What happens when your career and home life are out of balance? When you put all of your energy towards what happens at work, or into your relationships at home, does everything else suffer?
I am here to tell you that you CAN create balance in your life. Will it ever be 50/50? No, probably not. Should it be? That is entirely up to you. There is no way to determine the exact percentage of time you should be putting forth in either. You may be the most easygoing person at work, but struggle with anxiety in your personal relationships outside of the office. This may mean for you that you need to devote more time to practicing ways that you can reduce your stress, such as yoga and other fitness regimens, therapy, coaching, etc. If your relationship at home is going fantastic and your work is not up to par, you will need to spend more time on improving your skills, such as time management, focus, marketing, sales, etc.
What can you do if your career and personal relationships are way out of balance & one is putting a significant strain on the other? Well, there are many options. The most extreme would be:
- Quit your job. Is that realistic? For most people, the answer is no.
- End you relationship. Do you really want to do that? You are reading my blog, so my guess is that you are here because you want to try to make things better and are committed to making changes.
- Quit your job and end you relationship. If you are so overwhelmed that you are seriously considering about doing both, then you may need to talk to someone immediately. I highly recommend reaching out to your therapist or physician in that case. There is no shame in reaching out for help. That’s what your doctors are there for.
Let’s be honest, the solutions above are extreme. Are they the right answer for some people? Yes. For you? Again, you are here for a reason. I am pretty confident that you would like to create a better balance. Here are some other solutions. This list does NOT encompass every option, just a few. When we work together 1:1 or in a small group, we’ll focus on what works best for YOU!
When WORK is effecting your HOME life
Let’s talk about extended work hours for this example. If you are working long hours, never home, your relationship is suffering, here are some adjustments you can make in your career:
- Cut back on or adjust your work hours to better fit your personal schedule.
- Instead of working 80 hours a week, you may cut back to make sure that you are home earlier 1 or 2 nights per week or go in later to have more time with your loved ones.
- Maybe you can go in at 8 every instead of 9 & get out at 4 instead of 5 so you can coach your kid’s soccer team and have dinner with your family a few nights per week.
- Set a time boundary. You will not work past a certain time any day of the week. So, this would mean that if you commit to not working past 7 PM under any circumstances, you will make sure that you stick to it. Not every job, especially when you are the owner, will afford you this ability without an impact on business, but if you are the boss, you CAN make these choices and people WILL respect you for it. If you stop taking meetings requests for after 6 PM, your clientele will know that they will have to make adjustments. It is OK for you to set those boundaries.
- Stop saying yes to optional projects.
- It’s ok to say ‘no’ sometimes. If you take on a new project that will impact your schedule, stress level, patience, and sense of overall balance, you are choosing additional chaos. Yes, we are talking about a choice. Optional project = choice. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that. Lots of questions come to mind: What would the payoff be? Is it temporary? How will impact your home life? Will it lead to a significant financial gain or long-term opportunities?
When HOME is impacting your WORK life
For this example, let’s talk about your relationship with your spouse, partner or significant other. Let’s say that you have a spouse, kids, lots of activities for them, weekends are packed, and you are showing up to work absolutely exhausted. Here are some adjustments you can make at home:
- Discuss the possibility of cutting back on regularly scheduled activities that are overwhelming your schedule.
- Your kid loves soccer, but is not loving the book club you signed them up for at the library every Wednesday at 4. Let it go! Less shuffling to do, and you get some time back with him and your spouse. If you have the skills, or time to learn the rules, consider coaching their soccer team. You are there anyway and they’ll appreciate your support their interest.
- Your partner has a book club every Monday evening, you have your weekly poker games on Friday nights and every other Saturday, you gather extended family every Sunday and Tuesday night is Girl Scouts. Looking a work schedule that starts at 7 AM or after and ends at 3 or after, that leaves Wednesday night free every week. Is that enough for you and your significant other? If not, take a look at how you can still enjoy the activities, but create a balance. Maybe you skip one Friday a month for poker and make that your date night, another week they skip book club, and one Sunday a month is just for your family at home. You don’t have to quite ANYTHING then. You CAN do this. There are ways. It’s about being creative and flexible.
- On the days that you have to stay late or go in super early, make time for yourself and your partner, and maybe help out with homework or read with your kids. Sometimes, it’s not the amount of time, but the quality of that time that really makes the difference in your relationships.
These scenarios may not match what is happening in your life, but will give you an idea of how you CAN make subtle changes and create more balance. There are a lot of other options, too. These are just a few to get your wheels turning and hopefully inspire you to adjust what you are doing right now.
In the moment, the obstacles you are facing may seem HUGE. Remember, that feeling you are experiencing is something you CAN move through. On the other side of that intense situation is a level of calm that you can get to. We can figure it out together.
Your Free Coaching Session with Coach Lisa Zaro, Certified Professional Coach
I offer a FREE COACHING SESSION to all of my new clients. No obligation. I want to hear about what is going on with you, the obstacles you are currently facing and what you want to focus on. Together, we’ll create achievable goals that you can begin working on immediately. As you move forward, you’ll find that the tasks involved in achieving those goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and hope in your career, love life and/or other relationships.