Do you find yourself still tethered to your work email… even though it’s after office hours? Or, have you declined job offers, or not applied at all because it required too much travel and would keep you away from your family? Achieving work-life balance in your career can seem out of reach —especially when you want to move up the corporate ladder.
The truth is… you can have both a life and a thriving career—with a little intentional effort.
Give yourself a little grace and remember that balance means different things to different women. Ask yourself: What do I need each day to ensure that I can be both positive and productive? Then, figure out how to incorporate those things into your daily routine.
Here’s are a few tips to help you get started –
Prioritize your time
Positioning yourself to stand out in the workplace and move up the corporate ladder while also maintaining work-life balance can mean juggling many different tasks and making some tough decisions. The goal is to get more work done early in the week and leave the end of the week for creative tasks and wrapping up your workload. You never want to end the week in a panic, trying to play catch-up or feeling like you dropped the ball.
Take control of your day, by being intentional with your mornings. A few minutes or strategizing and prioritizing can go a long way. In the morning, ask yourself: what the most important things that I need to do today to move me toward success? What do I need to achieve this week? …and, what obligations do I have outside of work?
Use the answers to gain perspective on what your priorities are for that day and to provide a roadmap for planning out your week.
Be present &productive
Being the rising star at work doesn’t have to mean that your personal life and family obligations have to be neglected. When at work, be efficient. Consider putting your phone on do-not-disturb. Ignore texts and social status updates or allocate specific times to check-in.
The goal is to give your job your full attention and be present with the work that you are doing. The more productive you are in the workplace, the less you’ll have to think about work after hours. Which means you’ll have more balance and less chaos.
Consider your options
If you find that spending time with the family seems to be more and more out of reach, it might be time to consider a more flexible work arrangement. One that will allow you to spend time with your loved ones while still earning income. You just have to be open to a non-traditional work arrangement.
Look for opportunities to work remotely or telecommute a few days out of the week. Research contract or gig work in your industry – you may be able to match your full-time income as a freelancer. If you’re physician or work in the medical field locum tenens physician staffing is becoming very popular. It gives you the opportunity to control how little or how much you work, on your own terms. Or, if you’re in a specialized field like law or accounting consider bringing on a partner or only working part-time.
Have a conversation
When we think of needing more flexibility at work, we usually think about finding new opportunities, first. But what about your current employer? Are they open to a 4-day work week or you working from home a few days a week?
A simple talk with your boss could reveal options that you may not have thought they were open to. Have an open mind though, because not all companies are onboard (yet). And while not all employers have implemented alternative work options for their staff, they might be able to be more flexible with your schedule and workload. You won’t know unless you try!