Navigating a long distance relationship isn't always easy, but it's possible. Here's our take on how you can make yours successful.
Are you a single professional, entrepreneur, or executive? Then you’ll know that balancing business success with an active social life can be tough. With the office and dating both requiring you to put the hours in, it can be tricky to know where to apply your energy. Happily, tricky doesn’t mean impossible, especially when you have great work-life balance tips.
And that’s where we can help. EliteSingles is a dating site designed with single professionals in mind, so, more than most, we can appreciate the fine art of finding a work-life balance.
With that in mind, we’ve searched high and low to find the 10 best, practical work-life balance tips that can help you find the success you seek – in your work life and your love life.
10 of the best work-life balance tips
1. Be strict about compartmentalizing your time
Rule number one of finding a work-life balance? Compartmentalize. Even if you’re among the busiest of single executives, start by thinking about your week ahead and planning in some ‘no-work’ hours. During this time, make every effort to resist talking – and even thinking – about work. That means: no checking emails, no taking calls, no chit-chat about deadlines and office politics. If you can, schedule your dates for these hours: the no-work rule will give you the space you need to focus on the romance.
2. When you’re at work, keep socializing on the back burner
The flip side of compartmentalizing is that when you’re at work you need to really work. Close the messaging app that’s letting you flirt with your date online, stop checking out their Twitter, don’t google nice date ideas until your lunch break. This may sound strict, but it’s a good way to make sure that your productivity is at its peak. And that will allow you to dismiss those pesky feelings of guilt that can surface when you follow the advice in tip 1.
3. Cut the ties to your desk – or at least make them more flexible
Another way to streamline your life is to work out what parts of your day are being eaten up by ‘dead’ time. If, for instance, your work day includes a lengthy commute, a great work-life balance tip can be to take advantage of modern tech and work from home one or two days a week. That way, rather than sitting on a train or in traffic, you’ll have a few more hours a week to work on your dating profile and prepare for your upcoming dates (or even just relax!).
4. Use technology to meet people on your schedule
Home office not an option? Start thinking about how you can fit the search for love around your existing schedule. Gone are the days when dating meant waiting for a friend to introduce you to someone new – instead, the unstoppable rise of online dating means that you can browse for a match at a time that suits you. You don’t even need to be at your desktop: download our streamlined iOS/Android dating app and you can look for a match on your commute, or while waiting for your morning coffee. Make those spare moments work for you!
5. Think about the language you use in your dating profile
If you’ve managed to carve out some time to get online and look for a partner, then make the most of it! Career-driven people like single entrepreneurs and single lawyers so often shoot themselves in the foot by using language like ‘I don’t have time to date’ or ‘my schedule is crazy’ – this may feel like honesty, but all it does is tell would-be suitors that they’ll never be a priority. A better approach is to tell the world (and yourself) that you’re aiming for a work-life balance: admit that you’re passionate about your job but also talk about how you like to unwind, and the things that take your mind off work.1
6. Don’t think that you have to pursue every lead
You may have heard that it’s best to say yes to every opportunity, just in case. Yet, while this can work, it’s more often a recipe for stress and indecision, especially when it comes to making choices on a tight schedule. What’s more, a phenomenon called the paradox of choice says that more options lead to less satisfaction. To have more balance then, know that it’s ok to say no. Rather than trying to skim-read a bunch of dating profiles, for instance, restrict yourself to just a few each day, giving yourself the time to really think about potential compatibility.2
7. Lunch dates and coffee dates are your friends
Another top work-life balance tip is to break away from date nights. When your schedule is hectic, sometimes you just don’t have any more energy at the end of the day to head out for a dinner date. If that’s the case, why not suggest a lunch date? Pick the right restaurant and lunch can be just as romantic as dinner! Another great, quick option is a coffee date. Not only is it the perfect way to test out an online spark, it’s our members’ favorite first date option.
8. Keep seeing platonic friends who aren’t involved with your work or love life
It’s important to remember that work-life balance is not a simple duality – you need to make room for friends and family too. A great tip is to spend a night out with your friends, no work and/or dating talk allowed. You’ll soon find that getting out of that work/dating zone, even for just a night, will remind just how rich your single life is – in turn reminding you that you want business and romantic success to add to your happiness, not be the reason for it.
9. Make time for it to be just about you
Whether you’re a single farmer, a single cop, or a single doctor, you’ll know that success at work requires putting in long hours. Success in love needs date nights (or lunches!). Success with friends and family means time spent on those relationships. Forgotten anything? Well, how about you? If you’re seeking a better work-life balance, it’s vital to leave some time at the end of the day for yourself. Take time to exercise, relax, and cook a healthy dinner; for keeping up a busy schedule is so much easier when you’re feeling fighting fit.
10. Want to find a match? Decide that dating is a priority
Some say that love comes when you least expect it. Yet, if you applied that logic to any other area of life, you’d get a lot of side-eye. For example, if you want a promotion, you don’t just do nothing and wait for it to happen – instead you put the work in, then put yourself out there.
Dating and love are the same. If you want results, sitting back won’t help. It’s far better to admit that finding love is a goal and thus, the best results come to those who make an effort and get out of their comfort zones. Admit to yourself that love is a priority, and you’ll find it’s easier to justify putting in the effort needed for success. And, if you’re still finding it hard to get motivated, tell a good friend about your search – sometimes we all need a cheerleader in our corner (or at least someone who will help us choose between promising dating profiles!). 3
Juggling work deadlines and the search for love is not the easiest task. But, rather than let yourself get overwhelmed, know that it can be done, especially when you follow these top work-life balance tips. By admitting to yourself that both your job and your love life are priorities, you’ll be able to create a schedule where time is set aside for success in both fields. Just don’t forget to add a little ‘me time’ into the mix – after all, your happiness is priority #1.
1 Tara Weiss, writing for Forbes, 2009. How Can You Date When You Work Around The Clock?. Found at https://www.forbes.com/2009/03/17/work-life-dating-leadership-careers-advice.html
2 Melissa Schneider, writing for Science of Relationships, 2012. So Many Fish in the (Online) Dating Sea: Is All This Choice a Good Thing? Found at http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2012/5/22/so-many-fish-in-the-online-sea-is-all-this-choice-a-good-thi.html
3 Monica Gabriel Marshall, writing for Verily Magazine, 2014. How To Make Time To Date When You Think You’re Too Busy. Found at: https://verilymag.com/2014/10/entrepreneurs-find-time-to-date