When you love your career path and your partner, finding a work-life balance can be tricky. With a little care, though, harmony is yours for the taking.
Success in both your professional and personal life is a struggle through which many go through nowadays, but when it comes to putting your career ambitions and love life on the same balanced scale, the choice of which one deserves your attention most is often one of the hardest decisions.
However, many MeetMindful stories have proven that you can have it all. It is possible to have both the inner flame that only love can keep alive and the satisfaction of a good career path at the same time.
All you have to do is to listen.
If you realize you truly want it all, compromise is out of the question. There’s hard work ahead of you, but the results of your struggles will bring you the equilibrium and happiness you seek.
Let’s see what it takes to strike the perfect balance between your love and work life.
Design a plan.
Before taking this journey, try to fantasize a bit. Imagine you are already a well-balanced person with both a loving relationship and a successful career. How do you see this working? How will you manage to become a better self with two lives perfectly blended?
Take a mental picture of this perfect future life and draw a plan in which you clearly locate the time frame for work and the time frame of your relationship. Decide how much time you invest in one and how much in the other.
Is your work life going to cease to exist for the rest of the day once you solve the tasks, or would you prefer not to you keep work outside your personal life? If the latter feels true, you may need to dedicate an extra few hours to your career. However, make the weekend an off-limits territory for any work-related activity.
Once you draw a bold line between your two lives as ruthlessly as you can, you can move on to the next step.
Streamline all processes to make room for your plan.
Next up is molding your life to fit into your plan to balance your work / love life. You already know what you want, it’s just a matter of eliminating all the processes that do not work in favor of your plan.
During working hours, get rid of any time-consuming activity that does not help you accomplish your purpose. Instead of spending your lunch hour scrolling through social media, opt to eat your lunch with your colleagues and avoid work related subjects. It will disconnect you more efficiently from work, allowing allowing you to be more present (and efficient) when you return to your desk. You can also take short strolls or call your partner to ask about his/her day.
Prioritize and learn to decline extra work assignments. Your passion for work may tell you to not even to think about refusing extra projects, but to achieve the life balance you’re after, you’re going to have to learn how to invest your time into the most valuable projects. With every new project comes a new set of skills you learn or sharpen that will definitely help you in your career; however, no manager will punish a team member because he respects the limits of his or her responsibilities.
Understand it’s important to learn to delegate tasks that don’t require your involvement. Avoid clinging to tasks that can be delegated to others, no matter how much joy they bring you. By letting go of tasks others can also do a solid job with, you will not only have more time for your main plan, you will also help others improve their work lives.
You should work on your love life with the same dedication you invest in your career. When you are with your significant other, your focus should be entirely on them. Your work thoughts should be completely absent (the best way to do that is closing your work email and other means altogether).
Create weekly and monthly traditions like eating out at your favorite restaurants, dedicating each Friday to dancing night or a reading club for two, or organizing a discreet home party with your closest friends.
The benefits of little traditions like this:
- You will spend quality time with your partner
- You will work together planning/organizing the events
- You will find the best ways you collaborate with one another
- You’ll establish new and consistent subjects to talk about
- You’ll learn more about each other
Plan your vacation days together. At the end of the year, you shouldn’t have any free days left, but a collection of quality memories with your loved one. Your work will surely take over your personal life one way or another, so you should not feel guilty for taking time off. Traveling is one of the best ways to get to know your partner on a deeper level—challenging your own sense of self and the ways in which you see your other—tightening the bond between you.
Don’t hold work-related subjects back. Even though it is recommended not to mix the two worlds together, your work life is a part of who you are and you have to let your partner learn all there is about you. Similarly, take an interest in and understand your partner’s work responsibilities, struggles, and benefits, and encourage them to advance as much as possible on the career ladder.
Delegate your mundane home life work, too. There are plenty of services out there that can help you create more spare time for your love life. Hire a cook, personal trainer, virtual assistant, or a cleaner to eliminate the daily processes that stand in the way of your plan.
Work on mindfulness to maintain the balance.
Make room for mindfulness practices in your lifestyle. Mindfulness is a simple form of meditation embraced by every successful business person. Mindfulness can change lives completely, and it doesn’t even require a great investment of time.
Every time you take a step back and become fully aware of the present moment, you are practicing mindfulness. You should create as many moments like this in a day as you can until you reach a stage of complete acceptance toward yourself and others.
Mindfulness is becoming living in the moment. When you practice it, you eliminate the false standards of good or bad. Everything is fine and perfect in its own way—it’s as if time stopped and you are living in the present second alone. You will come to make better decisions because you will understand the beneficial outcomes of certain actions and you will no longer waste time on meaningless activities.
Overtime, you will become fully aware that your plan to balance your work and love life is exactly what fulfills you, and you will eliminate any factor that works against your plan.
All in all, the success of a balanced life depends entirely on you. If you put too much pressure on a scale, the equilibrium is as good as gone. There is no such thing as “I will dedicate this year only to my work ambitions” without your love life falling to pieces. You should work on both at the same time with an equal amount of dedication, care, and intention, and you will find the balance you hope to achieve.
About the Author
Marc Mendelman is a Junior HR consultant and a Contributing Editor at Today Assistant. He is passionate about identifying daily work hacks and creating ways of increasing personal and professional productivity.