The modern-day woman who wants to “do it all” must find a balance between her career, family, and self-care, which is not the easiest tightrope to walk. For Jennifer Knight, Deputy Police Chief of Columbus, Ohio, this balancing act is one she has practiced for many years and found success with over time. In this article, Knight provides insight into her experience as a woman in the workforce and how female professionals can live a better, balanced life that nourishes all roles they fulfill inside and outside of the office.
1. Avoid the Comparison Game
Often women who compare themselves to others will tread water rather than swim forward in the sea of life. Every balancing act looks different depending on a woman’s life, and only by living one’s life will a woman find what truly works for her.
2. Focus on Scheduling Skills
“I think for women, it is especially hard because typically we have family that we feel that we have to commit a lot of our time to as well. We don’t want to miss those football games, those baseball games, or the soccer games; we want to be there to help our children with their education. So we have all of these things that are pulling at us, and it feels overwhelming a lot of the time. I think the most important thing that women can do is develop skills to schedule their weeks and allow time for all those things, but also allow time for themselves. And I think that what happens with women most often is the first thing that is cut is the time for themselves,” says Knight.
3. Move the Body for at Least 20 Minutes a Day
Knight also adds, “I think we have to be very cognizant of the fact that when we’re in better shape physically and mentally, we can support the people that we love around us in a much better fashion.” In other words, Knight highlights the importance of women filling up their own physical and mental cups before draining them for others. When women lose sight of their own physical and mental health, it is much easier to feel overwhelmed by the world, as if acting as a warrior, always in the battle but never properly training to win. A great way women can stay physically active and boost mental health is to strive to move the body for a minimum of 20 minutes a day, whether that be an early morning walk or a yoga session before bed. This daily practice is also perfect for carving out personal time to rejuvenate.
4. Accept Imperfection
The pressure to “do it all” as a woman can easily lead to negative self-talk when she feels like she is not meeting society’s standards. However, reaching for perfection is unrealistic and can spark the roll down a slippery slope to burnout. In fact, women in the professional world are 28% more likely to experience burnout than fathers. Women who accept that every day will host mistakes, failures, and imperfections can run their marathons stronger and longer.
About Jennifer Knight
Jennifer Knight, Deputy Police Chief in Columbus, Ohio, is known for dynamic leadership, innovative community engagement, and excellence in the field of law enforcement. After earning a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration, Ms. Knight worked full-time while attending law school at Capital University. Upon graduation, she obtained her Juris Doctor and was granted the National Women’s Law Association Award of Excellence.