One word describes the universal feeling many, if not all women experience that inhibits their quest for work-life balance.

Whether I’m working with corporate women in the c-suite, mid-level managerial women or those beginning their career, I hear women speak about this feeling.

Entrepreneurial women are quite familiar with this nagging feeling as well.

And no other group of women is more plagued by it than working mothers.

Make no mistake about it. This feeling knows no bounds. It does not discriminate. It permeates the hearts and minds of working women from all socio-economic backgrounds, race, religions and nationalities.

Do you know the feeling I’m referencing yet?

If you’re a woman reading this blog, I’m sure you do!

Guilt.

Guilt is the feeling that tugs at every professional woman’s heartstring.

It acts like an albatross around our neck in our pursuit of work-life balance.

The feeling of guilt we experience when we are at work and our kid(s) are at home.

The feeling of guilt we experience when we are with our kids and think we should be at work.

The evergreen feeling of guilt connected to believing we don’t pay enough attention to, or spend enough time with our spouse.

And heaven forbid we take five minutes out of the day to do something for ourselves! Guilt emanates from our every pore!

Throughout all corners of the world, on every rung of the corporate ladder and within all entrepreneurial circles, working women are constantly torn by and tormented with feelings of guilt.

Unlike most men, women are plagued by what feels like competing responsibilities between our professional and personal lives, crippling our search for work-life balance.

Quite frankly, it feels as if everyone wants a piece of us – all the time.

Strategy to Eliminate Guilt

For women to achieve any semblance of work-life balance we must alleviate, or in some measure quiet this very destructive and highly unproductive feeling of guilt.

How?

By creating very clear and consistent boundaries between our work and personal life.

The establishment of boundaries lays the foundation for creating a successful career and happy and fulfilling personal life.

Boundaries are the linchpin for work-life balance!

When you are at work – spend your time and energy working.

When you are at home – give your family your undivided attention.

Be fully present in whatever you do and wherever you are.

Two Boundary Busters

1. Multi-tasking Myth

Multi-tasking, the ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously was once considered to be all the rage.

Similar to many women, I wore my ability to multi-task as a badge of honor.

Otherwise, I thought: “How could I possibly get everything done?”

How wrong was I. Contrary to what many of us believe, current research reveals we are less productive multi-tasking than we would be if we did one thing at a time.

One of many studies recently conducted by the University of California, Irvine, discovered it takes workers an average of twenty-five minutes to regain focus after having been distracted from emails, phone calls, etc.

Therefore, multi-tasking is counter productive, and it cripples our effect for work-life balance.

Resist the temptation to multi-task!

2. Technology

Modern technology allows us to remain plugged in 24/7 – blurring the boundaries between our work and personal life –

handicapping our ability to create work-life balance.

This often gets played out in two ways.

Scenario A

When we are at work – we find ourselves checking our personal emails, surfing the web, watching Youtube videos and a zillion other activities that distract us from our work – decreasing our productivity.

And what happens next?

We either work longer hours and/or bring work home.

End Result: Guilt Increases = work-life balance becomes a casualty

Scenario B

When we are at home – we find ourselves checking our work email and other messages. This behavior might become so pervasive we don’t even know it has become a habit – until our spouse or kids ask us to “please put down your cell phone mom!”

Or we go into “stealth mode” – our mind wanders off and we think about work when we are supposed to be having a conversation with our kids or spouse. And visa versa.

End Result: Guilt Increases = work-life balance becomes a casualty

As the saying goes: “So what’s a girl to do?”

Allow technology to enhance your life. It can act as your greatest ally for creating work-life balance – as long as you control it – and it doesn’t control you.

Summary

Guilt must be conquered if you want to achieve any semblance of work-life balance.

Create boundaries and discipline yourself to honor them.

Stay focused and “on task” when at work.

Put your cell phone down. Turn your computer off. You do not have to be “on” 24/7.

Be totally present when you are at home with family and friends. And be totally present when you are at work.

Final thought

You have the ability to create work-life balance that works for you. In the final analysis – it’s your life to live! Live it! #YOLO

For more information on work-life balance strategies, check out what Barbara Corcoran of SHARK TANK fame wrote about my Amazon best selling book: “Dr. Patty Ann rolls up her sleeves to tackle what just may be the last frontier for women who yearn to create wildly successful businesses (and careers) while keeping their marriage and family life intact! This is a brilliantly written and practical jewel of a book that every female … should read and take to heart!”

To learn more about my Amazon best-selling book: “Not Tonight Dear, I’ve Got a Business to Run! Enrich Your Marriage While Prospering in Your Business” go to: http://www.nottonightdearbook.com.

~ as published in The Huffington Post

Dr. Patty Ann Tublin
Emotional Intelligence, Communication and Relationship Expert

www.relationshiptoolbox.com
www.relationshiptoolbox.com/blog
www.twitter.com/drpattyann
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Categories : Work-Life Balance

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