Relationships don't just happen when you are off the clock. As therapists and business coaches, we see how the two worlds of personal and business collide. Often when we see business coaching clients, they want to talk about what tools they can use to get their struggling business back on track. Inevitably we find the issue is a lot deeper. Sometimes behind a bad business is a bad relationship.
Here are some signs that you might have a problem:
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- People at work, know about your relationship. (And not in a good way) They have the scoop on the drama. If your partner calls you at work and arguments ensue, don't be surprised if the person in the next cubicle or office can hear you. And once they hear how you fight with your partner, the assumption gets made that you can end up acting that way at work too. What use to be a routine check in from your partner has turned into an opportunity to display your problems. At this point, it can feel out of control and all boundaries about when to deal with your relationship are lost.
- You have a foggy focus. Loosing track of your time isn't just about time management but also about focus. If you are consumed with the emotional angst of your relationship, there is little else that you will focus on. Sitting at your desk with your mind wandering, imagining, catastrophizing - you become a zombie and loose track of the present moment and what needs to be done.
- You come in late, lunch long and leave early. Any of these show that you don't want to be at your business. We aren't talking about the occasional long lunch either. We are talking about a pattern. One time I showed up to an appointment and the person I was meeting with wasn't there. Their office assistant rolled their eyes and muttered under their breath about how the person always has drama. Do you think the office assistant ever spoke to them about this? I doubt it! But you can quickly lose the respect of the people around you when you aren't prioritizing your work, especially if they have to cover for you.
- You are losing customers. Nothing worse than money lost. The strain of finanical problems at work will futher contribute to the strain on your relationship. If you can't follow through with your work, you can't expect people to keep paying for work you aren't doing. You might be in the business of getting people to come back on occasion for your services. Your customer says they will make that appointment in a few weeks or purchase that product eventually and then they slowly fade away.
Ok, so now what?
It can feel overwhelming to cope with work and life, especially when they keep tugging at us for attention. Here are some tips on how to start to get perspective and control of the situation: