Working hard is never easy, even if it’s absolutely necessary if you’re to get ahead and match your potential. That said, it’s a lot harder to work well and diligently if you have a difficult and chaotic home life. That’s not to say you can only be successful if you’re in bed by 9 p.m. every night, never go out and have fun, and only read books and drink tea in your free time. To some degree, everyone has a hectic schedule and nothing is ever perfect in our personal lives.
Sometimes, however, certain situations may bleed into our work and professionalism. It’s important to make the distinction between issues we can correctly handle and manage, and those we might need to seek help for. In the latter example, it’s important not to burn the candle at both ends, ignore the warning signs, and move on as if nothing had happened, as this can only make it more difficult to balance both responsibilities.
Let’s consider what that might look like in practice…
Set Clear Boundaries
It’s important to set clear boundaries, such as between your home life and your work life, including the hours you invest in each. This might involve ensuring you have a good work/life balance at the moment, and respectfully turning down overtime until the issues are home are resolved. It may also mean working with counselors or relationship therapists to help you assign those boundaries and better communicate with a partner. These boundaries should also revolve around self-care, understanding when you cannot give your best, and requesting time off work to correctly address the issue.
Request Help Where It’s Needed
It’s important to request help where you need it. That might involve soliciting the services of family law attorneys to protect yourself and your trusted family members, speaking with your boss about the issue so they know what you’re having to deal with, and even law enforcement if you’ve found that the issue is affecting your work and personal life. This doesn’t make you weak, it makes you proactive when trying to resolve the issue and find a path forward. That’s a much healthier option than simply hoping the problem goes away.
Be Candid & Unapologetic
Ultimately, you’re not a worse person for having a turbulent home life, because this is often temporary, and it can happen to anyone. For this reason, you might need to be candid with your boss or discuss these issues with your children. The more you can make the issue known to those who are better off knowing, the less you have to “hide it” from your work life or try to pretend that everything is completely fine all of the time. This can be much better than feigning perfect professionalism at all times, as it helps you get ahead of the issue and, ironically enough, gives you the mental space necessary to be your most productive and personable self.
With this advice, you’re sure to avoid letting home life bleed into your work and professionalism.