Work to live, live to work. How many times have we heard this? If you work too much, your home life and relationships suffer, if you don’t work enough then your goals and plans can be compromised by financial distress. Where do we draw the line?
This can be especially difficult for entrepreneurs and business owners. When you’re building a company or in a family business the lines between work and home can become very blurred. Everything in your life revolves around the company and before long you’re working 7 days a week. Mobile technology makes it even more difficult to disconnect from your work and get away. We tend to be hooked in by technology no matter where we are. While this is good for the business, it’s not so good for your relationship.
Couples face difficulties when work and life is out of balance. Your partner may feel that you are physically and emotionally unavailable and they may feel that your relationship is taking a back seat to your business. Nobody wants to feel left out or less important. You and your partner might both feel resentful or disappointed that you aren’t connecting with one another and life has become all about the company, and less about each other. This creates a great deal of stress in the relationship and that stress carries over into other areas of your life.
Entrepreneurs are known for being highly motivated and driven people. Sometimes that drive can be overwhelming to the people sharing their lives. Being driven is good if you’re driven by positive motivations but driving yourself constantly without a break is not healthy for you or your relationships. It can be helpful to take a step back once in a while and ask yourself what is motivating you; success, money, future financial security for your family? Working for the sake of work may be ruining your relationships, and you could be so busy you might not even realize it. If your relationship falls apart, then what have you been working so hard for?
The key to getting it right is balance. Time management and setting priorities. Even busy entrepreneurs need to find the balance between a work life and home life. You need to learn to integrate the two. How does that happen? With you and your partner making a conscious effort to connect on every level. To meld together as a couple with a common purpose. Both of you will have to agree to work on the issues that separate you to integrate your work and life and find that balance between the two.
Maybe that means that you (the entrepreneur) will work from home for a certain block of time so that you can spend time with your spouse and kids, or that your spouse will set their appointments to compliment your schedule in order to take lunch with you a couple days a week. Making the effort to spend more time together takes both parties commitment to accomplish. Sometimes it means that you both get up an hour earlier in the morning to have coffee together and plan your day. That business trip you need to make can turn into a couple’s getaway with some creative planning. As a business owner, you can exercise some freedoms with your schedule, after all, who is punching your timeclock?
Sit down with your partner and talk about your personal and professional plans and goals.. Connect as a couple on the issues that matter to both of you. Take up a hobby you can share together. The time that you spend focused on mutual goals and doing things together will strengthen your connection and attachment as you will both be working together towards a common goal. Maximize the time that you do have with your partner to make sure that you’re having fun together, making memories and really sharing experiences together. Integrating your work and personal life will strengthen your relationship and make for a happier and more harmonious life for you both. Through this integration you’ll find renewed energy and motivation to work on your professional goals and business plans, understanding on a deeper level what drives you. Time spent with your partner is essential for your success.