Does it feel like your partner's priority is work, not you?
Trusting your feelings can often be misleading or wrong.
I was recently reminded of something important though.
Your feelings are real, and they constitute your present reality, irrespective of whether there is ultimate truth behind them.
So, let’s pause, acknowledge our feelings, and discover the truth.
Did your partner’s work hours change?
There can be a lot to unwrap.
Nonetheless, we have to face this reality head-on.
In this blog post, we will discuss 10 steps to realign your priorities and strengthen your bond between work and love.
Balancing a successful career and a thriving romantic relationship can often be challenging, but it’s essential to find harmony between these two important aspects of life.
This post applies to individuals in all professions who struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
By following these steps, you can create a fulfilling and sustainable lifestyle where both your professional and personal relationships thrive.
If you missed my recent post, I shared my personal perspective on “why” your partner prioritizes work over you. Check it out here:
What is Work vs. Love, and Why Does it Matter?
Work vs. love is the constant struggle you face trying to balance your career aspirations and personal relationships.
The struggle is…
Every. Single. Day.
Most people visualize balance as some mathematical equation.
“If he’s at work 8 hours then we must have XX hours together.”
Spoiler Alert: It won't be 50/50 time-sharing.
Balance in your relationship requires communication.
It requires you both to be healthy at managing your time.
Yes — that means you and your partner both need to complete these 10 steps for your relationship to reach balance.
It’s crucial to understand the significance of finding this balance to achieve long-term happiness and fulfillment.
Neglecting either aspect can lead to dissatisfaction, stress, and strained relationships.
By learning how to prioritize and manage both work and love effectively, you can achieve success in both areas and enjoy a more satisfying life overall.
How to Realign Priorities and Strengthen Your Bond:
Step 1: Recognize the Problem:
Acknowledge your feelings.
Bite down on your feelings (Hang in there) and open your eyes to logic.
To begin, take the time to analyze your current situation and identify any imbalances.
Reflect on your priorities and evaluate whether they align with your values and goals.
Utilize tools like journaling or meditation to gain clarity and self-awareness.
This step will serve as the foundation for realigning your priorities and strengthening your bond.
As a writer, I personally choose to journal. It’s therapeutic and allows me to focus on my thoughts and feelings productively.
Here’s a great journaling notebook to try out:
The 5-Minute Journal — A guided journal designed to promote gratitude, self-reflection, and personal growth.
[Amazon Product Link]
Journaling can be awkward at first but trust me. Give it 2–3 weeks and you will be addicted. I personally journal at night.
I recap my day and write down my goals for tomorrow.
Step 2: Identify Your Priorities:
Determine what aspects of your personal life you value the most.
Reflect on what brings you joy, relaxation, and fulfillment outside of work.
Personally, I really value individual time to explore my hobbies (Hiking, Exercising, Reading, Writing, traveling, etc.)
By identifying your priorities, you can consciously allocate time and energy to these areas. List them out — use that journal!
This is important — have a list of personal priorities then create one as a couple. This will make sense soon.
- Exercising (1 hour daily)
- Reading/Writing (2 hours daily)
- Traveling (2–4 times annually)
Write down your concerns, goals, and expectations with your partner or those close to you.
Step 3: Set Clear Working Hours:
Establish working hours that align with your energy levels and personal commitments.
Clearly communicate these boundaries to your partner, team, co-workers, and clients, ensuring they understand your availability outside of these designated hours.
Utilize tools such as calendars, to-do lists, or productivity apps to organize your schedule.
I personally live off of my Outlook calendar.
Create time blocks on your Outlook calendar for admin and personal time. i.e. Gym, Kids events, Lunch w/partner, etc.
Step 4: Learn to Say No:
Develop the ability to say no when work demands encroach upon your personal time.
Prioritize the tasks that align with your goals and delegate or decline those that can be handled by others.
Setting boundaries and saying no helps protect your personal time and prevents burnout.
As an INFJ (Yes — I’m a personality nerd), I dislike confrontation.
It’s taken me a very long time to get comfortable having tough conversations and setting boundaries.
Especially at work.
I highly recommend the book below if you struggle with confrontation. For those that thrive on confrontation…skip ahead haha!
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High — A book that provides practical advice on navigating difficult conversations and enhancing communication skills.
[Amazon Product Link]
Step 5: Schedule Personal Time:
Treat personal time as sacred and schedule it in your calendar.
Set aside specific intervals for self-care, exercise, hobbies, leisure, and spending time with loved ones.
Treat these commitments with the same level of importance as your work-related engagements.
Establishing boundaries and creating routines can help you maintain a healthy balance.
Clearly define your working hours and dedicate specific time for your relationship and personal activities.
Check out the 5 AM club book: https://amzn.to/466WLMb
I’ve been waking up at (Yes — I’m Military but I choose to wake up early) 5 AM (sometimes earlier).
Why? Early bird gets the worm..In all seriousness, by the time most people have woken up, I’ve knocked out all of my personal/selfish things.
Potentially 2–4 hours for you and your partner to discuss/allocate time towards.
Maybe it’s a run/walk as a couple in the morning?
Coffee and breakfast?
Time with the kids?
Step 6: Limit Work-Related Communication:
Establish rules for checking work emails and answering work calls outside of working hours.
Reserve specific time slots for staying connected to work and ensure your personal time remains uninterrupted.
Step 7: Delegate and Seek Support:
This one is hard.
Let go of your pride.
Learn to delegate tasks and distribute responsibilities effectively.
You and your partner are a team. Refocus and delegate jointly often.
Build a support system at work that includes colleagues and team members who can share the workload and offer assistance.
By seeking support, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed and protect your personal time.
Step 8: Unplug and Disconnect:
Create designated tech-free zones or hours for yourself.
Disconnect from work-related notifications, emails, and calls during your personal time.
Engage in activities that allow you to relax, unwind, and recharge without the interference of work demands.
Or — simply blow up your partner's phone.
Step 9: Practice Self-Care:
Earlier we set aside personal time on the schedule.
This could have included time with your partner based on what you both decide.
Now it’s on you to make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine.
Focus on those identified activities that nurture your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Step 10: Review and Adjust:
Regularly evaluate how well you are adhering to your work boundaries and assess their effectiveness.
Adjust and refine them as necessary to ensure they continue to support your work-life balance and protect your personal time.
After all of this — ask yourself how you feel.
Journal it. Keep talking about it.
Your relationship is important.
Tips and Reminders for Maintaining Work vs. Love:
- Be adaptable and flexible when unexpected situations arise. Embrace change and be open to adjusting your plans accordingly.
- Avoid overcommitting yourself both at work and in your personal life. Learn to say no when necessary to avoid spreading yourself too thin.
- Practice gratitude and appreciation for those who support you in both your professional and personal endeavors.
Your feelings are a reality.
By following these ten steps, you and your partner can each create helpful work boundaries that protect each other’s personal time, improve your work-life balance, and enhance your relationship.
Recognize the importance of setting clear boundaries, learn to prioritize your personal life, and practice self-care regularly.
Start implementing these strategies today and enjoy the benefits of having work boundaries that nourish and protect your personal time.
Please like, follow, and share if you found this useful.
I want to be transparent about affiliate links on my blog, which may result in earning a commission from purchases made through those links. Rest assured, I only recommend products and services I have used or believe in. Your support through these affiliate links is greatly appreciated and helps me continue providing valuable content.