You might be the most professional Assistant in the biz, someone who works hard to keep their personal life as far away from their professional life as possible, but throughout your career (of all our careers) inevitably something will happen to make the two collide. That is how life works – we never know what it is going to throw at us. So dealing with personal issues at work is something that we will all have to face at some point. Learning how to keep personal issues from creating a negative impact at work will help in the long run. Here are eight tips that I have put into use in my career that will help you stay focused at work and avoid burnout.

Dealing with personal issues 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 entirely focused on your work now is an excellent 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’ve been burning the candle at both ends, then you need to realise that partying hard outside of work is going to impact your time in the office. If you are suffering, 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. 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 counselling. I’ve used the hotline a few times, and it does help. Even if the information 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 do need time off work to get your issues resolved do take time off that you need. 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!

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