Journal Star, the website for the daily newspaper in Lincoln, NE, posted Dr Deb’s Monster piece, based on BUILD THE STRENGTH WITHIN, on October 23, 2014, and included the jacket image, as well as a link to the book’s page on Amazon, and to her website. The site has approximately 260,000 visitors per month. Below is the link and text.
Create a Work-Life Balance to Keep Loved Ones Close
By: Dr. Deborah Carlin, author of Build the Strength Within (SelectBooks, 2014)
Do any (or possibly all) of these statements describe your attempts at creating a better work-life balance?
Your loved ones complain that they just don’t get enough of you when you bring your work home.
You look forward to weekends but end up frustrated, because although you are present, your family keeps demanding more or your time — and you want to get in an hour (or three) of work.
You’re stressed because you hate having to make the choice between loved ones and work obligations.
Even as a psychologist who sets my own schedule, I often feel like a work junkie. The fact is, I crave being productive and often like to work when my family is around me because it feels good. It feels integrated. The resentment, however, does not.
Does this happen to you? Does any portion of it sound familiar?
If the answer is yes, here are a few tips to bring peace and happiness into your personal life and maintain your work-life balance.
1. Educate your loved ones: If your work is your passion, you need to educate your family about this reality. Let them know that what you do is not more important than they are, but you always have it with you, just as they are 100% in your heart and mind, whether you’re with them or not.
2. Be honest: Admit openly that you have a fully engaged style of living which means that work lives at home and home lives at work.
3. Communicate: Share with your loved ones that their acceptance of your work style is important and that arguing about it is completely draining, as is any guilt it generates. Respectfully request understanding.
4. Be mindful: That being stated, be mindful about when you can actually take a break from work and give those you adore your time, attention, eye contact, conversation, and full commitment to personal activities and make it happen whenever possible, each day.
5. Prioritize loved ones: What we all hate is the experience of feeling like we are a “second choice,” last on the list or unimportant. If you carry your work with you wherever you go (because it’s engaging) you’re going to need to make an additional effort for your family and friends. Believe that they are important to you — and then figure out what makes them feel special and make it that a reality.
If you adopt a few common courtesy rules, in addition to the above, you will find your happiness factor will begin to grow. Here they are:
Place the phone on mute during meals. Talk to those who are present and joining you around the table.
Allow yourself to sleep through the night with your mate, minus phone time.
Take the pledge to never text and drive.
Share with your loved ones your wish for them to find their life mission and to know the joy of doing work that gives their life purpose as yours does for you — beyond the deep meaning that their life and love adds to your well-being.
There comes a point for each of us when we need to step back and re-assess. Yes, work takes our time and talent. However, if you allow it to consume every bit of your waking life, you will find you are sitting alone. And once the work is over, and it will at some time be over, what will you do? There is more to life than just your work.
Remember: you will never be as important to your work as you are to those who love you.
Author Bio: Dr. Deborah Carlin, author of Build the Strength Within (SelectBooks, 2014), is an expert in the field of the human condition and self-development. She helps people “become the best version of themselves.” As a social psychologist with clinical training at Washington University Medical Center, she is a popular speaker and writer, as well as a consultant focusing on the performance of people within their organizations. Carlin received her masters and doctoral degrees from Saint Louis University. Visit Drdebcarlin.com.