Taming the work-life balance dragon: 3 Women share their secrets to happiness - Hindustan Times
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Taming the work-life balance dragon: 3 Women share their secrets to happiness

By Ismat Tahseen
Apr 16, 2024 04:02 PM IST

With a Chinese firm granting ‘unhappy leave' for better work-life balance, here's what else you can do.

In a bid to attain success in corporateville, there's often a lot that has to be sacrificed, from family time and personal goals to letting go of smaller joys, too. In fact this is an issue that doesn't seem to abate, so much so that a Chinese retailer Fat Dong Lai has grabbed the spotlight for granting 10 unhappy leaves per year to employees, for better work-life balance.
While that is not on the horizon here yet, there are other ways to beat the stress and make the best of both worlds. We got three successful women entrepreneurs to share their perspectives and how it helped them...

The work-life balance issue shows no sign of abating. Recently, Chinese retailer Fat Dong Lai is offering 10 'unhappy leaves' per year to employees, for better work-life balance (Shutterstock)
The work-life balance issue shows no sign of abating. Recently, Chinese retailer Fat Dong Lai is offering 10 'unhappy leaves' per year to employees, for better work-life balance (Shutterstock)

‘Resilience helps you take up what you love’

- Shefali Chhachhi, co-founder, Hearth Ventures

Being a first generation working woman/mother myself, the effort to balance personal and professional priorities has always been a tightrope walk. From my observations, what might further enable equanimity is a stronger psychological immune system, aka resilience. It's built via exercise, picking up a sport for recreation, eating healthy, and building a strong social support system with family and friends. Shrugging off the weight of various internal and external expectations while continuing to be ambitious, aka detached attachment. Also, clarify and celebrate personal values which helps to say ‘yes’ more confidently to where one can play to strengths and motivations.

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'I keep the most daunting tasks in the morning; it's like facing the dragon early'

- Adrija Agarwal, Founder of Sattva Ventures

Balancing work and life with grace and efficiency is really close to my heart, especially in a busy world of real estate and investment. I am a big fan of planning and prioritizing things. You've got to set the right tone from the beginning, so I keep trying the most daunting tasks in the morning. It is like facing the dragon early. This lays the path for a productive rhythm to be in place for the whole day.

For me, the essence of maintaining a harmonious work-life balance lies in two core beliefs. First, fostering an environment where flexibility isn't just a policy but a practice. And second, making sure that there's always room for personal - be it spending quality time with family and friends or pursuing passions outside work. It's about creating a life where professional achievements and personal fulfilment walk hand in hand.

‘No two ways, attend work when it needs you and family when they need you’

- Dr Lalitha Palle, Founder of Moder/ate

Women today are breaking barriers by reshaping the narrative around work-life balance. In my view one can achieve this by not setting rigid boundaries. Attend to work when it needs you and attend to family or personal commitments when they need you. This is all the more important when you are in the early days of your career or building a company or business. Also chalk up a firm list of personal goals and stick by them. Growing plants (I now have over 200 in my house and my entire family helps me in taking care of them), trekking and running are my passions. These activities help me destress, rejuvenate, and keep me fit. I try to do at least four rigorous treks per year and one marathon per month.

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