My husband and I recently made a commitment to take business talk outside the home. It's made all the difference... Why?
Does this sound familiar?... Your spouse, or you, come home after a tiring, rough, stressful day at work only to unload all the stuff onto your spouse and kids. You no longer greet each other lovingly, you no longer talk about the "positive things" about your day because the "negative things" take precedence. Before you know it, your dinner conversation is about money and work... and the mood for the evening is shot.
We've all heard about keeping your personal life out of the workplace, but we aren't as diligent about keeping our workplace out of our personal life. We need to make this a priority. But how?
You need to learn to be present where you are. Essentially you need to have two different selves...your work self and your home self. You need to get into the right frame of mind before you walk through that door at home...just like you do at work. If that takes driving around the block a couple of times to get there...so be it! So when is it okay to talk business at home?
Never talk business in the kitchen or bedroom. Your home is your sanctuary for your family. It needs to be a loving, safe, positive space. If you have a home office, you can designate a place in your home where you talk about business.
Here are a couple of ideas to take business talk outside the home:
Schedule it. My husband and I are scheduling a weekly meeting to talk about anything business related. This is also our time to check in and discuss business, goals, savings, and planning for our future. Here's the important part....take this meeting outside the home. My husband and I are going to a coffee shop and spending about an hour discussing our business. As time goes on, it'll be about a 30 minute meeting. It removes this vibe out of the home. Not that this talk has to be negative by any means. We left our last meeting so invigorated and happy because it made our plans clear and more important than if it was discussed in the kitchen while cooking.
Ask permission. So many times we catch ourselves just blurting out what's on our mind and all of a sudden you're spiraling into business talk again. It can be a hard habit to break if you've been doing it for a while. Make a conscience decision to break this habit. Write it down so you don't forget what you want to discuss. Sometimes the other person is in the middle of doing something and they aren't in the right mindset to discuss that right now! I realize that it's not always practical to schedule an official meeting if you have one quick question, etc. Sometimes you do need to talk business right now. In those instances, ask permission. Simply say, "Hey, is it okay if we talk about this...." By doing this, the other person can choose if this is the right time, and usually adjust and give the other person their undivided attention... instead of half listening while doing something else. This is a good time to go into that home office for a quick chat or go for a walk. Walking and talking is an excellent way to talk about things. Ladies....this is a great way to talk to your husbands who don't usually like having "talks". :)
I hope this helps you as much as it's helped us. I'd like to thank Dr. Baker of New Beginnings, our life coach, who helped us realize how important this is. Take business talk outside the home. Be home when you're home. That's your time. Hold each other accountable and have fun with this. I'd love to hear your ideas of how YOU keep your work and home separate.
-photo credit at top: found via Pinterest, originally from love and literature