In the spirit of Saint Valentine, love is certainly in the air. This time of year, affection and adoration is under the spotlight. It is easy enough to buy a quick gift for your significant other: a teddy bear or box of chocolates usually does the trick. And flowers can simply be delivered by the click of a mouse. But, what does your loved one really desire? Tangible goods can only do so much to warm the soul. Quality time is the key ingredient to foster a loving relationship, and if you are too busy making a living, you will forget to make a life.
It is true, hard work and dedication are extremely important in developing a successful career or business. But these same two components are also relevant to any thriving relationship. It takes an immense amount of effort to balance work and home life, and it may entail a lifelong battle harmonizing the two. Here are 3 significant ways to avoid having a love affair with your job, and to better balance work and home life:

Schedule Work Time and Home Time:

If you find yourself unable to survive without your calendar, your appointment reminders are going off every half hour, and you are hurling yourself from meeting to meeting without coming up for air, make it a point to schedule some ‘downtime.’ Actually adding this to the calendar will curb the anxiety of never having enough time on your hands, and will mentally allow you to put work on the back-burner while engaging in family-time or relaxation. By actively setting alarms or reminders to warn that it’s time to get back to the grind, you are able to fully relax and let your calendar do the work.

Be Present:

Once there are crafted time slots for work and home, concentrate on being actively present for each. Solely concentrating on business during the work day will result in feelings of accomplishment, and allow for sincere engagement later on at home. Remember why you are working so hard in the first place. Is it because you want to provide a comfortable and happy lifestyle for your loved ones (or future loved ones)? Family or friends may not recognize long hours or business distractions as a form of affection. Unfortunately, there are times when an exceptional amount of hard work cannot be avoided, so compromise by genuinely being present when it is expected of you.

Decide What Is Important:

Prioritize and rid yourself of activities that are unnecessary. When possible, pass on the busy work and do not volunteer for extra workloads or extracurriculars. It may seem wise to take on as much as possible to portray a sense of irreplaceability; but, no matter how much energy is put in, there will always be someone else to win over, whether an employer, a coworker, or consumer. Instead, make it a priority to win over family first, and the rest should run more smoothly. Wholehearted work cannot be accomplished without the support of the ones you love most.