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The issue of work-life balance has been around a long time.
Balancing emotional and spiritual intelligence with cognitive reality is central to the effective functioning of women inside and outside the workplace, says HR specialist Lizanne de Jong.
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.
De Jong believes a lack of balance can lead to low levels of energy, high levels of stress or worse.
“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.
De Jong runs a Management and Leadership Development for Women course that 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 women who face a distinct set of challenges due to expectations in the home and workplace.
For 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 De Jong, 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”.
She talks about the need to set boundaries. “Make it clear that you are not available after hours or over weekends,” she says.
This is not as impossible as many overworked 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 time management tools.
The course provides a holistic approach to life and offers preventative measures and practical techniques to finding the right balance.
l The Management and Leadership Development for Women course will be run by Alusani Skills & Training Network on September 17 and 18 in Joburg.
For more information, call 011 447 7470, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.alusani.co.za.
l Cindy Payle is at the Skills Portal. www.skillsportal.co.za.