Legitimate Distractions Sidetrack Work-Life Balance

I participated in an event that allowed me to meet husbands and wives at the event together.  There was a common theme that seemed to take place here – most partners weren’t satisfied with the balance they were experience in their lives and communication seemed to be pretty broken down between couples. Legitimate distractions were in fact causing many of them to avoid communication all together. Work and children can be two of the biggest legitimate distractions. To help achieve balance in these couples lives there are three tips that can be done – integrate yourself back into your home, accept yourself as you are today and be your genuine self.

I had the opportunity this past weekend to participate in an event that showcased 150 of the local community’s businesses. I met many wonderful people at the show, and for the first time had the occasion to meet husbands and wives attending the venue together.

There was a common theme that seemed to resonate throughout: These partners weren’t satisfied with the balance they were experiencing in their lives. Moreover, there appeared to be a general breakdown in communication between the couples. In fact, legitimate distractions had caused them in many cases to avoid communicating.How do we define “legitimate distractions”? These are justifiable interruptions to the all-too-important everyday need to communicate our wants, needs, values, and intentions with those closest to us.

Practically speaking, work is a legitimate distraction because when we become overwhelmed by it – when we work too many hours or bring the negative effects of it home with us in the evening – it allows us an easy, compelling reason for not dealing with other issues in our lives. It devours so much of our time and energy; it tips the scale of balance completely away from anything else we’re trying to incorporate in our lives and lifestyles.

Children can also be a source of legitimate distractions. Consider this scenario from the Harvard Business Review on Work and Life Balance:

“A couple gets married. Natural conflict develops in the relationship. Some of them surface and the couple deals with them in the early stages of the marriage. However, they often perceive deeper issues as too difficult to confront. Both husband and wife may find excessive work a wonderful excuse not to face these issues. Then a natural ‘solution’ arrives in the form of a child. Now the man and woman do not need to talk about their problems; they can talk for hours on end about issues concerning the child. If one is not enough, two children are sure to give them plenty to talk about. Moreover, as children grow they begin to satisfy for each parent some of the needs the other parent fails to meet. The couple continues to postpone dealing with hidden marital conflicts.”

Many of the couples I spoke to this past weekend were at this point. Is it too late? Absolutely not!

What can be done?

  • Integrate yourself back into your home – engage yourself and bring excitement. Who said work requires lots of effort and private life requires none?Think about the opportunities you have to be present in the lives of those around you and make the most of them.
  • Accept yourself as you are today – don’t beat yourself up. Recognize that things can be improved. Then take action – make the time and exert the effort to communicate.
  • Be your genuine self – trust those who are closest to you and share with them your needs, concerns, and fears, as well as your elation, accomplishments, and successes.

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