12 Tips for Balancing Responsibilities as a Business Woman
Receive free IIBA updates and exclusive content!
Women in business, and those working in business analysis, have a lot on their plates. Many are juggling work responsibilities with caring for children, family members, and loved ones—all while trying to make time for personal interests and pursuits too.
Research from Pew Research Center has shown that mothers are spending more time in the workforce than ever before. However, they’re also spending more time on childcare than they did in the past. These tasks can demand monumental personal and professional commitments. Finding a balance between them can be a challenge at the best of times.
Challenges for Today’s Businesswomen
Businesswomen face several other unique challenges in their professions, ranging from varying degrees of impostor syndrome to the growing trend of remote work and homeschooling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the recently hosted IWD 2021 webinar, many successful businesswomen discussed the challenges women in business are facing today.
The webinar’s speakers highlighted the US Labor Department’s statistics, showing that 2.2 million women left the labor force between February and October 2020. They cited the collapse of childcare and homeschooling demands as a few key reasons behind this trend. The speakers mentioned that men are being awarded jobs at three times the rate women are, which further compounds the stresses of being a businesswoman in these trying, uncertain times.
Today’s women are facing more social and mental health challenges, household responsibilities, and job insecurities than ever. Here are 12 tips for businesswomen who are looking to balance their responsibilities and obligations more effectively in order to meet these growing demands.
1. Clarify Your Goals and Values
Your values and sense of purpose should act as your personal compass for how to best use your individual strengths and talents. Having a clear path ahead will reduce the amount of stress you face and point you in the right direction for long-term success.
2. Focus on Your Personal Situation
So many women in business analytics find themselves comparing their strengths, capabilities, and performance to those of their peers. When trying to strike a balance between your personal and professional lives, it’s crucial to focus on creating a balance that works for you.
Don’t compare yourself and your challenges to those of others. The next time you feel despondent or like you aren’t achieving enough, pick yourself up with some motivational or humorous quotes to alleviate stress and inspire you to keep working towards your goals.
3. Use Your Calendar Wisely
If you need a multi-tasking tool that can assist you in better managing your time and maintaining a personal balance, your humble calendar (or calendar app) will be your new best friend. It’s much easier to balance your schedule when you can see all of your obligations collated in front of you.
Your desk calendar will help you keep track of everything—from your children’s play rehearsals to your next big board meeting. Remember to set aside one full weekend every month to give yourself time to unwind and recharge if you can.
4. Prepare Yourself for Peak Seasons
Busy seasons at work, home, and school can be particularly demanding. Luckily, you probably already know when these seasons of peak demand take place, and can prepare accordingly.
Keep track of busy seasons and seasonal developments that may hinder your organizational plans and further complicate your schedule. When you end up with collisions between your personal and professional obligations, consider entrusting someone else to do some of your tasks in order to lighten the load.
5. Delegate Your Workload
No woman is an island. The key to maintaining a healthy balance in life is delegating and sharing responsibilities when necessary. When your industry demands significant amounts of your time, consider bringing in additional employees to cover some of your key responsibilities.
Delegating your workload will help streamline your schedule and ensure that you don’t have to sacrifice precious personal time in the process. You can hand over workloads at home by encouraging your family to share household chores and responsibilities.
6. Disconnect When You Can
The world we live in is more connected than ever. This level of hyper-connection poses many benefits, but it also makes it harder to find balance in life. If you can, try to avoid using work-connected devices like smartphones and laptops during your off hours.
If you can’t disconnect entirely, set boundaries around when you’re willing to be available outside of work hours. Your personal life will thank you for it.
7. Network More Purposefully
It’s highly recommended that you keep a list of your attendance at meetings, conferences, and ceremonies to help balance your personal and professional responsibilities. Once you add up the time you spend at these events over the course of a month or even a year, it may surprise you how much time you’re losing to them.
These events can provide excellent networking opportunities, but it’s important to be able to say no when your schedule doesn’t allow for them. Events that don’t serve your long-term professional and personal goals shouldn’t be a priority. Saying no will allow you to focus your time and energy on more important events without having to cut into your personal and family time.
8. Develop Healthy Work-Related Boundaries
Bringing your work problems home will create a significant overlap between your personal and professional lives. Try using your commute to release work-related issues from your mind so that you can focus on yourself and your family instead when you get home.
Being mentally and emotionally present when you’re at home or with loved ones will create balance, and will give you a mental break from the demands of your workload.
9. Stay Active
We often relegate physical exercise to the back burner when there are more important demands at hand. However, staying active can help busy businesswomen manage their stress levels, stay in shape, and remain healthy.
You can stay active and fit while meeting your work obligations by trying a few targeted workouts from your office. There are plenty of simple calisthenic exercises you can practice in your workplace or at home to get the hit of endorphins you need to cope with your packed schedule.
10. Look After Your Health
Your health is invaluable and neglecting it in favor of work can increase your risk of developing lifestyle diseases like hypertension and type II diabetes. You can look after your body and your mind by eating healthy, balanced meals, staying physically active, and clocking in at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night.
11. Give Yourself a Break
It’s essential for you as a businesswoman to give yourself time to rest at home. If you push yourself too hard for too long, you run the risk of suffering from burnout and facing negative health consequences as well.
As mentioned above, try assigning household chores to your family members, and don’t be afraid to order in takeout when you need to. Reschedule date nights and catch-up sessions if you feel you need to rest and relax. It’s recommended that you take some time out for yourself, too. Take a walk, meditate, have a quiet cup of coffee, or even journal if you’d like—as long as you’re giving yourself enough time to recharge.
12. Remain Realistic
Creating balance and harmony between your personal and professional responsibilities is challenging. It should by no means be considered a full-time pursuit. There will be obstacles and off days; accepting this will make your life easier in the long run.
Stay on The Right Path
Every businesswoman faces obstacles that can easily lead them down a path of stress, frustration, and worry. In the wake of COVID-19, there are even more challenges for women-owned businesses, while attaining a work-life balance is tougher than ever.
With this in mind, it’s important to stay on track, remain clear on your core values and goals, and apportion your time realistically. In addition, learn how to say no to obligations that don’t further your aspirations.
Remember to make time for your family, friends, and loved ones—and of course, set aside some time to unwind for yourself. You’ve got this!
Unlock your business analysis potential and grow your career with IIBA Membership. Network with your local community, attend complimentary events around the world, use tools like the Career Action Guide, and more.
About The Author:
Megan Hudson is a content champion for various online publications, often covering a range of business topics from finance for startups to small business accounting tips.