How do you divide up your time? As women, balancing work, life, and family can seem impossible. However, it is possible to have it all! You can be an ambitious career woman, have a thriving family, and a healthy lifestyle, and still get your eight hours of sleep a night… but how?
We interviewed Marta Newport (National People and Culture Leader at Grant Thornton), Lynda Mckie (Senior Private Wealth Adviser at Elston), Alex Graham (Luxury Fashion Consultant), and our very own Suzie Majer, who are four incredible women that have built both a successful and balanced life for themselves!
What strategies do you implement to reduce stress when you have multiple conflicting tasks?
Marta: Triage, delegate and prioritise before I start anything. I also make sure that every day involves lots of laughing to help blow off steam and remind ourselves to put things into perspective.
Lynda: I have used Dr Adam Fraser’s Third Space concept, “It’s not what you do but what you do in between what you do that makes the difference!” Taking a moment to reset between meetings on a tightly scheduled day. For example, taking a deep breath while mindfully washing my hands works for me. It seems like a small thing but it does make a difference to me.
Alex: I would be LOST without my google cal. I know that is a simple tip but ensuring I am scheduling all of my tasks around each out AND making sure I plot in “downtime” too where possible. Also… There is power in the word “no”. I am becoming increasingly better at declining opportunities/ invitations / jobs when I am at capacity or when something pop’s up that isn’t complimentary to my current body of work.
Suzie: Exercising and remembering to breathe. Each week I have a nice routine of PT, walking with my naughty long-haired daschund with some school mum friends and on the weekend I head to the Valley Pool!
What are some effective time management strategies for balancing multiple tasks and responsibilities?
Marta: I utilise my Outlook Calendar extensively for everything I do. It is also on my phone so always available, allowing me to make the most of all of my time.
Lynda: I like to remind myself that taking time to connect and listen to team members is equally as important as the work we do with our clients. So I do try to set aside specific afternoons for these meetings.
Alex: I am probably the worst person to ask this one… as I usually have about 23858954 things on the go at once! The age-old to-do list certainly helps… I often start my week listing out everything I need to achieve and then order them depending on priority / deadline. I also try to organise my weekdays into “meeting days” and “office days” so that my head-down office time isn’t interrupted.
Suzie: Trying to focus on one task at a time – although sometimes there are so many balls juggling that it can be difficult to achieve this. Also, going for a quick walk to grab a coffee or juice, stepping away from my laptop and just having a little reset is invaluable.
How do you prioritise daily tasks toensure you are maximising productivity?
Marta: I make sure that I divide up my day based on my own effectiveness. I am most focused first thing in the morning, so I start early and do my deep thinking and focus work then. Most meetings, events, and other work is reserved for the afternoon when I start to slow down and am less focused.
Lynda: We have a morning team ‘huddle’ for 15 mins. This brings to my attention to tasks that I need to prioritise so the rest of the team can do their jobs effectively.
Alex: Admittedly, I am very guilty of being sucked into the vortex of emails where I start on one… and suddenly I look up and it’s school pick-up time. As I have said above, I do try to have dedicated office days and dedicated meeting days. This is also great for outfit organisation (lol).
Suzie: I’m a big one for having my diary very organised and allowing a little time between meetings, interviews etc. I also have a little work notebook so sometimes I just refer back to that to tick things off! Old fashioned perhaps but it’s whatever works for you!
What is your best piece of advice for creating a balance between work and your personal life?
Marta: Consciously carve out personal time and put it into your diary. Up until my firm implemented a 9-day fortnight (we are just in the industry-leading pilot phase right now), I worked a compressed work week and used my Friday afternoons to complete my Master’s studies. Now that we are finding efficiencies, hopefully, my week won’t be as compressed and I will even get some pyjama time as well.
Lynda: Oh I’m not good at this! I try to remind myself that if I don’t take some time out I won’t be as effective or creative with leadership and client experience. I do Exercise! I have a regular gym session each morning, nothing too over top, but the consistency works. On the way back home I stop in with my partner for a coffee. Even if these make my day at work start a little later on some occasions, it’s important to me.
Alex: I learnt very early on from my days when I managed a portfolio of international private clients, that YOU set the boundaries of when you are “on” and “off” the clock… and nine times out of 10 your clients will respect and mould to this. For me… weekends are sacred and it takes a very important task for me to work on my weekends. That’s the time for my family and life admin.
Suzie: Step away from your phone! Simple – not that I’m always great at this – my partner often gives me a “you’re not going to answer that call are you Suzie” look… and I turn my attention back to being in the moment with my family!
If you are looking for some career guidance or looking to find a job where balance is possible, contact us!