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How Marriage Affects Your Leadership at Work (and What to Do About It)

How Marriage Affects Your Leadership at Work (and What to Do About It)

Has anyone ever told you that mixing your professional and personal life is a bad idea? I’m sure this bit of advice might be familiar to you, and to a certain extent, it is true. However, there is no way around the fact that the strength of your marriage affects your leadership at work. Read on to learn the five common qualities of effective leaders and loving partners that you can apply for a happier home and more productive workplace.

Building Trust

Transparency is key to earning the trust of your spouse and team. If you are a part of a marriage that is built on lies and deception, don’t be surprised when this atmosphere of distrust follows you to the office. If you want to inspire confidence in your leadership ability, earning the trust of your team is step one. And if you can’t earn the trust of your partner, do you think you will be able to earn trust as a leader at work? I don’t like your odds.

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Accepting Criticism

No one likes to be nagged by their partner, but the best way to improve your relationship is to accept feedback, be it positive or negative, and use that information to improve yourself. Instead of getting upset when you get criticized, be thankful that your partner is honest enough to tell you how it is.

Would you rather they say nothing about a problem, potentially turning what could be a brief squabble into a relationship-ending argument? An inability to accept criticism at home could easily affect your leadership at work. The best and brightest leaders are willing to accept their shortcomings. If you don’t admit your faults, your team will lose confidence in your ability to lead. Accept criticism in your stride to earn the trust of your partner and continuously improve your leadership ability at work.

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Effective Communication 

An inability to communicate is a leading cause of divorce and a glaring weakness that affects your leadership at work. Speaking your thoughts and ideas does not guarantee your words will elicit the desired effect from your spouse or team members. If you have ever sent a text to your partner that caused a fight due to a simple misunderstanding, you know the meaning of your words can easily get lost in translation. To be a strong communicator at work and at home, ask yourself, “How can I explain this issue in a way that the other person can understand and relate to?” The impact of word choice cannot be overstated, so choose your words wisely.

Delivering Praise

When is the last time your told your spouse how beautiful or handsome they are? An ability to communicate praise in your marriage affects your leadership at work because your team also thrives on praise and positive feedback. If you neglect to remind your partner of the things about them that you adore, don’t be surprised when they start to feel neglected and unappreciated. And if you don’t praise your employees for their qualities, you can look forward to decreased workplace satisfaction and employee morale. There are few things that excite a person more than a genuine compliment, so build up your spouse and employees at every opportunity if you want a happy marriage and productive team.

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Active Listening

Great talkers are high in number, but great listeners are few and far between. An ability to actively listen to your partner with empathy and understanding is not only a key to a fulfilling marriage but also affects your leadership at work. Be aware that both your spouse and employees could struggle to find the best words to express their thoughts and feelings.

Engage eye contact and ask follow-up questions such as, “Are you saying ________?” or “What do you mean by ________?” Asking questions will avoid misunderstanding and show the other person that you care about their feelings.

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Now What?

What you experience at home has a tendency to follow you to the office, so apply these concepts today if you want to be an effective leader and loving partner. You also might want to check out this article which will show you five ways to build stronger relationships at work and at home.

I would love to hear what you think, so please comment below with your thoughts about how marriage affects your leadership at work!

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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