“Do what others won’t today, so you can do what they can’t tomorrow.”
You’ve probably heard some form of this adage before. It’s at the forefront of what we’re taught in order to be successful. If we want to prosper in life, we must be willing to sacrifice.
Sure, you’re not going to get anywhere by going out every night or wasting all your free time in front of the TV, but when it comes to personal relationships, you shouldn’t be so willing to forfeit every waking moment.
Many find that true success comes from the relationships we build with others. While professional success is an important goal for us all, it’s not as fun with no one at your side. Let’s talk about how to be successful without sacrificing your love life.
Set Boundaries at Work
The truth of the matter is, it’s much easier to say “no” to a loved one than a boss. We trust our loved ones will understand and forgive us, while our bosses would scorn. This simply isn’t true.
Employers can be unrealistic in their demands, but you’re only feeding into their mindset by being a “yes man.” You have to emphasize that you are a human being too, and that not all you value lives within the four walls of your office.
You have relationship needs, family needs, health needs, the list goes on and on. If you constantly put these values on the back burner, your boss is going to always expect it. Suddenly, those late nights and early mornings become the rule, not the exception.
If you have too much on your plate, you need to speak up. Sitting by idly and hoping things will get easier is a quick ticket to Stressville. There are no returns either, you usually only get busier and busier.
Also, it’s good to help a colleague or boss out when you can, time permitting. However, if taking on additional work will put you behind, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth it.
Of course, an employer favors someone who can step in and help out when needed, but if you’re so crunched on time, and you end up returning shoddy work, are you truly helping?
Making Better Use of Time
Merely being present isn’t enough. Whether you’re working or spending time with loved ones, you need to devote your full attention. Sometimes that means letting calls go unanswered.
Finding the divide between “work time” and “personal time” is imperative to maintaining a healthy relationship. We all know how frustrating it is to be with someone who constantly checks their phones and refuses to leave work at work.
If you want your loved one to really appreciate the time you spend together, you need to be fully engaged. The same philosophy applies to your work habits, as well. If you want to leave each day feeling accomplished, limit your personal time in the office.
Don’t check Facebook every hour and let calls and texts go unanswered (within reason) until break time. Instead, commit this extra time to answer business-related communications. This way, you won’t have to worry about work calls and emails once you get home.
Working from home makes it more difficult to draw that personal/professional line, but it’s even more important for remote employees to find that balance. Families often have a hard time distinguishing your work time and your social time.
If you’re lucky enough to set your own hours, try to be consistent for your relationship’s sake. This will help your significant other recognize when it is and isn’t appropriate to reach out. Politely explain that you need quiet time from XX-XX. Let them know they have your full attention afterward, however.
Check in With Your Boss
You don’t have to be a slave to the office for your boss to recognize you’re a hard-worker. One easy way to set yourself apart from other employees is to maintain a healthy relationship with your manager.
No one likes a brown-noser, so don’t go about it in that way. Instead, open up about your work progress. Share your professional goals and what you’re doing to reach them.
By keeping your boss in the loop on where you are with assignments, they’re more likely to understand when something comes up. For instance, if you expect to miss a deadline, your employer will want to know as soon as possible.
If you’re meeting with them regularly, they’re more likely to spot when this will occur. Instead of getting frustrated by the last minute notice, they’ll see you’ve been putting in your all.
This will also help you assert your needs for personal time. It’s much easier to ask for these types of requests when you have a healthy relationship with your boss.
Strive to meet with this person at least once a month. These don’t have to be long conversations, just try to make this time as productive as possible.