How can we keep a work-life balance

We hear from Founder Nathalie Robberse of TEN, The Empowerment Network, as she gives her perspective on working hours, finding peace and maintaining a realistic work-life balance.

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TEN was founded with the intention to connect and empower women by giving them access to opportunities that fully realise their capabilities. Bringing a diverse group of women together to help shape a better future for female potential. 

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The pandemic gave us more time to think, reflect and ask ourselves challenging questions like; do we really need to work 40-60 hours a week to be successful?

What does it really mean when we want to find a work-life balance?

To me, it means that now is the time to reassess the way we view our purpose in life. The pandemic gave us more time to think, reflect and ask ourselves challenging questions like; do we really need to work 40-60 hours a week to be successful? Do we work to live or live to work? Are we addicted to the stress and the constant stimuli? If yes, is that really beneficial to us in the long term? Finding a work-life balance is also very personal and different to everyone, but I think it’s important for everyone to mentally and physically check in with themselves at times.

Before we know it, days pass by and we are racing against the clock to squeeze in our to do lists. How do we know what balance is and what it is we should be searching for in work/life areas to ensure we are capable. Our best. Any tips?

This is also really personal and different to everyone, but I have a few tips:

  1. Step one: write down, using percentages, how much time you ideally want your work/life balance to look like. Is it 60/40? 70/30?
  2. Step two: write down, using percentages, how much time you are now spending on your work/life balance. Is this percentage close to step one? If not, think of ways to change that.
  3. Step three: write down how often you think you went over your own limits, and if you recognize certain newly developed habits that weren’t necessarily your goal to have. 
  4. Step four: write down, without thinking in limits, what you’d change in your life right now to become more balanced? Having more me-time? Working out more? Spending more quality time with friends and family? Meditate? Nature walks? Try to think of ways to add these into your lifestyle.

Also, try to notice if you have developed certain physical complaints. Check in with your body regularly, like twice a day. When writing down the above points, you automatically start thinking about what your mind and body truly needs.

We have so much inspiration, tips, connections and advice around us. How can we find something suitable for our own individual lifestyles and where do we begin?

It starts with asking yourself questions about what you need. What your body needs, what your mind needs. And remember, not everyone wants to meditate to become relaxed, so try out things that work for you.

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We all want to be productive and make the most out of our time. How do we know when we are trying to do too much vs the time we have? 

Try to analyze and measure your current productiveness. Are you more productive in the morning or after lunch? If you know when you’re at your best, you know how to schedule your to do’s. For instance, if you’re not a morning person, don’t write that big article that you need to be fully present for. It sounds easy, but not a lot of people are conscious of their energy levels. When you are, you’ll know when you’re doing too much.

We can easily be affected by the stress culture that tells us to hurry up. How can we remind ourselves to be intentional with our lives, our time and find a clear path that is meaningful for us?

Just ask yourself one question with everything you do: is it going to bring me energy or take my energy? And if it’s going to take your energy; is it really worth it? Sometimes, being ‘selfish’ is necessary to live a purposeful life.

Any last words?

Just a quote I live by: “Only putting energy into things that give me energy”.