When we think about working from home – the word “juggling” immediately comes to mind. It has been an incredible blessing for many women to be able to work and still feel close to their kids. Working from home obviously has so many benefits and allows for women to become financially stable – yet such a difficulty to find complete balance in juggling our home responsibilities, personal emotion as well as our work demands. Moving from each role – mother, wife, home executive and the professional can be extremely draining. Speaking to Afroze Akbar, she highlights to us that starting a business when her little one was under one can be an incredibly daunting task. But there are certain structures and systems that can allow us to move from juggling to finding balance.
At first you struggle mainly because you have not developed your support structure, planning is the focus and having a clear direction for your business as well as your personal life is of paramount importance. Your Ibadah and your personal life must be clearly demarcated with the focus on building our vision of our business with these at the core.
- Time management:
As a woman working from home – time batching is of paramount importance. Demarcating days and times for your business, and within these days to put similar tasks together. Your time as a woman, a mother, and wife is incredibly valuable – you have to take control of this time and not allow your time to be dictated by your work. In creating core principles for your time – you will find that your work begins to move around your directive and not vice versa. Create times for responding to messages and emails so that you are answering a few at one given time and not constantly spending your day checking emails or messages. Every person’s core principle will be different – yet the focus has to be in creating a balanced work life so that you don’t feel like you are cheating your family or yourself in any way.
- Feeling emotionally overwhelmed:
As a woman the many roles that one plays means we have a constant to-do list running through our minds. We find ourselves reaching burnout when we place too much of pressure upon ourselves. As women we struggle to take help and we struggle to give ourselves some downtime. Our mental state is incredibly important. We tend to focus only on sales and perfectionism – yet we need to learn to give ourselves the greenlight to say “It is okay” – it is okay to rest, okay to have a certain job that you don’t want to do, it is okay to have a down day and most importantly it is okay if you cannot do it all.
Having too many tabs open in your mind can slow you down. At times we think we are superwomen and we try to focus on quite a few things at once- cooking, whilst on the phone and directing your home staff can be a common occurrence – yet research has shown that in reality doing to much at one time slows us down and does not allow us to perfect that act in totality. Focusing on one task at a time – allows you to focus only on that specific task which allows you to then complete at a faster time and with more attention to detail.
- Making use of systems that make your life easier:
As a small business owner often, you are asked the same questions repeatedly and it can be incredibly time consuming as well as mentally frustrating. Creating pictures and social media tools that respond to repetitive questions and queries. There are many tools and apps that allow you to not sit on Instagram or Facebook for hours and hours. Setting timers for posts and automated replies allows you to cut back on your own response time.
As a Muslim woman, our roles are incredibly diverse. We are fortunate to run our business from the comfort of our homes, yet at the same time we have to create a balance within our minds and our homes. At times we might be consumed by mom-guilt, and we find ourselves pulled in different directions – using our calendars effectively to create a life that places our daily