As women, we no doubt have a lot on our plates between work and life responsibilities. But somehow, we are able to multi-task and create a work-life balance that appears almost effortless.
There may be a good reason why: Last year, researchers tested the truth of the commonly held belief that women are better multi-taskers than men. They found that when women and men work on a number of simple tasks, such as searching for a key or doing easy math problems, at the same time, women significantly outperformed men. Scientists believe the results show females are better able to stand back and reflect on a problem, while continuing to juggle their other commitments, than men.
As a women business owner, the amount you juggle is magnified when you add in the day-to-day management of your company’s growth strategies and resources—from finances to employees to vendors, to name just a few. The 2010 American Time Use Survey pinpoints additional gender differences in self-employed time management, yet shows a promising rise in male contributions during the past 20 years. Highlights include:
- Self-employed women spend an average of 56 fewer minutes at work each day to accommodate household demands and family activities
- 85 percent of employed women versus 67 percent of men spent time doing household activities (including housework, cooking, childcare, lawn maintenance or finances)
- Three out of five men reported some or a lot of stress related to work-life balance—about 25 percent more than in the 1970s
The start of summer often brings even more responsibilities as we juggle family vacations, children out of school, visitors in town and much more. It’s a great time to assess the work-life juggling act you’ve implemented in your household to see how you might improve on it. How do you delegate responsibilities at work and at home? Do you have an active partner who helps? What is your best secret to time management? How do you find time for yourself when you need a break from it all? We encourage you to share stories and advice with fellow NAWBO® members and women entrepreneurs. After all, that’s what we’re here for!
—Helen Han, NAWBO® President and CEO