Achieving work life balance can be difficult enough, but the challenge can increase exponentially when you travel, especially if you have to travel consistently or for long periods of time. Having a balanced home life when you travel for work is not impossible, however, just highly challenging.
Here are five keys to balancing your home life when you have to travel for work.
1. Be fully present when you are at home
While your family, friends, and loved ones may understand that you can’t be present when you have to travel, what they can’t accept is you not being fully present even when you are with them. No matter how demanding your job is, if you purposefully schedule time each day to be fully present with your loved ones when you are home, they will most likely deal far better with your absence when you are traveling.
2. Stay in contact when you are away
Regardless of whether you travel internationally for business or are a long-haul trucker for C.R. England, there are an infinite number of ways to stay connected with your loved ones when you are away. More than anything, your loved ones want to know that they are important to you and that they are not “out of sight, out of mind.”
Whether it’s a simple text message to let your loved ones know you have arrived or a video chat with your kids each night before bedtime, make an extra effort to stay connected when you can’t be present.
3. Stay involved
It’s hard enough to remember events like birthdays, anniversaries, or other important milestones when you are around others that can remind you of them, but when you are traveling it can be even harder. This is where it is so important to set reminders to help keep you involved in the lives of your loved ones.
If you can’t be there for a recital, big game, graduation or engagement party, at the very least you can send a word of encouragement, a gift, or just a quick note to show you remembered.
4. Limit your social life when traveling
Traveling can be lonely. That makes it quite natural to seek out companionship when you are traveling. But developing relationships when traveling can actually hinder your attempts to remain connected at home. When you travel and your heart pulls you toward home, it creates a pang or an ache. Traveling companions diminish that ache, but they also diminish the pull towards home, making you less connected.
5. Stay focused and disciplined
Goals, routine, and discipline are going to be your best tools for combatting the loneliness that traveling can create. Ultimately, most people have a big-picture reason for doing the work they do that is often connected in some way to their loved ones. Whatever your reasons are, staying focused on those goals can help you stay connected to your loved ones even when traveling.
The biggest key to achieving balance is staying connected. This can be difficult when you travel, but not impossible. Staying connected isn’t just something you do for your loved ones, it can be one of the best things you can do for yourself. Loneliness is a form of disconnection. The stronger you keep your connections, the less lonely you will feel when you are away.
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