Updated: May 29
We live in an era where success is often defined by over-achievement in either our professional or personal lives. When we focus too much on our business or professional goals, our relationships can suffer. Likewise, when we ignore our professional development needs, our job security or business can be put at risk. We’re thrown into a constant state of unbalance between the relentless and competitive corporate work ethic, the “need-it-now” mentality encouraged by our dependency on technology, and the desire to see, do, and achieve more each day.
To help achieve that balance, the following suggestions may be helpful:
1. Be mindful of your capabilities when adding responsibilities. Acknowledge when certain relationships in your life require special attention to deal with an issue or concern. Trying to treat everything as normal, when it isn’t, will catch up with you at one point or another. For example, if your teenager requires your special attention to deal with an urgent issue, it may be a bad time to take on added responsibilities at work and volunteer as a baseball coach. If you can postpone added duties or projects, try to do so. Attempting to be all things to all people can lead to imbalance and exhaustion.
2. Communication is critical. Maintain clear lines of communication between you and the people in your important relationships. Let those in your personal relationships (your spouse, children, or close friends) know when you have added responsibilities or challenges at work so they’ll better understand the reasons behind your inaccessibility at certain times.Miscommunication and misconceptions about behaviors can cause unnecessary (and avoidable!) stress and conflict.
3. A point to remember. Understand that certain relationships go dormant or evaporate over time due to life circumstances. Divorced friends often fall out of touch with married friends. Those with children often find less in common with their single friends. Trying to salvage these relationships can be exhausting, especially if both people involved don’t have the same interest in saving it. It takes two to be in a solid relationship, not one.
4. Learn how to compromise. This can be difficult, especially if you feel like you’re “giving in,” but this skill will be useful in keeping the stress levels down in your life. If your boss wants you to work the weekend, ask instead if you can do the work from home in the evenings. In many work situations it doesn’t matter how or where the work is done so long as it meets the deadline. Compromising with your spouse and children will show them that you hear what they’re saying and you’re willing to come to a fair solution.