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6 Ways to Make Coworking With Your Significant Other More Manageable from Real Simple

Struggling to balance working side-by-side with a partner? Real Simple magazine recently asked Healthy Minds NYC how to navigate co-working from home with a partner during quarantine. Check out the article below for tips on how to make co-working more manageable with a significant other.

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Moving in with your significant other isn’t always easy. Between divvying up the chores, scoring some alone time, and dealing with each other’s foibles, cohabitating with another person (especially the person you love) requires a lot of patience and compromise. As if that isn’t challenging enough, many people are suddenly forced to put working from home tips into practice—right next to their partner.

Spending every waking (and, honestly, sleeping) moment with your S.O. sounds like a lot of quality time, but when you factor in your to-do list, string of deadlines, and inevitable work stress? Well, we finally understand what Pat Benatar meant by love is a battlefield. (As if any of us needed social distancing relationship challenges on top of coronavirus stress.)

 

But just because you’re cooped up with your partner in your home office for the foreseeable future doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. To help, several relationship experts shared their tips on how to make cohabiting and coworking at the same time more manageable. You don’t have to be in a relationship to learn something new from these great relationship tips. You can also apply them to sheltering in place and physical or social distancing with your roommate, best friend, or family members.

1. START THE DAY ON THE RIGHT FOOT

Once upon a time—you know, back when you didn’t work from home—it’s likely you and your significant other had a structured morning routine. You knew when you had to wake up, who needed the bathroom first, and who was responsible for making the coffee.

But as most of us are hitting the snooze button more times than we’d like to admit and clocking into work the moment we wake up, it’s possible your morning routine has been thrown out the window. Translation? Since your day is starting in chaos, it’s all too easy to wake up already annoyed at your significant other.

According to relationship expert Glennon Gordon, it’s important to start the day on a positive note. “Make it a point to begin your day with a positive intention toward your spouse or partner,” she says. “If we start off our day viewing our significant other in a positive light versus a negative one, our chances of harmonious living will increase.”

As Gordon puts it, simply acknowledging that your partner is ultimately your teammate and doing their best during this time can help you stay grounded and positive throughout the day.

2. SHARE YOUR SCHEDULE

Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’ve put your hustle on hold. Many people are still clocking in full workdays, complete with deadlines and conference calls. Very few things can derail your own productivity—or, honestly, grind your gears—like having your partner try to make small talk throughout the day while you’re meeting-hopping

Want to complete your to-do list without losing your cool? Whether you have a big conference call that requires no interruptions or are on deadline, share your schedule with your partner.

“When we ask for what we need, we give our partner a clear roadmap for how to best support us and show us love,” says Chanel Dokun, relationship expert and co-founder of Healthy Minds NYC.

Another way to master the work-life balance is to establish working hours.

“Delay personal conversations until you’re outside the work window,” Doku says. “Knowing the edges of personal and professional time can help you avoid the compounding stress that comes from mixing personal irritations with work frustrations.”

Does work begin when you sit down and first open your laptop? Is the workday over when your partner officially kicks off happy hour with that bottle of Chardonnay at 6 p.m.? Creating a schedule—and sticking to it—can help you set boundaries with your relationship and your job.

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