My dad is an incredible man. We owned a family restaurant and over 23 years, my dad literally put his blood, sweat and tears into it. He was the absolute hardest working man I’ve ever known. I got my passion and drive from him and I’m so grateful for that.
But his biggest regret is that he missed so much when I was growing up, and in his eyes, he had no choice. As a family owned business, you don’t always have the choice. You have to do the work and as a result, your relationships suffer. It’s the same when you’re the CEO, the boss or an entrepreneur. It can be so challenging to find that balance between work and your relationships. And it can be so easy to allow work to take the top priority in your life.
You CAN have a successful career and still maintain happy, healthy relationships with the people in your life.
Think about your children, your spouse, your partner, your family, your friends - those people and relationships whom you deem as the most important relationships in your life.Are you treating them that way? Are you giving them the time, the space and the nurturing that they need? If I were talking to them, how would they define your presence in that relationship? What level of priority do they feel they have in your life right now?
Maybe you get home from work and you’re not present with your family...you’re distracted, on your phone or your computer. On the weekends, maybe you're so exhausted from the week or maybe you're working on the weekends so your relationships don’t get the best of you. Maybe you’re always saying yes to your work and no to your relationships. Maybe there are resentments that are starting to brew with the people around you because all they want is just a little bit of your space and time.
New on the podcast this week, we are diving into this topic. Whether you are addicted to your work or not, and even if you feel like your work is NOT negatively affecting your relationships, we can all benefit from this conversation. Head over to my podcast to listen in: http://bit.ly/CHANGEbyCHOICEpodcast
So - do you have a work addiction?
And is it causing a ripple into the most important relationships in your life?
Ask yourself some of the tough questions. Because often times when I’m working with some of my clients, they are so incredibly successful...but at what cost? Are you always at the whim of your work 24/7? Are you finding work to do as a way of avoidance? Maybe you’re putting so much into your work because that’s where you excel and you feel you lack the tools to make your relationships thrive? Really sit down and think about how you are prioritizing your life, your work and your relationships. If you can sense or feel that legitimate strain and disconnect that your work is causing with your most important relationships, then you need to learn some strategies to improve that balance and reignite the presence and connection within those relationships.
If you’re a leader, a CEO, an entrepreneur - I get that a lot of the work falls on you at times and to be successful, you need to take ownership and responsibility for that. As an entrepreneur myself, I completely get it. And I’m not saying there aren’t going to be times where your work simply must come before your family. Sometimes, you don’t have the choice but to focus all you have into your work. BUT - as I said before, you can have a successful career while still maintaining healthy, happy, fulfilling relationships. You have to want it, first off, and secondly you need to implement some strategic choices and strategies to help you achieve that balance.
But here’s the thing - you need to desire to change things. If you don’t, then own that you don’t care about your relationships. Relationships take work and nurturing, the same amount of energy needs to be put there as you do your work.
Here are my top 3 tips on how you can increase the level of presence and connection within your relationships, while still maintaining a successful career:
1. Get clear on what level of priority your relationships are to you; not just verbalizing it, but are you willing to take action to back that up? Rate yourself from 1-10, keeping in mind actually taking action on it and having the willingness and the desire to change. If that's not there, maybe you just need to own that with your family. Tell them that you don’t want to make them a priority. I know that sounds harsh, but they're already living it; they’re already feeling it. You might as well tell them how it is instead of giving them this false hope that it’ll be different than it is. Hopefully you don’t fall into that category; think of yourself 10 or 20 years down the road...do you want to be living with regrets?
2. Communicate with the people around you that you are aware of the problem and that you are going to start to carve out some more time for them. And then actually do it. It’s every easy to quickly go to a place of “I just don’t have enough time, I’m too busy”. But you do have enough time. I work with all kinds of people in all kinds of professions: single moms with multiple children, top CEO’s, athletes, entrepreneurs. When we start to dig into their schedules and analyze where they are spending their time, we always find more time. It’s about where you place priority and how productive you are being during your day. As soon as you start to set some clear boundaries, where you have set times that you are working and set times that you aren’t, your awareness shifts and you start to look at your time differently and want to protect it. Here’s the thing: don’t think that you have to magically find an extra 2 or 3 hours in a day. Even if you can find an extra 30 minutes to dedicate to those relationships - that’s better than it was. It doesn’t matter the length of time; it matters the amount of engagement and presence you have within that time.
3. Decide how you want to show up in your relationships. Choose 3 words that would define the very best of you in your relationships; not how you already are, but these words should stretch you and challenge you to be even better. They command more out of you because when you’re living into those words, you’re a heightened level of yourself. Instead of being angry, impatient, annoyed, frustrated with your children at the end of the day, how would your best self show up for them in that time? With patience, compassion, calmness, empathy. Maybe those are your words. If you don’t have a strong voice in your relationships, maybe your words are courage or bold. Decide what your 3 words are and then every single morning, write them down and say them outloud. I know it sounds simple; but trust me, I have been doing consistently since the beginning of the month and my life has shifted. When you get home from work, remind yourself of your words. Ask yourself how you want to show up as the best dad, mom, wife, husband, friend, etc.?
It’s about shifting your awareness and setting yourself a different intention. You’re not just saying you want great relationships but you're going to do something about it. If you don't do it now, do you think it'll get easier later? Because once your relationships are gone, they’re gone.Your relationships, once they’re gone, they're gone. I’m not saying you can’t build them back up, by why even push it there and lose all that time?
Be honest with yourself. What are you bringing to those relationships that you deem are most important in your life? Be hard on yourself here. But then equally, what is the action moving forward? That’s the only thing that matters. We get a blank slate every single day. One step, once change; that's all it takes. Communicate those changes with the people around you. Let them hold you accountable. Make a commitment on what you're able to carve out in the week. Choose 3 words and let those words guide you to be your best self.
Want to take it even further and really create more balance with your work and relationships? Learn to schedule yourself differently. More to come on that, but for now check out my daily planner to help you keep yourself organized and productive throughout your day: https://charlotte-ferreux.mykajabi.com/p/download-your-free-daily-planner