In observance of International Women’s Day on 8 March, three female EO members from around South Africa share their tips on how to find balance and practice self-care while being busy entrepreneurs, wives, and mothers.
Female entrepreneurs and businesswomen have a lot on their shoulders. Most women carry the “Invisible load” of managing their households, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and childcare on top of their businesses or jobs.
The Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) is a global peer-to-peer network organization with more than 400 members in South Africa. Many of the members are females who are no strangers to the work-life struggle for balance.
Helen Nicolson, Founder and CEO of the Networking Company in Gauteng shares her top five tips
- Schedule daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly recovery rituals in advance in the beginning of the year. Three day breaks over weekends, with no WIFI signal, make very effective breaks.
- Create a daily full-stop. Too many women don’t stop working from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. I bath at about 5:30pm and then I have a drink with my husband to mark the end of the day. We need to see our day as a sprint that has a finish line, not a never-ending marathon where you are still checking emails in bed.
- I have a Sabbath on a Saturday. I go for a run, have coffee with friends, and then I read or watch series. I leave my phone in a drawer and I sink into a deep, restful place.
- Prioritise recovery. I had to nearly die from burnout before I realized that if I want to increase my performance, I need to increase my recovery. Recovery is not laziness. It is the best tool that entrepreneurs have in their toolkit.
Cara Saven, CEO and Founder of Cara Saven Wall Design in Cape Town shares her insights
- Play to your strengths and delegate the rest. I don’t like cooking, so my husband has taken on that responsibility.
- Kill two birds with one stone wherever possible. I will walk the dogs while exercising or I will do the school drop off while en route to see a client.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. Accept that balls will drop from time to time. What I have learned is that the balls usually bounce.
Cindy Norcott, Founder and CEO of Pro Talent in Durban, shares her thoughts
- Stop perfectionism in its tracks. I believe that many women would be a lot happier if they lowered their standards. Not everything has to be perfect unless you are a jeweller or a plastic surgeon. Don’t stress over an untidy house, the occasional unbalanced meal, and an occasional spelling error. Sometimes, 80% is actually good enough.
- Stop believing that everything is urgent. You are not an air traffic controller or a paramedic. When we take urgency off the table, it allows us to breather deeper, to think more clearly, and to have perspective. I have realized that not everything has to be done now or even done today. Ask yourself, “So what if I don’t do this task today?”
- Learn the art of saying an unapologetic NO. There will be many opportunities to say NO in a week and I recommend that you take these opportunities. As women, we often like to be liked and we battle to say ‘no’. Remember, if we say ‘yes’ to someone else, we are then saying NO to ourselves, our businesses and our families.
- Have a tribe around you. Research shows that having a tribe makes you significantly happier. I cannot express the amount of support that I receive from my fellow entrepreneurs at EO, who face the same struggles as I do.
We hope these tips are useful to the remarkable women reading it.
To find out more about EO, visit www.eosouthafrica.com