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Why One Partner Needs to Go Out and Work

Why One Partner Needs to Go Out and Work
Office Computer

    With the rat race catching up and both the partners in a relationship slogging to make ends meet, don’t you wish that you would be able to work from home where both of you could spend as much time as you want to with each other? Well, if you have such desires and thoughts, it is highly recommended that you think through the various consequences of the whole situation before you decide to take the step.

    I have been working from home for the past 7 years but did not really realize anything till my in laws came over for a visit. Over the years, my social circle had been shrinking but I had not given it too much thought. Given that I am not the kind of person who would go out of my way to make friends, I realized that the office friends dropped and no new ones were made. The whole thing came crumbling down when we had a son and I ended up spending time with him post my working hours. The precipitating factor was the visit of my in laws when my wife and son spent a lot of time with them and I ended up feeling neglected and alone. It almost seemed as if my son and wife did not notice me or give any credence to my presence.

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    A little introspection made me realize why this was happening. The fact of the matter is that absence does make the heart grow fonder. There have been no times when my wife waits for me to return from a tired day at work. I am just always there! There is no thrill of taking a day off from work to do some of the household chores that have piled up or the excitement about saving time on a weekend to complete the shopping that we intended to do. Due to constant presence of the other person, we had probably got too used to being around.

    It is important that we realize that change is something that humans need. It rejuvenates and brings you out of the dreary boredom of regulated life. And if you are always busy on your computer day in and day out without moving out and meeting other people, you will soon become a recluse. Once you achieve what you want, the object looses its charm and attraction and that is exactly what happens when you stay with each other all the time.

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    But this does not mean doom for couples that have work that requires them to be at home. It is just that you need to realize that there are certain steps that you need to take to ensure that you keep the excitement alive in your life.

    Explore the option of taking up a part time job so that you can be away from home for a little while for a few days in a week. This will ensure that you shall also look forward to your time out, meeting people other than your wife and kids. It does not matter what the job is. Try teaching, giving tuitions, doing some administrative work or the like. You could also consider other things to do that take you out of the home environment. Take up a new hobby that requires you to go to classes every week. If you are already making money out of what your hobby was, try taking up a new one. Hobby classes are a good place to socialize and make friends. And this will give you a chance to meet people with similar taste and interact.

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    The idea basically is that if you have work that keeps you at home, choose hobbies that take you out of the house. Make efforts to meet more people and don’t restrict your perspective by staying at home and in front of the computer all the time.

    Vishal P. Rao runs the Work at Home Forum, an online community of those who work from home.

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    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    The Gentle Art of Saying No

    No!

    It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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    But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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    What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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    But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

    1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
    2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
    3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
    4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
    5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
    6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
    7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
    8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
    9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
    10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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