It's no secret that when it comes to equality and responsibilities inside the home, women manage far more tasks than men. Whether it is another pile of laundry, dentist appointments, or organising date night, this invisible workload is too much to manage on the best days.
Over the past few decades, there has been a huge shift as more women are starting their own businesses so they can spend time with their children and be financially independent. Whilst many women manage to do this on top of the "normal" family workload, it often comes with a hefty price.
Unless they are busy around the clock or give up sleep, these amazing women are trying to change this world for the better with all they’ve got. But how can you be successful with these never-ending responsibilities from modern-day motherhood without sacrificing your health?
Today, I will share with you the biggest insights from my latest book, Drop the MF Struggle, in my article The Hidden Workload. I hope you enjoy it.
What is the Hidden Workload?
Modern-day motherhood is an impossible task that we are “supposed” to carry out by ourselves, with as little help as possible. It is clear that in regard to equal rights, access to education, safe pregnancy, childbirth, and support with raising a family, the system is falling short. Unless we are willing to stand up for ourselves and other women, we will fail. It is simply too much for one person to do.
The invisible or hidden work that is required to manage a household is often referred to as emotional labour. It's the mental load of always having to remember things that have to be done. Whether it is another pile of laundry, or dentist appointments, or date night, this invisible workload is what is keeping you exhausted most days.
Why is the Hidden Workload a problem?
What if being (too) busy comes at a price, costing you your health and your relationships? Is that a price that we should be willing to pay, as an individual or as a society? The healthcare costs of job-related burnout are currently guesstimated between $125-$190 billion per year. Not to mention many stress-related illnesses that could be completely prevented if we would address this “work hard until you drop” paradigm as a culture properly.
Always having to remember something, having to do something, never being able to switch off is what is hurting you the most. The hidden workload is a huge problem because it is damaging your (mental) health, which has an impact on families as well as healthcare costs, business, and other elements of your life.
How does it stand in the way?
In our society, being busy is often seen as a badge of honor. The hustle is widely promoted as a valid strategy for success. In addition, it is culturally widely accepted that being too busy is a valid excuse not to show up or be present at all. We all know that being chronically too busy can lead to too much stress, which will affect your health and relationships. Medical research estimates that as much as 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related. So why do we choose this way of being if we know it is harmful? Even when there are easy ways to resolve this destructive and harmful pattern?
We live in an era where there is an abundance of options available to us. But because there is so much choice, it is, in fact, hard to make a choice. The information overload from different platforms, such as social media and advertising, or even the many options of hummus and olives at your local shop, will be even further amplified if you are experiencing a real fear of missing out. The combination of these two can create a lot of inner turmoil, which I call a “system overload.” Too much choice will lead to you feeling overwhelmed some - if not all - of the time.
Overwhelm may show itself in different ways in your life. It may feel like your head is about to explode because of all the things that are going on. You may lie awake at night thinking. Or you feel tired all the time, just scrolling away on Facebook brainlessly for hours. If this is you, this is a very normal experience in our modern-day life and is a huge part of the hidden workload. It can become completely paralysing, resulting in you not even wanting to get out of bed some days.
Susanne Grant: "It's becoming clear that the 40-hour workweek is outdated and was designed at a time where the assumption was that someone else was taking care of the cooking, cleaning, and the children."
The Costs of Having It All
Many (entrepreneurial) gurus believe that “working hard” and “hustle” is the only way to be successful. If you don’t put in 80 hours, you just don’t want it badly enough. If you are currently trying to grow your business and create the success you want, I am sure you’ve seen many of these - false - messages on how to be successful by using this one particular strategy.
The worst and most harmful business strategy is the advice to “work hard, and it will pay off.” And to be honest, this is awful advice not just for business but also for life in general. This advice, and the whole hustle-until-you-drop culture, is very detrimental to your (mental) health. So what if there is another way to be deeply wealthy - in all areas of your life, and not just your bank account? What if you can have it all and live a rich and fulfilling life?
I tried for many years to do as much as I could. Those 60 to 80+ hours per week left me completely burned out in the end. So if working harder isn’t the answer, what can we do?
Times are changing
There are a number of changes that we see in the last few months. For example, Microsoft recently experimented with a four-day workweek, and productivity jumped by 40%, while electricity consumption was down by 23.1%. Studies have found there's a for a shorter workweek to create a better work-life balance, which countries like Scotland, Iceland and Sweden are now implementing.
Japan is now pushing for employers to cut down the working week to four days and trials of a four-day week in Iceland were an overwhelming success. And Angela Rayner from the Labour Party in the UK wants to make flexible working the new norm; so that “work fits around people’s lives instead of dictating their lives.”
These exciting new changes show that there is a beginning of a much-needed cultural shift, but we still have a long way to go. Changing these outdated norms are crucial when limiting the hidden workload and giving women equal opportunities inside and outside their homes.
In my latest book, Drop The MF Struggle, I will uncover more of these outdated norms to help you get out from underneath your endless to-do's and get off the never-ending hamster wheel for good.
You will learn how to shift your reality from struggle to ease, leaving the days of burnout, struggles, and hardship in the past, as you allow yourself to be guided to create your version of outrageous success in a way that feels easy, fun, and fantastic.
Together we will uncover the truth about success; what it really means to be successful, how to create the success you desire, how to bring to life your personalised success strategy, and - most of all - how success feels to you, so you can create an outrageously successful life on your terms.
Are you ready to be outrageously successful? Drop the struggle for good? Enjoy your life more fully? And make your wildest dreams come true?
Drop The MF Struggle is a self-help book for women who want to improve their success rate drastically, but don't want to work harder and put in more hours doing so.
In this inspirational and practical how-to guide, best-selling author and award-winning business coach Susanne Grant shares her best tips, tools and tricks to help you understand and transform your life by dropping the struggle and replacing it with ease, fun, joy and flow.
The book is available now, click here to order your copy.
Visit dropthestruggle.co.uk for more information.
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Susanne Grant is an Award-winning Work-Life Balance Integration Expert, Intuitive Business Coach & Consultant and International Bestselling Author of the book “Drop The MF Struggle”. She helps organisations reduce stress-related absence costs, increase job satisfaction and performance.