The slogan “you’ve come a long way baby” comes from a Virgina Slims cigarette commercial in 1968 and signifys the start of the womens movement in America. The advertisement showed an image of a confident, tall, slender, trouser suit-wearing woman, career getting female. Fast forward and women over fifty and their career pathway have come a long way from years ago. There are three times more women aged 50-64 working part-time than men (The State of Ageing in 2020) however despite a rapid increase, the employment rate for women aged 50-64 is still nine percentage points behind men (The State of Ageing in 2020). This is in part to pension age rise in 2011 and more recently the cost of living however it’s apparent that more and more women at fifty are still active within the workforce.
Many women in our network are also stepping into their best roles at board level or reinvigorating their careers and setting up their own businesses. Listening to you we know this extended career pathway is not without its challenges and comes with its own unique challenges. This is especially true for those of you in the sandwich generation, who need to juggle caring for children, or support university aged children, care for elderly family members, as well as their own professional ambitions, which can be daunting at times. In fact all a bit of a juggling act.
To help manage your busy lifestyle, here are five tips:
1) Prioritize your time wisely – When you’re trying to balance a career with other obligations such as parenting, older-age caretaking or any other responsibilities you may have outside of work, it’s essential to prioritize your time wisely. Set realistic goals each day and focus on what needs to get done first. Break large projects into smaller tasks that are easier to finish in shorter amounts of time.
2) Increase efficiency – One way to maximize your productivity is by becoming more efficient in how you use your time. For example, when possible try to consolidate errands or combine tasks that require similar steps; you’ll save yourself a lot of valuable time this way. Also look for ways to automate mundane tasks such as bill payments so that you can concentrate on the things that matter most.
3) Utilize technology – Technology can be invaluable when it comes to increasing productivity. Try using apps and automated software programs where applicable; this will help lighten your workload considerably and give you more free time during the day. Technology can also come in handy when setting up alerts or reminders so that important tasks don’t get overlooked or forgotten about altogether.
4) Ask for help – Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed; friends, family members or even professionals can provide assistance with activities like childcare or elder care on an occasional basis if needed. Delegate to university aged children where possible and help them to be as independent as they can. Having reliable people available can make an enormous difference in terms of stress relief and peace of mind while allowing you to stay focused on your job performance without worrying too much about household tasks slipping through the cracks.
5) Stay organized – Staying organized is one of the most effective ways to manage a busy lifestyle since it allows all areas of life (job duties/responsibilities as well as personal obligations) to move along smoothly and efficiently without getting bogged down by chaos due to disorganization. Investing some time upfront into developing systems or processes (list-making/follow-up calls/filing systems etc.) will make life much easier in the long run so don’t overlook its importance!
Finally, don’t forget YOU, allow yourself time to eat well and exercise.Taking care of your body through exercise and diet is key for women. Staying physically active and eating well will not only improve and maintain your general health but increase concentration in the workplace thus allowing for a continuing successful career.
Author: Ciara Moore
Ciara is the founder of female leaders at 50. and an advocate for lifestyle medicine.