Can women really ever achieve work-life balance?

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Women are expected to fulfil multiple roles and sadly some are discovering a little too late that maintaining a balanced lifestyle is the key to remaining healthy and performing successfully at work , and home. During the Management and Leadership Development for Women training course, HR specialist Lizanne de Jong addresses women on the issue of work-life balance.

A lack of balance can lead to low levels of energy, high levels of stress or worse. According to Lizanne "Far more women are suffering from heart attacks or diseases that have long been associated with older working men'.

Many factors contribute to this trend including an increase in smoking, an unhealthy lifestyle, and pressures at work and of course work-life imbalance.

During the Management and Leadership Development for Women course de Jong helps women regain and maintain balance by understanding the different quadrants in their lives, which generally consist of; work, family, hobbies, companions and personal time.

The coping-mechanisms presented in the programme are specifically designed for business women, who face a distinct set of challenges due to expectations in the home and workplace.

As an example, working women are more affected by a sick child. They have a tendency to feel guilty if they are unable to meet certain demands; or feel they are neglecting their family. This is particularly frustrating for women who are forced to work because of financial burdens at home.

Part of the training teaches women not only to deal with this reality but to make the best of a difficult situation.

"In their quest to make time for others women often neglect themselves first believing this will fix the problem'. However this action only leads to more negative results as women become overworked, stressed and tired.

According to Lizanne, women need to take control of their destinies and become more assertive.

Deciding which tasks or events are urgent and which are important plays a big part in determining how to spend time productively. This is sometimes difficult for women who are "more relationship-focused than work-focused.'

Lizanne talks about the need to set boundaries. "Make it clear that you are not available after hours or over weekends.' This is not as impossible as many over-worked women might assume. "If you have good time management skills there should be no need to work outside of your allotted work hours'.

Course participants will also learn relaxation exercises and other tools to manage time effectively.

The course provides an holistic approach to life and offers preventative measures and practical techniques to finding the right balance.

The Management and Leadership Development for Women course will be run by Alusani Skills and Training Network. For more information call 011 447 7470, email faith@alusani.co.za or visit Alusani Skills and Training Network.

By Cindy Payle

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