This is a question I have faced many times during my career. Your personal life can affect your work in so many ways, it could be anything from a few late nights that make you feel tired in the office to have real stress at home that really does impact your performance. How do you stop what is happening at home from interfering with your office persona?

Here are a few of my tips if you ever feel less than 100% at work…

  1. Try to use work as a distraction from what is happening at home by really getting stuck into the tasks you have. If you are not fully focussed on your work now is a good time to do the jobs you have been putting off because they are a bit dull. Do you have any filing or a load of photocopying to do? Use this time to get those basic tasks out of the way.
  2. If you are not very busy at work this is the time to get busy. Ask to sit in on meetings or do errands for other members of staff, anything to keep your mind off of your problems at home. Concentrating on other things can quite often cure the little worries you have in your personal life and put things into perspective.
  3. Do talk to your trusted colleagues at work but try to keep this restricted to lunchtime or over a coffee away from the office. It is good to talk through your problems and they may be able to help you with your work but don’t make this a regular occurrence as you don’t want to be seen to be too reliant on your colleagues.
  4. If you are “tired” and by tired I think you know what I mean! Remember you only have to get through 8 hours at the most. Drink lots of coffee, take regular breaks, go straight home after work and have an early night!
  5. Can you talk to your manager? If so do. I’ve had times that I’ve needed to speak to my boss and explain why I’m not performing to my best. They had noticed and appreciated my honesty. In fact my manager said I could leave early and get my issues sorted at home and start again tomorrow. It helped greatly.
  6. Quite a lot of companies I’ve worked for have offered support through a helpline which covers quite a few issues from money problems, to legal advice to counseling. I’ve used the helpline a few times and it does help. Even if they advice is a bit generic it can point you in the right direction.
  7. Plan something nice for the weekend ahead even if it is time spent in your home relaxing. If home is the problem try to go out or do something that makes you feel relaxed. Trying to get the most out of your weekend will mean you can feel refreshed once you are back in the office on Monday.
  8. If you really do need time off work to get your issues resolved do take the time out. Take a personal day, a holiday or phone in sick. If you need the time away from the office urgently then your manager should understand. If they don’t then I believe that says a lot more about the company ethos towards its staff than you!

It is important I think to keep your work life and personal life separate and sometimes this simply means putting on a brave face and getting on with the day. If, however, you are overwhelmed with your personal life do try to talk to your manager or HR. If it is not a regular occurrence your company should understand and help you and provide good support.

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