5 tips to achieve balance in life and work | INCAE
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5 tips to achieve balance in life and work

November 15 2017
Ana Menspira

“I have never been very good at balancing work and personal life. At the age of 52, I realized that I am a workaholic and that I sacrificed something that I always wanted: to have children and to get married ”.

That was the testimony shared by a successful international consultant on leadership and professional development issues, who participated as a panelist in the discussion "Successful Women Leaders", organized by McKinsey & Company and INCAE's Career Services department for MBA students.

One of the main themes of the activity was the balance between work and personal life. Striking a balance seems like a utopia, but we don't have to give up our lives to achieve professional success, or vice versa.

It is possible to have both! It was the message that a group of professional women who participated in the event gave. His advice has been vital for them to enjoy comprehensive success, these were some of them:

1. Defeat fear: it is normal to think that we will not be able to handle the pressure or comply with everything. Maybe you are doubting whether to accept the job they offered you because it is a lot of responsibility, but the recommendation is that you do it! It is normal to be afraid, but if you do not jump in, you will regret it

2. Define priorities: think about your priorities every day, what is today? Have a coffee with friends, read a book, sleep more? If your goal is to be home by 6pm today, make a list of tasks and allocate the time so that it is possible for you to accomplish them.

If you define what is really important to you, you can give it priority over others that are not so relevant to you. If exercising is essential for you and you don't mind getting up early, get up half an hour earlier to train.

3. Find allies: it is easier when you have people who support you. An ally can be your partner doing some chores around the house, your mother taking care of your children or a friend going out for a wine, on a Wednesday after work to relax.

4. Communicate better: If you are dissatisfied with your work situation, talk to your bosses to try to reach a middle ground. In Latin America, companies tend to be more traditional and less flexible with regard to schedules and telecommuting, but be honest and don't miss the opportunity to talk.

And if you find yourself looking for new job opportunities, do your research, ask about organizational culture, talk to employees, and be honest about what you are looking for. In times of Facebook and Instagram it is easy to find out what the company really is like.

5. Accept imperfection: There are days when you will feel that you are the best professional in the world, but also the worst daughter / wife / sister / mother, because you spent many hours concentrating on a project; While other days you will feel guilty because you spent a lot of time on personal matters and left work early. You can't be perfect all the time and that's okay!

You do not find a balance overnight, it is a process that is maintained throughout your career. The balance will depend on the decisions you make day after day and how you define your priorities. These decisions must be made by yourself. Do not get carried away by the lives or careers of other people, because what makes them happy, may not do it for you.

Be clear that you can be as successful as you want and work as hard as you can; But if you come home and feel that something is missing, you must act to fix it. Never settle for a life or career that doesn't make you feel full! 

Photo by Thought Catalogue on Unsplash

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