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Having a demanding career can be hard enough, and when you’re trying to balance your work with a fulfilling love life, it can seem nearly impossible. After all, it’s not uncommon to feel as though you’re sacrificing time with your partner for time in the office, and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to find a healthy and happy medium between these two important aspects of your life. However, there are steps you can take right now to enjoy a successful career as well as a successful relationship and find the balance that truly works.

Be honest with your partner from the start. If you’re seeking to find the right balance between your career and love life, the first step is to be upfront and forthright with your partner regarding the time constraints placed on you by your profession. For example, if you’re someone who’s up at the crack of dawn, frequently stays late at the office, is constantly on-call, and/or works nights and weekends, it’s imperative that you let your partner know this from the start. That way, the two of you can be on the same page regarding the possible conflicts and time constraints that are placed on you simply because of the nature of your vocation.

Employ your time management skills. Another key step towards finding the right balance between your work and your partner is to take a closer look at your time management techniques. Do you tend to procrastinate? Are you underestimating the amount of time you need to finish various tasks and assignments? Are you prioritizing your work projects efficiently? When you really take the time to review and revise your current time management strategies, you may find time-saving opportunities that can enable you to enjoy more time out of the office and out with your partner.

Reevaluate your priorities. If you’re searching for a real balance between your work life and your love life, it’s also imperative to take a closer look at your priorities in general. In fact, if you feel as though your work responsibilities are so overwhelming that you barely have time for yourself, let alone your partner, you should look for opportunities to prioritize, delegate, and say, “No.” After all, if you have no time for a life outside of the office, you’re actually on the path towards occupational burnout — and it’s likely that the spark between you and your partner will burn out as well.

Plan ahead. When your goal is to balance your career and love life, it’s also important to plan ahead with your partner. In fact, many couples will create a joint calendar so that they can schedule pre-set times to be together, and when these particular dates and events are on the horizon, you can make a concerted effort to prioritize these types of occasions and plan accordingly. And while there may be unforeseen circumstances that may cause you to be late or even have to reschedule, placing importance on being with your partner is actually what lets her or him know that she or he’s important to you.

Be present. In order to find a true balance between your job and your partner, being fully present when you’re with each other is one of the greatest gifts that you can give this person as well as yourself. For instance, rather than staring at your phone, thinking about what transpired at the office, and/or fixating on work issues when you’re together, you should be mindful and focus on the present moment. That way, the time that you do spend with one another will be truly meaningful, and you can enjoy a much-needed reprieve from your preoccupation with your occupation.

About the Author

Stacey Laura Lloyd is an award-winning dating, relationships, and wellness writer and is the Dating Expert for About.com. Her work has been praised in Library Journal and Publishers Weekly and has also been featured on The Doctors. She’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of two books, including Is Your Job Making You Fat? How to Lose the Office 15…and More!

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