Balancing a demanding career with your personal life is a common struggle for many married couples. We live in a society that’s constantly connected and on the go, which can make something as simple as a date night difficult to schedule. To help juggle your day-to-day work responsibilities while not sacrificing quality time with your better half, keep these three tips in mind:
Make time on your side
When it comes to time management, consider keeping a planner and actually sticking to it. While most work meetings can be rescheduled, the quality time spent with your spouse and friends during special occasions or holidays can’t be replaced. Beyond planning events, use your planner to track all of your activity for a month. At the end of the month, evaluate how much time you spent focused on work, at the gym or on your social schedule. This should help narrow down areas where you can give yourself more balance. If you find you didn’t spend as much quality time with your husband or wife this month, now’s the time to get them a little gift or plan a nice date.
Managing time depends on what works best for you. If you’re both morning people, give yourselves some extra time before work to sit and eat breakfast together. It will provide a positive start to both your days.
Remember to disconnect and relax
If you’re feeling stressed, remember to take a deep breath and try to relax. Kelly McGonical even says you should rethink stress and use it to energize you. When you’re married, it can be easy to take out stress on your partner. To avoid this, try scheduling something you look forward to each day. These activities don’t have to be lavish, time-consuming or pricey. Read a best-selling book that your spouse might also enjoy and that you can discuss over dinner (we’d recommend “The Goldfinch”), go for a long walk around your neighborhood, or plan a double date for drinks to unwind after work. Find an activity that you both enjoy doing to unwind, and make it a priority to allocate time accordingly – just make sure you also disconnect from your phone or computer.
Work out your work schedule
Communication is key when it comes to managing your work life. And we’re not just referring to communication with your spouse. Talk to your employer about the expectations for your position, daily responsibilities, anticipated work hours and types of benefits available. Many companies are willing to accommodate their employees to ensure happier staff. For example, if you and your spouse have been itching to go on a South African safari (who wouldn’t be), speak openly with your company and determine the best time to plan for all that time off. Don’t get stuck being on-call a few hours before you need to leave. Or, if you travel for work a lot, organize your trips so that your spouse can travel with you – and then you can enjoy a weekend away together.
In addition to traditional health and dental insurance, many companies offer discounted gym memberships or onsite wellness programs to their employees. Consider adding your spouse to your plan so you can head to the gym together and have a post-workout smoothie date.
When it comes to maintaining a work-life balance, it’s all about dedicating an equal amount of time to your personal and professional life. While often easier said than done, the secret to success here is to disconnect from all the distractions around you and your spouse, and make time for just the two of you to connect. Maintaining open and honest communication with your work, spouse and even yourself will help avoid tipping the scale and ensures a healthy, fulfilled relationship.