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.
And you get to have dinner with your sweetie!
2. Manage your digital connections at home and at work.
This is certainly part of setting boundaries, but it deserves a spot of its own simply because of the role that all of your various “screens” play in your lives!
How much time do you spend responding to personal texts or emails during the workday? Remember that’s time you’re not spending getting work done so you can leave on time.
Let your friends know you may not be getting back to them immediately — schedule short breaks to handle personal stuff in bunches so you’re not constantly interrupted.
All those minutes you spend getting re-focused add up to one big time-eater.
Likewise, at home, turn the notifications off on your phone! Be fully present for your partner … maybe even put it in another room when you’re having a nice dinner or even just watching your favorite show.
If you have any doubts about how your addiction to your smartphone is affecting your lives on every level, read Manoush Zamorodi’s Bored and Brilliant — it’s a fascinating read and it’ll blow you away.
3. Schedule date nights (not just for couples with kids!)
It’s all about quality time with the one you love. You’ve both got busy schedules, so don’t leave it to chance. At the beginning of each week, pull up your calendars and see what’s best for both of you.
Obviously, you’ll want to see friends after work, or get a massage, or take that cool cooking class you’ve been eyeing for a while, too. The “life” part of the work-life balance equation includes all of that, but you want to be sure to keep your marriage at the top of your priority list.
For instance, you could have your Friday nights set in stone, but then also try to come up with at least one other night during the week when you’re both home to make dinner (or order out) and hang together.
And remember to get rid of your phone during those times.
There are a ton of articles about how your cellphone is negatively impacting your brains and your relationships — even when it’s face down and turned off!
4. Create meaningful rituals to anchor your day.
A marital ritual is really just a conscious, intentional commitment to support, nurture, and re-connect with your partner. It can be a simple one, like making sure you kiss each other goodbye in the morning and greet each other with a hug when you come home at night.
Some ideas may take a little extra planning … like breakfast by candlelight, or scheduling a monthly couples’ massage. Gary Chapman’s Five Love Languages can give you some great ideas for ways to connect more deeply with each other through your individual love languages.
Other regular rituals might be to make dinner together, to check in by phone or text during the day, to make a lunch date once a week, or to shower together. (You might want to plan that last one for a Friday or Saturday night so you can segue into the bedroom!)
Focus on creating a consistent, loving, mutual self-care practice with your partner. That way, when work is particularly crazy, you’ll still have a solid foundation to fall back on in your marriage.