As women we are also known for our multi-tasking abilities. You will find it amusing how our resumes are incomplete without the word ‘multi-tasker’. Whether at work or home, we are made to believe that we need this super power to excel in everything we do. As true as it is, we should ensure we are able to work on multiple tasks at a time, while being able to maintain a great balance. At periodic intervals we must also pause to analyse how productive and meaningful each of our tasks have been. Going with the flow is okay, but stop, pause and reflect is a good way to add greater meaning to all you do.
Recently as office, parks, schools have all come into our living rooms and only limited to screens, routines have not only gone for a toss but also interferes with our daily routines. It is okay to feel overwhelmed but what is not okay is to allow it to take a toll on your health. This is when you should setup boundaries and do so efficiently through communications. You can read here to know Has The Pandemic Actually Helped Women Find That Elusive Work-Life Balance? Effective communications are not limited to just a co-worker or friend. One should freely communicate with family members, children, caregivers etc with an intent to set clear expectations.
Patience is virtue
With daunting deadlines and limited work hours, we are always in a rush and often impatient. Most often than ever we have no patience to completely explain and convey our views and tasks to our colleagues, subordinates and superior. We are always under the assumption that we have clearly communicated and later frown upon when our expectations are not met. It is okay to assume a shared understanding when a rapport is built and you are able to see through each other’s work. Allow creative freedom and be sensitive while giving feedback. Patience plays a very important role as you take time to understand each other an make a genuine effort to convey the right message.
You have had a bad day at work and expect everything at home to go smoothly. This is not possible always. Not everyone at home understands how your day has been at work. You have to understand that children will behave a certain way not knowing what you have gone through. Similar with your spouse or a child’s care giver. Everybody carries their day into the evening and it is advisable to be patient and give each one a fair chance before shouting or being rude for any actions.
It is very important to put yourself in each team member’s shoes and understand their strengths and weakness and communicate accordingly. For eg, if there is someone who would understand something better visually, put in that effort to make him / her comfortable and explain to them. Your team member will not only acknowledge your efforts but also be extra motivated to give his/ her best.
Be sure on specifying the timeframe you would like to receive the information in. Mentioning vague terms like ‘as soon as possible’, ‘end of day’ not only decreases efficiency but also drives an unclear conversation. These terms mean different to different work cultures and environments and may not steer a clear indication on when it is expected.
Another example for an improper brief is while you shoot out a message on a group chat on WhatsApp saying you want some research statistics on the recent government policies for starting up new business with a hours’ time. Your team will get you their respective information and present it. Some will get the industry wrong; some will get the country wrong; some will not know how recent you need the information from. That is why it is very important to structure your brief in a clear and concise manner and get everyone to repeat what their understanding of the brief is. This will help in getting not only the relevant information but also saves a lot of time going back and forth.
Similar considerations to make while at home. Children often are playful and don’t necessarily adhere to timelines, specially if they are vague. Set clear timelines and routines in order to help your kids settle into their day in your absence. Setting routines help a lot. Once you are back home, they know exactly when it is time to play with mom and when she needs a bit of her own space. What also helps here is a clear rewards system, while you enjoy your me-time to unwind and re-energize. You can look up for some exercises to do in your free time here.
In all of the above, communication plays a clear role and leaves you with a happy family and motivated team members. What’s more important is that the happy surrounding will leave you with a happier self which is crucial to begin the next day with positive and renewed energy.