If there’s anything being a responsible adult has taught us, it’s the importance of balance. Time management is a skill we learn to develop as we grow older, and it doesn’t just apply to our working lives. After all, along with a demanding career, we also have to juggle our social lives, get enough sleep, cook, maintain relationships, and have quality alone time.
Are crazy hours affecting your relationship? It’s not uncommon to feel the pressure of our work and love lives clashing. On one hand, we may have a tough boss to impress or a looming promotion, and then on the other, our relationship may be suffering and intimacy dwindling like a weak flame.
Blurring the lines between work and leisure
While most of us might have temporarily swapped our chinos for leisurewear while we work from home, we’re certainly not lounging about. In fact, Goldman Sachs came under fire in March with junior bankers reporting working over 18-hour shifts for low pay over lockdown, which was causing burnout.
According to the Guardian, employees who have been working from home over the pandemic are working an additional two hours a day or more due to heavier workloads. The research reported that workers are also having shorter lunch breaks, are expected to work through sickness, and are constantly signed into work communication, exacerbating an ‘always-on’ culture. This is not only an issue on a personal level, but also on a relationship level – who doesn’t get irritated when their partner seems to be constantly on their phone, even if it’s answering out-of-office emails?
While some couples have struggled through lockdown from spending too much time together, others simply don’t have enough time to see each other.
How to rebalance your work-love life
Follow these tips to help you rebalance your career and relationship:
While spontaneity can be the secret to an exciting and happy relationship, if your work life is wreaking havoc on your leisure time, it is a good idea to plan ahead. Make romantic plans or schedule quality time together on certain days and stick to it. Although obviously sometimes you might be hit with a deadline or unforeseen circumstances that desperately needs your attention, make it up to your partner by seeing them on an alternate day rather than letting work totally consume your time. This way, your partner knows that they’re important to you.
Of course, everyone has responsibilities at work, so keeping an eye on your schedule and judging when you will be at your busiest will keep your partner in the loop of when you expect you can see them and when you can’t.
Prioritise what is most important to you both
You should prioritise what you want to do when you are together. Try not to waste quality time by sitting and watching television or lying in bed all day – unless if that is exactly how you bond. If you find that you’re not making the most when you’re able to see each other, stop and think about what is most important. Do you really need to attend every single client dinner? Do you really need to bake for every bake sale? Does the house need cleaning at that exact moment? Do you really need to go and visit distant relatives?
Do what makes you both happy – a lot of couples don’t communicate things like this to each other, so it is crucial to understand what feels like quality time. Put your phone down and keep off social media and work emails to stay in the present moment and converse with your partner. Sitting scrolling aimlessly through your feed or acting like you’re on call to your work when with your partner can make them feel unwanted. Set boundaries between yourself and work – for example, if you’re going to a romantic dinner, those emails can wait until the morning.
Learn to apologise and forgive
Not every plan you make is going to go ahead. But it’s important not to punish each other for this and instead, give support and communicate. If you’re feeling frustrated or disappointed, that is valid, but holding grudges and staying angry will only strain the relationship more. Try to be as understanding, patient, apologetic, and forgiving as you can.
Creating a positive environment between you both will nurture a positive relationship. If you find that you are struggling with your workload or are perhaps feeling stressed with work, it might be time to reach out to your boss for guidance or even consider visiting your GP.