5 Ways Your Personal Life Affects Professional Performance

Believe it or not, but what happens in your personal life has an effect on other areas of your life, namely, your work. The idea of compartmentalizing seems great, but it’s hard to just “flip a switch” when you walk into work and forget everything, positive or negative, that’s going on outside of the office.

The idea isn’t to try and push away your personal life when the time comes to work. The more useful approach is to work to change your outlook in such a way that what goes on in your personal life promotes a more productive and positive work environment, and vis versa.

This is easier said than done, of course. You can’t just snap your fingers expect your problems to disappear. Problems, of course, will happen regardless of your intent or outlook. Developing productive ways to solve your problems in a way that enriches your life, however, will give you the skills and outlook to overcome professional challenges.

Whether it’s extenuating circumstances, day-to-day trials, or even your physical health, it’s possible to shape your perspective and your habits in such a way that the things that happen in your life affect you positively. Just as it’s difficult to keep negative personal experiences from seeping into your work life, positive energy from your personal life will inevitably work in your favor at your job.

Below are 5 ways your personal life affects your work life, and some tips on how you can make sure all facets of your life complement each other.

1) Personal Events Can Become a Distraction

It could be something as simple as getting a notification that the package you ordered has arrived or something as drastic as the beginning—or ending—of a relationship. Regardless of what’s going on in your life, it’s hard to keep it from crossing your mind while you’re at work.

If you have something positive in your life, let it buoy you up. If there’s something negative dragging you down, let it educate you and give you the chance to better understand that others around your office may be having their work performance affected by outside events as well.

2) Your Physical Health Can Disrupt Your Productivity

Have you ever gone to work sick? It’s hard to maintain the same, high level of productivity when an illness is weighing you down. It’s not that you’re putting in less effort, it’s just that the normal level of effort you put in doesn’t get you as far as it normally would.

While it’s impossible to completely prevent illness, there is a lot you can do in your personal life to elevate your physical health and protect yourself against work-slowing sickness. For some useful advice, check out the blog of Aimee Tariq. She’s put together a wealth of advice, tailored specifically to helping professionals maximize personal health in order to improve their careers.

3) Your Personal Areas of Focus Dictate Your Professional Demeanor

Where you choose to spend your personal time is often very telling as to how you’ll perform at work. This isn’t to say that you should spend every waking hour doing job-related tasks, but rather that you should be mindful of where your attention is drawn when you have free time.

Whether it be at home, with friends, or even sitting in the car on the way to and from work, try and find ways to edify yourself without overextending yourself. This can be something as simple as finding a great book to read, pursuing an active hobby like hiking or exercise, or even putting on an engaging podcast when you’re sitting in traffic. This will direct your thoughts to productive areas, and make it easier for you to focus on your job when the time comes.

4) Your Activity Levels at Home Affect Your Energy at Work

While you should be working to maintain productive personal habits, you should also do your best to make sure that you don’t spread yourself too thin. As you get to know yourself and what makes you tick, you should learn when you need to just relax.

Having a productive hobby is great, but some nights, rather than working on your novel or making sure that you’ve gotten your step count in for the day, it’s better to just rest.

5) Your Care for Four Personal Life Affects Your Work Performance

It can be easy to forget that there’s more to life than work. In a day and age where people are devoting more time to their jobs than ever before, a disregard for your personal affairs can degrade your work performance. Just as you shouldn’t overextend yourself outside of work, you shouldn’t overwork yourself at the office.

It’s not lazy to say that you shouldn’t be spending every night working, or that you’d like to occasionally enjoy some personal time. In fact, it’s healthy, and will ultimately end up benefitting your work performance. Don’t place your personal life on the backburner for the sake of your job—you’ll just be digging yourself into a hole, and the quality of your work will end up suffering.

There’s no way to strike a perfect balance between your personal life and your work life, and truly, there doesn’t need to be. Let each facet of your life inform the others, and strive to be positive and productive no matter where you are. If you can maintain this outlook, your lifestyle and your work life will complement each other.

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