If you’re like us, it seems that, unless we keep ourselves in check, life can quickly become fast-paced and chaotic. There’s rarely time to stop and breathe during the busy of the day. If we are not careful we’ll find ourselves at wits end and not enjoying one another.
We can both get so bogged-down with work that we forget that we have responsibilities outside of the job. And working from home together can complicate it even further as our job is at home (or any where with an Internet connection).
Finding that balance between work and marriage is essential to honoring the vows that you made to one another. And we have made it a top priority to figure out some best practices when it comes to balancing our marriage and work life.
While our marriage isn’t perfect, we have found some ways to help keep our priorities straight. Here are some great ideas on how to balance work and marriage.
How to Balance Work and Marriage
Make a List of Priorities…and Look at Them
We’ve found that making a list of the most important things to us: God, our marriage and our children helps us to put things into perspective. By putting our list of priorities in visible places, we’re better able to say “no” when requests don’t line-up with those things at the top of the list.
Yes, work is important, but a quick review of the list reminds us that it’s not at the top of the list, and shouldn’t take more of our energy than our faith or family.
Leave Work at Work
One major step to finding the balance between work and marriage is leaving your work at work. While you may talk about how your day went, bringing work home (to complete after a full-day away from one another) is an energy and time drain on you…and on your marriage.
Whenever possible, don’t bring more work home in the evening. If it’s not there to look at, you’ll be less likely to try to fit it in during the time that you have to spend with your spouse. Being that we do much of our work at home, we make a point of shutting the door at the end of the work day. This is our way of putting an end to work for the evening.
Turn Off the Phone
Similar to leaving work in the office is turning off your cell phone. In most cases, work can wait until the next morning. Getting yourself in the habit of turning off your phone when you get home will make you more available to focus on your life at home and not as available to phone calls and emails from work.
Concerned about family or friends who may be trying to reach you? Put your phone in a drawer and glance at it every once in awhile during the evening, rather than turning it off completely, or if you have a landline (or second number) give that phone number to those who you may want to be in touch with in the evening.
Dedicate One Day a Week to Each Other (and Family)
Plan one day a week as a work-free day. Make that your day to enjoy fun activities with your spouse (or family), schedule date nights and not think about work. Our family makes a habit of Sunday family days.
After time in God’s Word we know that it’s a day for us…no work allowed! Getting yourself in the habit of taking at least one day a week away from thoughts of work will make you more accessible to your spouse, as well as more refreshed when you return to the office.
…The Other Side of the Coin
While most of us find ourselves concerned with making time for our marriage in the midst of heightened work expectations and responsibilities, we also have to make sure that we’re not erring too much to the side of time away from work.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re double-checking your job description and employer evaluation guides to be sure that you’re performing to the best of your ability at work. By remaining mindful of your productivity at work, while also being a great spouse (and parent) you will ensure that you’re putting forth your best effort in each aspect of your life.
Do you have other ideas on how to balance work and marriage? Please share what has worked for you!