Print

Your Life >> Browse Articles >> Work-Life Balance

+20

Work-Life Balance Stressing You Out? You Can Stop It!

Work-Life Balance Stressing You Out? You Can Stop It!

Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter | Excelle

July 24, 2009

Y typically has something to do with maintaining boundaries between home and work. Well, that’s nice, too … if you can do it. But a lot of high-achieving women own their own businesses or are in high-level positions in their company which makes it practically impossible to leave work at work. That’s especially true in today’s electronic age where instant access to people and information through Blackberries, iPhones, IMs, email, tweeting, and countless other instant gratification gadgets are right at your fingertips — literally. So maintaining boundaries for high-achieving women is one of those “nice if you can get it” things, but it’s not always practical or even good business for many in today’s job market.

Finally, Z usually involves carving out time to eat right, get enough sleep, and exercise. Now, be honest. How many of you get enough sleep? How many of you skip meals? How many of your back seats could serve as the stunt double for the garbage dumpster at McDonald’s? I mean, would you really do that if you felt like you had a choice? Of course not! You’re high-achieving, not masochistic. So again, sleeping, eating, and exercising are nice perks to strive for, but in today’s corporate world where almost everyone is being asked to do more for less or do more to just hold on to their jobs, these things often fall to the bottom of the priority list.

So what’s a high-achieving woman to do? Here’s my advice.

Look at achieving work/life balance the same as you look at wanting to become a millionaire … well, in today’s world, I suppose I should change that to a billionaire … look at it like wanting to become a billionaire. Most of us would like to achieve that status, but the reality is that very few of us ever will. And the same holds true for work/life balance. There’s nothing wrong with having it as a goal; it’s a good thing to strive for. But if you’re not realistic about it, it will only add to your stress.

Here’s a good reality check. With all the balls you’re juggling every day, is it realistic to expect that you won’t drop one (or two) every now and then as you trek up the treacherous terrain of that mountain of responsibilities that has become your life?

Or how about this reality test — it’s an example I hear fairly often from high-achieving women (I’ll use Susie to make my point): Susie comes home from a 12 or 14 hour work day (or longer). When she walks in the door, she finds her kids screaming that they need their school uniform washed and everyone in the house is complaining of hunger pains. Susie dutifully starts dinner and a wash of laundry, but as she runs back and forth between the stove and the washing machine, she begins to feel guilty because she’s not happily humming “Hi-ho” like the seven dwarves. Now I ask you, is Susie being realistic in her expectations of herself? Of course not!

So here is the reality. What you do each and every day is absolutely amazing, and even if it’s not perfect, it’s better than what most could do in a week or a month or even a year. It’s something to celebrate.

So take a moment and pat yourself on the back. Recognize and appreciate your own excellence. And most importantly, remember that although balance is important, don’t feel that you have to squeeze your uniquely shaped peg into what unfortunately seems to be evolving into a one-size-fits-all hole known as work/life balance. Balance is self-defined; it’s what works for you and your family. If you allow it to be anything else, you’re only adding another thing to your “to-do” list. And really, ladies, isn’t that list full enough?

Don’t Miss:
5 Life-Enhancing Skills You Can Learn for Free
Reduce Your Stress, Not Your Finances
Work-Life Balance Reality Check: You’re Not Superwoman


Excelle School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use Excelle's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.


* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

Photo_user_blank_big
Ldam222 received the quiz result of "ESTJ", 9 months ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
mlzrvc received the quiz result of "ISTJ", 9 months ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
schucb received the quiz result of "ESTJ", 9 months ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
dkk_florida received the quiz result of "ESFJ", 9 months ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
lexcelle received the quiz result of "Seattle", 9 months ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
Burntnana received the quiz result of "You Kind of Love your job", 9 months ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
Burntnana received the quiz result of "Healthy Person", 9 months ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
Burntnana received the quiz result of "<b>You Just Need a Vacation</b>", 9 months ago.
Apples-635240_1280_max30
Margaritta commented on: "Margaret Jefferson", 9 months ago.