Whether you operate a brick and mortar or an online business, whether you’re a new or seasoned business owner, you know the all-too-familiar juggling act between your professional life and your personal life.
You know that both are valuable spheres of your existence, yet at some point one tends to suffer from your lack of attention. Admit it. It’s easy to get caught up in working hard to achieve your goals that almost everything else falls by the wayside. We tend to naively think that just because we have already built a solid fountain for our relationship that we can move on to the next one – our business. Alas, life doesn’t work that way!
The reality is that as supportive as our significant may be, their empathy quickly evaporates once we get a wee bit neglectful. Well, maybe more than a wee bit. That’s totally normal. Put yourself in their shoes – how would you feel if the object of your attention and affection changed gears? Not great. Over time, the consequences of your devotion to what essentially may be seen as the metaphorical ‘other man/woman’ will take a toll. Whether they overtly complain about your late nights on the computer or take the passive aggressive route by suddenly giving you the silent treatment and not making you that morning cup of coffee as per usual, it’s your job to fix it if you know deep down that their actions are even a little justified.
Don’t beat yourself up. Whether you’re just starting out and haven’t committed such heinous violations, or maybe you’ve been in the game for a while and been a repeat offender, there’s still time to either remain on the straight and narrow or fix a bad situation without forgoing your goals! So without further ado, here are three (3) simple tips you can use to salvage your relationship without sacrificing your business.
Ask for feedback
One surefire way to not let your mate feel as if you’d rather have a love affair with your business than them is to ask for their opinion on how to run it. By periodically checking in with them and sharing about a situation that you need their help or insight on not only makes their opinion feel valued, it makes them feel involved in the success of your business. Even if they may not totally understand what the heck your talking about sometimes, it really doesn’t matter. Another great bonus of doing this is that it will likely have the domino effect of them being a bit more understanding when you have put in the extra hours to get things done.
Trying to focus on too many things at one time is counterproductive and unhealthy. It’s not only bad for your relationship but also your sanity! So how do you do this? Firstly, try to cultivate a mode of discipline and get organized! This means categorizing your daily activities in accordance to different facets of your life – work time, family time, alone time, etc. Writing it down helps. Having done this, set aside time where you focus on that one sphere and nothing else. When you’re able to concentrate on different categories at a time, you’ll be able to get work done and you’ll be able set aside time for other things that matter – like that movie date you have each week! Keep different areas of your life separate – work time is for work and the same goes for quality time with your mate. That way, when it’s their time it lets your spouse know that they are a priority just as much as your business – so please turn off your phone.
Thank Them for Their Support
Whether they take the kids to school each morning, do the dishes when you know it’s your turn, or even simply leave you in your solitude so that you can get work done – your better half is there for you. It’s easy to take that for granted. The time they are taking to do these things while you’re being the boss of your domain is valuable time you’re taking from them. That’s the reality and I guarantee that it’s how they see it. So before they implode, show your appreciation constantly. Thank them for all that they do and be specific so that they know that you’re watching and not just giving an empty speech. An even better gesture would be taking the time to be ‘spontaneous’ during your regular work hours and actually spend time with them. Of course they probably don’t need to know that you planned it a week in advance and got key tasks out of the way, but it’s the thought that counts! There’s no better thank you than your undivided attention.
Life in itself is a juggling act but there’s no need for you to drop the ball. You can have it all. It just requires being alert, having empathy, and practice.
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By Gizelle Riley
Gizelle Riley is a media and marketing communications professional with a history of launching successful campaigns across diverse industries. When she's not teaching entrepreneurs how to build epic brands on her digital baby GizelleRiley.com, you'll find her volunteering with community service groups, watching movies, or having dance battles at home with her husband in Kingston, Jamaica.