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Women's Work: The Great Juggling Act

Nivedita Jain
Nivedita Jain
Senior Manager Development, Ness Technologies
Nivedita is currently the senior manager at Ness Technologies.She has more than 11 years of exten... more>>
What does success mean to any woman? I believe that success is not just defined by promotions or by achieving targets or by being just a home maker and raising kids, at least not in todays scenario. It is rather the sense of fulfillment that one feels when a job is accomplished well at home and office. Success is also about being passionate for the work we do and being committed to it, whatever is the arena. Every woman, no matter what age or stage in life, finds herself juggling many priorities, responsibilities, relationships and pressures.This is where the art of juggling comes in really handy.

Women in India and abroad have made their mark in multiple fields - technology,literature, art, international business, politics etc. Today in almost every industry/sector we can find women who are balancing their work as well as home responsibilities with equal finesse. It is not easy to put in a full day at the office, clean home, cook hot meals, check a childs homework, get one hour workout in at the gym and make it to the Saturday family and social get-together. Yet, millions of women pull this off every day. Most women feel that one often overshadows the other and never seem to come to a place where they are comfortably managing both work and family.

With a clear vision and planned actions one can juggle the activities throughout the day.I would like to share few tips here with my readers; these have helped me a lot in the past in balancing my life. I will suggest the first thing to do is to write down your top three career goals and top three family goals which could be weekly, monthly or even annual. Give yourself time to clearly articulate your vision and create an action plan. Without this vision, you may feel as if you are running a race that has no end.It is important to budget your time wisely. But what does this mean? At the office, this means using your time productively, getting the job done during regular business hours and not using your work time to surf the internet or catch up on social interactions. If you can leave work on time, this will greatly reduce the stress you feel in trying to address your familys needs in the evenings.

While at work, keep your distractions to a minimum. This means that you will need a block of time that is uninterrupted during which you can get your tasks done. Keep a few hours free from meetings or phone calls to catch up each day. Taking new and additional responsibilities at work by keeping the partner aware of it will help in getting the needed support. Utilizing the facility of telecommuting when the kids or your partner falls sick and need your care and support helps a lot.

During difficult work life situations try and discuss with your partner; many a times we alone are able to see only one side of the coin, involving the partner brings in a different perspective. Mentor and build a strong second line in your team so that things dont come to halt in case you need to go on leave. Groom your team from time to time to make them self sufficient to some degree. Build in effective processes and ensure team is disciplined enough to adhere to them so that you save on follow up time.

You can apply similar principles at home. Set aside some time each evening during which the phone and television are turned off and the family gets uninterrupted attention from you. This time together is vital and builds the impression in your children that they are a priority to you.

Women often tend to feel they must complete everything on their own. Its simply not realistic. Look for new ways to save time, money and energy by enlisting the help of others.It may be a friend, colleague or family member. A mentor once said to me, When you tell someone where you are trying to go, they will help you get there. Allow others to help you meet your goals. With this support, you will naturally create more ease for yourself.At home try and take some help from your husband, a fair distribution of workload between the husband and wife will surely help in managing the responsibilities together. Build a support system at home with hiring cook, maid etc for regular work so that you can spend time with your kid/s.Shift all the work from manual transactions to doing it over internet to save time. Be it transactions at bank, travel planning or paying bills etc. It will help save a considerable amount of time. Develop lot of trust in each other so that if one takes any decision, the other need not worry or bother e.g. in case of managing finances trusting each other is really essential.

Finally, make your weekend time off really count. Use this time for activities that are important to you, like time with friends, vacations to nearby spots with your spouse, or trips to the museum or zoo with your kids. Schedule your time off just as you do your work week by filling in a few slots with set activities to be sure you dont waste the whole weekend with television or naps. Try and plan at least 2 vacations in a year to rejuvenate and face life with vigor and renewed energy levels.Remember busy working women need to recharge themselves, so pamper yourself by a visit to a parlor, shopping with friends or eating your favorite items. One shouldnt feel guilty about taking time for oneself.

My friends, managing marriage, kids and work together arent easy at all. There are compromises which both the parties have to make. If these are balanced out without overshadowing some of the important missions of life then things turn out really well. I would like to thank my family for supporting and guiding me in this journey so far to help me make my life better. God has been gracious enough to bless me with 11 years of successful career and marriage. I owe a lot to my higher power.

Friends I feel that thoughtful planning, collaboration, trust, mutual understanding and loads of love are the key ingredients for the recipe of success at work and home. Remember to always be in the moment at work or home, when you are at home, do the best you can at just being a good wife and mother. At work, do the best you can at being committed to your job.Our lives are a mixture of different roles. Most of us are doing the best we can to find whatever the right balance is.

I wish you all the success in your life.

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