07 Jul Why Can’t Women Have It All?
A few years ago when my friend and business partner, Darrel, presented me with (and I jumped on board) the idea that later became Urbyn Loft, I resolved that the pursuit of success was going to mean the end of my social life and even some of my personal relationships.
I was right. I’ve missed many events and moments with my friends and family. I even lost one of my very best friends in the process.
This wasn’t because I didn’t care or that I valued my work more than the people in my life, but because the idea that you have to sacrifice for success has been perpetuated throughout our society. At the time, I subscribed to the norm. I thought – and expected – work to dominate my life, and at the expense of my personal life and relationships.
I don’t believe that anymore.
I disagree wholeheartedly with the notion that we as women cannot achieve balance between work and home.
The thing we must consider is: whose idea of work-life balance are we striving to achieve?
The thinking that we as women should divide our time equally and be all things to all people at all times is a pipe dream.
If this is the goal then everyone will fail.
What we should be focusing on is quality.
By improving the quality of our time at both work and home, we will be more productive and more fulfilled.
Focusing solely on achieving our objectives while at work, without the distractions of social media and getting bogged in email or stuck in meetings, will increase our productivity and make it possible for us to get more done.
The feeling of accomplishment we experience as a result will free us of thinking we could’ve or should’ve done more, and therefore need to take work home – literally and figuratively.
While at home with our families or spending time with our friends, we should disconnect from all things related to work: stay off of the laptop, leave the paperwork tucked away, put the phone down, and be engaged and fully present with the people around us. The satisfaction we feel as a result will leave us in state in which we can operate at work without the guilt over what could’ve or should’ve been done differently at home.
Achieving work-life balance isn’t about dividing ourselves equally among our personal and professional responsibilities. It’s about the quality of the time we put in.
Striving for quality over quantity will make it possible for us to go home and be the best partner, mom, daughter, sister, and friend we can be. Even if it comes at the end of a 14-hour work day.
What do you think? Is work-life balance impossible? Have you achieved balance?
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