the home front. Find ways that each of you can contribute and taking ownership on the success needed in and out the office. Knowing what each other are striving for will ensure everything gets done.
  10. Communication: last but not least, this is the most important area to focus on. If you have successes share them… challenges? share them just the same… The right people and support structure around you will make sure you are not the only paddling on your boat to success.

Any other ideas for striking that perfect balance? Please share them!