The media have done an excellent job of portraying today’s successful women as superhuman; painting them as unachievable role models.
Thankfully, a recent study has revealed the real routines of successful women are balanced between work, family and ‘me’ time.
Below we tackle the common misconceptions about hardworking females.
They don’t stop working
Granted, most dedicate extended hours to their jobs, but all those featured allowed themselves downtime.
Kate Simpson, Travel Lead for Facebook Global Marketing Solutions, said: “As much as possible, I like to leave my work at the office…I think it’s really important to enjoy your time off and that shouldn’t just be confined to holiday.”
Three quarters of those featured watched a minimum of an hour’s television a day, with more than a third viewing for more than two hours. Favourite shows included soap operas, reality TV and Netflix boxsets.
Despite growing reports that less of us are now taking breaks, close to 60% revealed they worked hard to escape their desks regularly for lunch, highlighting the path to success can include a rest along the way.
They don’t have time for a family
The culture of workaholics and increasing amount of women in senior job roles has caused many to question whether this can still allow time for a family.
Modern businesses are starting to promote a better work/life balance, with more flexible arrangements, but it can still be challenging; many female entrepreneurs have created businesses precisely because it allowed more flexibility.
However it can be done. Facebook CEO and author, Sheryl Sandberg, famously leaves the office at 5.30pm every day to ensure she’s home for an evening meal with her children at 6pm. General Motors CEO, Mary Barra, has interjected a meeting to end it so she could attend her daughter’s football game. Both women prove a family is completely feasible when successful.
They get everything done
Cited as a perfectionist, Yahoo CEO, Marissa Mayer, even realises she can’t complete everything – and this from the women who compares cupcake recipes via spreadsheets!
That she never completes her to-do list is reassuring for us, but also a good thing, as it means top priorities are progressed, by which time lower ones can often be eradicated completely.
Arianna Huffington found freedom from a huge burden by ditching unrealistic life goals, like learning German or becoming a pro-skier. As we said, they’re not all superhuman, and by accepting these long term goals weren’t likely to be met, Huffington also eradicated unnecessary stress.
Even legendary Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour has boasted of her pride in being able to delegate to her team without bearing all the responsibility herself.
They’re super healthy
From Frappés to Skittles and Jaffa Cakes, the treats vary but one thing was shared: 70% of those in the Eventa study admitted to indulgent, work-time snacking.
Although healthier options, like fruit and nuts, featured heavily, cakes, chocolate and crisps cropped up as often too.
Many still found time for regularly exercise and opted for salad lunches, but takeaways did feature quite regularly in their routines; close to 80% ordering at least once a month.
Over 40% were tempted by a takeaway once a week or more, and the choices often included greasy options, like fish and chips, Chinese and kebabs.
So there you have it, being successful doesn’t mean there isn’t time to live a life outside of the office, and these women prove it.