Work- life balance for women entrepreneurs

It is often thought that women who run their own businesses find it easier to manage both work and home, as there is no ‘boss’ to report to. However, if you want your business to be successful, then you should be professional, which may sometimes lead to compromising your work life balance. Also, if not taken care, an entrepreneur could easily forget the thin line which exists between her business and home, thus resulting in stress both at work and family.

There is no straight solution to this, as the modern day woman struggles to strike a balance. Nevertheless, by following some tips, women entrepreneurs could hope to be fairly successful in achieving work life balance.

Be realistic in what you do: It is often seen that a woman entrepreneur is stressed because she tries to be a superwoman. Doing everything by yourself all the time is not humanly possible. Therefore it is important to be realistic in your plans in what you should do and what you could get others to do.

Plan your time ahead: Planning is an important activity in the life of an entrepreneur. Planning your time in advance could not only help in increasing effectiveness in your business, but could also help you achieve a balance between work and family. Prioritise your work and drive your team to follow timelines. For example, instead of making client calls throughout the day, explore if this could be done for a fixed one or two hours in a day. Similarly, set aside a time at home to spend with your kids, and try not to work during this time.

Practice delegation: Delegate your responsibilities, not only at work but also at home. At work, analyze if non critical activities could be done by someone else. Similarly, at home, get the help of a maid to help you. Learn to say ‘No’ if you cannot do something or do not wish to do it. Many a time, women hesitate to use this word, as they are generally more emotional than men. As mentioned earlier, time is limited, and you cannot please everyone. As your business grows, see if you could expand your workforce, rather than increasing your stress levels.

Understand that personal goals are equally important: A big hindrance in achieving work life balance is - You! You may not think of your personal goals to be as important as your business goals. As a result, you end up postponing these things, ultimately resulting in stress and frustration. For example, assume you wished to take a holiday for long, but kept putting it off due to work pressures. Or if you are continuously promising your child that you will take him for a picnic, but are unable to keep up your promise. These unfulfilled promises will eventually show on your business and affect your professional life also.

Discuss your issues with your family: Having a supportive family to back you and your dreams is very important for success. If you feel that you could do with more support at home, you must discuss these issues openly with your family. Many a time, it happens that by voicing your opinion, you could sort things out in a better manner than by keeping quiet and adjusting your lifestyle.

Explore if working from home is possible: Another option to achieve work life balance is to explore if you could work from home. This would help you pay attention to your family, as well as run your business. However, beware working from home is far difficult than what it is normally perceived to be. Drawing a line between work and family becomes critical in this case, and you must know when to get out of work mode and get into family mode. Also, do not think that working from home gives you the freedom to reduce your professionalism.

An entrepreneur benefits both personally and professionally by starting out on her own. However, compromising family time can seem to be the biggest drawback. You could change this drawback into a manageable act by simply planning well and being more practical.

What's your take on family and work-life balance? Please share your views.

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