The months of summer are filled with beaches, parties, and of course, lots of weddings! So now that summer is coming to an end, it’s time to get back to work—newlyweds and all. With any new stage of a relationship, whether it be the beginning of a relationship, or the beginning of a marriage, there comes a lot of work. We have to figure out the balance between focusing on relationships while still staying motivated at work—and yes, it is possible to do both! I have found that the key to balancing any situation or issue is leaving it behind once you switch focus, or change gears.
This means when you arrive at work, it needs to be about work. This doesn’t mean you can’t catch up on your personal life with your friendly co-workers, or have a few texts or phone calls with your partner. But it does mean that work is not home, and therefore home-related issues should, for the most part, stay outside of work.
The same goes for work-related issues. The key ingredient to any relationship, whether it is dating or marriage, is actively being involved in the relationship. So while you may catch up on your workdays together, and ask each other for tips, or vent about a work-related conflict, the actual action of working is not done at home. A great way to make sure that you leave work at the office is to clean up any loose ends before you head out for the day. Return all necessary emails, check off everything on your to-do list, and make sure all questions are answered. That way, when you do actually leave, you can mentally check out as well.
However, although my simple rules work under normal circumstances, there are times when we can’t help but get consumed with one aspect of life—whether it’s the relationship or work—more so than the other. In order to make sure everything gets done, but work is not forgotten, make an organized list of what needs to be done and a timeline that goes along with it.
And then there are those times when there is a fight… possibly a bad fight. And we have to go into work the next day showing as little sadness and anxiety as we can. In times like these, it may seem almost impossible to put your relationship out of your head, and that’s all right. We all have rough days. Just try to lighten the work load as much as possible, relieving some of the daily stresses. Anything that isn’t a priority can be dealt with the next day. Work is best done when you are happy, motivated, and prepared—so don’t push yourself and try to start a project while you’re crying in your office. Set your priorities, make timelines, stay organized, and the rest will fall into play.
The best way to balance a career and a relationship is to put energy and care into both. When you are at work, care about your work. When you are at home with your loved one, make dinner, spend time together, and enjoy their company. If we leave home at home, and we leave work at work, we can ultimately be successful in both.
Wendy Kaufman is the President and Founder of Balancing Life’s Issues, a national corporate training company. She can be reached at email@example.com.