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How do women in business achieve a better work-life balance?

By Sarah Callender, Commercial Director at Duo

Balance is something that is becoming increasingly challenging for women in business, especially those in businesses that are experiencing significant growth or change. Often work life balance is simply a feeling of balance, even if the actual hours you work can’t change all that much.

Change within a business can be quick and intense, giving you and your business growing pains, when you are busy managing change, this can have a negative impact on your work-life balance, affecting your performance at work, your health, relationships and happiness.

So how do you achieve work-life balance as a woman in business? Here are some key tips to help you take control:

Practice being present

At any point in your life you hold various identities – for example this might be: business owner, mother, wife, friend. When a business is experiencing growth or change, this can often put immense pressure on achieving a good balance across all of your identities, which can make you feel like you are constantly chasing your tail and cause aspects of your life to break down.

To restore balance, take the time to define each of your identities and practice being present in each of them. This discipline will allow you to focus your energy and attention on each one at a time - if you are at work, put your all into it, if you are at home with your family - make sure you are present and fully connecting with them. If you are present in the moment, this will allow you to achieve more in each of your identities.

Work in line with your strengths

Establishing the behavioural patterns you feel allow you to play to your strengths is key to identifying how your energy is exerted on a daily basis. If you are a procedural person for example, you will enjoy and have a strength for creating and working with processes. If you have a procedural strength and preference, and you do too much work within areas that lack process and structure, your energy levels are likely to deplete quicker than they would if you were working on process-led tasks, leading you to potentially experience burn out quicker.

Working long hours is often raised when discussing work-life balance for growing businesses, however long hours are often necessary – it is what you do within those hours that is important. If you are working late for example, make sure you are working on something that is giving you energy, something you enjoy doing, rather than something that is depleting your energy, or out of sync with your key behavioural traits and areas of strength.

We know that achieving work-life balance is a common challenge. This year’s International Women’s theme is ‘Balance for Better’, making this a really timely opportunity to highlight the importance of defining our identities and being present in each of them. Focussing on our areas of influence in line with our behavioural patterns, and giving us permission to take time for ourselves.

Overcoming this challenge is often the key driver for women taking that time out and coming along to our retreats, here is more information on our next retreat in June.

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