Maxine, Managing director of Healthtech Women discusses her top tips
What advice would you share with somebody looking to balance their work/life?
I do not fully understand the distinction; to separate work and life could highlight an unhappy job, a lack of awareness of how “the workplace” is changing or an attitude challenge. On average one spends 80,000 hours of life working. As a substantial portion of your waking existence, your work should be something that complements and enhances your life, and not the thing that dominates your time whilst you’d rather be doing something else. I appreciate, the dream job which means your work and non-work life seamlessly blends into one is a privileged position, but work hardly feels like work if it is something you love. As we all know, work has no geographical or temporal limits anymore, your iPhone is always with you. So just as the device has meant you can never stop, it also means you can work from home, pick your kids up from school, or reply to emails during their ballet class. We have to change our attitudes to work and life and understand they will become seamlessly integrated. This can be liberating, but must be managed at the equilibrium which is unique to each individual’s productivity. Balance is personal, and trial and error is the way there.
What time management tips would you share?
This one really varies – I have a few tricks that help me.
1) Book one night a week for slack – things always crop up that you can never plan for but you want to do. Having that protected time means you can prepare for that extra speaker opportunity, go to that interesting panel discussion or see that friend passing through town. Diaries are a godsend, but you need to build in short term holes that may or may not be filled
2) Download the various permutations of self-control apps on your web browser. ASOS, Facebook, Twitter, Buzzfeed etc is a friend to no-one it seems
3) Add on 30% time for all tasks. Always.
4) Tell people you are going to do something, then you are committed to it- dependency guilt is a huge driver for me
5) Emails: a) Move as much conversation/traffic to Slack as possible b) Do not reply to emails on a mobile (20% slower in writing a response) c) Use airplane mode for at least one hour in your day
How could somebody improve their confidence?
There are three features you have to tackle to really instill confidence: Your network, yourself and your goddamn Britishisms.
Surrounding yourself with positive, ambitious and supportive people. Your parents are INSTRUMENTAL in this but as you strike out on your own and start to build your own career, meet those magnetic and engaging people and bask in their aura. Their energy, enthusiasm and confidence is usually contagious. Once you come across enough of these people, they will each have a small effect on you trajectory, and eventually, you will feel sufficiently inspired to carve out your own path.