Nov 01, 2014

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Doing It All: Balancing Work, Life and La Familia

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If you are smart, ambitious and talented, chances are you have a full plate – a very large one.

The reality is that today’s Latinas want to do it all, and why not?  We’re pursuing fulfilling careers, creating businesses, taking care of family and spending time with our amigas.

At work, we aim to excel, and we’re committed to getting the job done well.  At home, we want to keep la casa limpia and help the kids do homework.  We’re there for our husband/partner, and we take care of mami and papi, and even abuela. A full life, indeed.

Handling Opportunities

One of the biggest differences between us and our mother’s generation is the range of opportunities that we have at our disposal — both professionally and at a personal level.  While this is definitely a blessing, it can also create challenges.  Our ambitious nature makes it difficult to say no to new opportunities, and our resourcefulness convinces us that we’ll get it done some how.

But the truth is that many of us are simply doing too much. During the day, we’re productive and efficient, tackling multiple projects at home or work.  By the end of the day, we feel depleted, exhausted and overwhelmed.

Smart Balancing

Despite the number of books and articles written on the subject of work and life balance, there is no one particular way to balance life’s responsibilities.  For some, not balancing (and taking one day at a time) works perfectly fine.  For others, being strategic and having good time managing skills works best.  There are no fast rules on how to create a peaceful relationship between work and life responsibilities. 

Figuring out your best balancing act depends on several factors, including the following:

Who you are ?  Your personality — your tendency (e.g., past-paced, a quick doer, or a procrastinator)

How do you enjoy spending your work/personal energy:  what tasks you tend to gravitate towards (e.g., creative projects, linear projects)

Your relationship with time: do you see time as a limited resource that you’re running against, or as a constant element (“there’s always tomorrow…”)

Your thoughts. The way you think about your responsibilities can either paralyze you or energize you.  Your mental clutter on must-do’s and should have done’s can make balancing quite challenging.

5-Minute Tips for When You Feel Totally Depleted

Take 5 minutes to sit down (away from the computer/kids/tasks) or take a walk

Drink a tall glass of water or a freshly-squeezed juice

Take 5 deep breaths — inhale through your nose, exhale through your mouth

Do 5 jumping jacks — to get your blood circulating.

The Secret to Work-Life Balance

A biggest myth on achieving work-life balance is that we need to learn to effectively manage our time.  I am sure you’ve tried using schedules, calendars and even stop-watches to be as productive as possible.  And nada. Why?  Because the secret lies in effectively managing your energy, not your time. If you are tired and depleted, chances are you will not be as focused and productive as you can optimally be.  When you rest and re-fuel, your productivity level multiplies — allowing you to achieve a lot more with your time.

So the next time you need to decide whether or not you can take on another project, don’t ask yourself if you have time to do it.  Ask yourself if you have the energy to get it done.

How do you balance work-life responsibilities and opportunities?

photo: source

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Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Angélica Pérez-Litwin

Dr. Perez-Litwin is the Founder & CEO of ELLA Leadership Institute, a multi-platform professional development organization designed to advance the careers and leadership of women. She's the creative force behind the LATINAS THINK BIG™ national tour, sponsored and live-streamed by Google.

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Comments

  1. I think alot has to do with us Latinas, is we do no want to let anyone down..we feel the pressure to take care of eveyone else and worry about ourself last, great article..sometime I feel unpluggin everything and simply stepping outside really helps.

    bonnie
    sweetlife

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