7 Strategies for Women Leaders to Balance Work and Life

With women leaders juggling uncertainty, gender bias in the workplace, cybercrime, inflation, and political uncertainty and unrest in most parts of the world, sometimes there is no time to pause, breathe, or prioritize oneself. Yet this is precisely what we need to be doing, especially when times get tough. A Buddhist Zen saying captures this sentiment beautifully – “If you don’t have time to meditate for an hour every day, you should meditate for two hours.” I’ve taken this quite literally for the month of June to make time to stop, breathe, and reflect so my body can catch up with my head and to take care of the center of my health and well-being – the self.

Our CEO, Griselda Togobo, outlines seven ways to transform your work/life balance this June:

1. Change your mindset – think work-life integration, not balance. Balance is elusive, but we can all find a way to integrate our work and home lives so both aspects can exist in harmony rather than cause friction.

2. Allocate blocks to yourself in your schedule as you do with meetings and work commitments with others, and ensure that you are present in that moment to meet with yourself. Use this time to de-stress, reflect, process life, and recharge so you can be the best version of yourself for family or work.

3. Adopt the ‘Stop, Start, Continue‘ strategy to enhance your productivity and well-being. Identify work tasks that drain your energy and need to be stopped and those that can be delegated to foster the growth of your team. Identify those tasks that need to be (re)started to bring more value and leverage your strengths.

4. Leverage AI and technology to help save your time for other things. Can you use AI to improve your documents, emails, and communication? Can you have standing, talking meetings instead of sitting meetings? Can AI take your meeting notes? Use the time you save using technology to create more slack in your day so you can get things done without overstretching yourself.

5. Set limits. Set limits for your working day, screen time, and any areas of your life that tend to spill over into other parts of your life. To help you stay mindful, could you take emails off your phone and only check them when you are behind a desk?

6. Audit and Review. How much time are you spending on emails, phone calls, meetings, etc.? Review how you spend your time during a week to identify areas being neglected and needing to be prioritized in the future. Are your priorities reflected in your schedule?

7. Say no. Time is precious, and what you decide not to do matters as much as what you do. Permit yourself to miss out and to say ‘No’ to some things without feeling guilty.

What else would you add to the list?

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