Work-Life Balance: How To Not Let Your Career Kill Your Love Life

Work-Life Balance: How To Not Let Your Career Kill Your Love Life

Do your responsibilities overwhelm you?

Finding a healthy work-life balance can feel impossible when you’re trying to juggle time with your family against all of your responsibilities.

But the best way to assure you get the quality time you need from both is to establish boundaries by using time management to figure out what tasks you need to complete in a given day or week.

There’s a ton of relationship advice and marriage advice out there about how to speak your partner’s “love language” by spending quality time with them, but knowing how to balance that against everything else you need to get done can be difficult.

“Work-life balance” has definitely become a favorite buzz-phrase nowadays. It was first coined in the UK in the 1970s, then migrated to the U.S. in the 80s, and now any savvy prospective employer will assure you that you’ll have the perfect dose if you work for them.

You can also call it work-life integration, blend, or harmony. My personal favorite is Adam Grant’s “work-life rhythm.” He says, “Work-life balance sets an unrealistic expectation of keeping different roles in steady equilibrium. Instead, strive for work-life rhythm. Each week has a repeating pattern of beats — job, family, friends, health, hobbies — that vary in accent and duration.”

Of course, there are plenty of lists extolling the best careers for work-life balance or the “highest-rated companies …” or even tips for organizations who want to encourage it for their employees.

However you label it, it all means the same thing — work-life balance is the ability to manage your professional workload and obligations in a way that doesn’t negatively impact your personal life and relationships.

And if you’re married, the commitment to creating a healthy rhythm between your working and playing hours takes on an even wider perspective.

Now it’s not just your own values and priorities you need to consider, but also those of your spouse as well … at least if you’re committed to making your relationship as successful as your career!

Many couples are on the verge of crashing and burning because one — or both — of them has lost sight of the vows they made on their wedding day. Loving, honoring and respecting your beloved does not mean routinely coming home late or working every weekend.

Of course, that’s bound to happen occasionally, but a steady practice definitely erodes your connection to the other important parts of your life … first and foremost, your partner and family.

Here are 5 simple tips for creating a healthy work-life balance that will strengthen your relationship and keep you from feeling overwhelmed:

 

1. Set boundaries at work.

This is first because it allows you to better manage all of your other commitments to maintain a positive work-life rhythm.

The first step is to simply say no. Obviously, if your boss has a big project for you, you can’t turn it down, but be clear about how full your plate is and what you’re able to take on. Don’t become the go-to person who says yes to everything … you might make everyone else happy, but you’ll end up miserable.

Make a promise to yourself to leave work at a reasonable time. Even if you can’t manage it every day, you’re establishing a precedent for yourself and your co-workers.

Another great time management tip is to plan your day in “chunks.” If your boss does hand you that major project, chop it up into manageable one- to two-hour pieces.

That way, you won’t feel like you have to complete it all at once and can leave work at a decent hour, knowing you have another block of time to work on it tomorrow.

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