You probably already know the rule that you shouldn’t take your problems home from work. But what do we do when our troubles from home follow us to work?
Even though it sounds easy enough, the reality is that sometimes it can be difficult to create a separation between what happens at home and what happens in your professional life when you’re going through a divorce.
A divorce not only kills the romance, but it can also disrupt you at work and in other aspects of your life. What’s more, a divorce isn’t only a breakup. It represents the end of something that used to be beautiful. It is perfectly natural to feel hurt during this period of your life as you take the time to heal.
How to Stay Focused at Work When You’re Going Through a Divorce
It is very easy to tell yourself that you will keep things private during your divorce and not let your colleagues find out about your drama. It is common for a divorce to take a toll on your productivity, which means that you should use the help of the people around you to get better.
Statistics say that the companies pay on average $83,000 per year on employee divorces. Moreover, when there is also a child involved, the custody disputes can increase the cost incurred by an organization. The employees may ask for more days off to deal with their divorce disputes and they can also develop stress-related health problems.
If you are having trouble surviving a day at work because of your divorce, here are some tips that might help you out during this difficult time.
Talk to your boss about your divorce – and about what you can commit to at work
When you are going through a crisis, it is inevitable that your productivity will take a dive. If you are stressed about what is going on in your personal life, it is perfectly normal for your energy, performance, and availability to suffer. This is why you cannot keep your situation a secret. This is why you should consider speaking to your boss, who may be able to help you during this difficult time.
Ask yourself these two questions:
- Will your boss understand your situation?
- Are you comfortable discussing your personal problems with your boss?
There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. You might be surprised to find that your boss will help and support you during this time. If you openly discuss what you are going through with your boss, you will build a more trusting relationship with him or her.
Remember: before you discuss your situation with your boss, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to ask him or her as well as what you can commit to. Even though you are going through a challenging time, your employer will still expect things of you.
Organize your schedule well when you’re going through a divorce
As your personal routine starts to change, it is absolutely normal for your habits at work to change too. For example, if you used to call or text your ex during the day, you will have to find something else to do instead. Whenever you feel like picking up the phone, you can stand up and drink a glass of water or go to a colleague’s desk and ask him or her how their day is going.
At the end of each workday, you can also note down what your priorities are for the following day. This will keep you productive and keep your mind busy.
On the other hand, if you used to go out with your partner after work, then this is the moment to bond with your colleagues even more. For instance, you can schedule movie nights or go out to dinner with your co-workers. You can also keep yourself busy with other activities that will help you heal faster. This way, you will have less time to think about your past relationship.
Work can be a distraction
You can overcome tough moments with work, but always focus on work and recovery in a healthy way. If you focus on work and forget about yourself and your own wellbeing, then you may be taking things too far. You need to go through the motions of a breakup and give yourself time to heal and start all over again.
Your job can be a distraction which can keep your mind busy — but always make sure you are taking the time to fully understand and accept what happened so that you can move on.
You don’t need to throw yourself completely into work. If you want to forget about what you are going through, you can focus on your professional life while still keeping some limits. Keep your mind busy by communicating with your colleagues at work and getting involved in office activities. You can also switch off your phone and ignore any messages coming from outside while you are at work. This way, you can give yourself a pause and detach from all the worries that wait for you at home.
Reorganize your desk
There is no doubting that a divorce can turn a person’s life upside down. Just as all the things in your house remind you of your ex, the things you keep at your desk may remind you of him or her too. You may have many photos from holidays or even small souvenirs that remind you of the moments you spent together. The way you keep your things organized on your desk may even remind you of the routine you had before the separation.
So, if you want to put an end to all of this, you will need to reorganize your life and everything around you. Your desk and office will have to go through some transformations as well. Do exactly what you feel you need to do as long (as it doesn’t violate your company’s policies, of course!). Replace pictures of your ex or the two of you as a couple with pictures of your children, friends, or pets. Add a couple of potted plants or perhaps a print that makes your happy. Take this as an opportunity to “remodel” your desk, office, and finally, your life.
Get through your divorce the right way. You are starting a new chapter of your life, so you should surround yourself with positive things that keep you energetic and motivated.
In theory, this all sounds easy — but the reality is, it can be very hard. Although these tips won’t get you over your divorce completely, they are great steps to take to help you get back on track.
Remember: you will have moments when you will feel overwhelmed. The best thing you can do in those moments is to relax and take a few deep breaths. Life can be difficult sometimes, but you should always remember that you are strong enough to get through this tough time.
Erica Sunarjo graduated from South Texas College majoring in Marketing and Creative Writing. She used her knowledge to make a difference in the realm of business copywriting and invested heavily in traveling and language learning. Erica is currently fluent in French and Spanish, studying Chinese, and working her way to being a multilingual copywriter. She keeps track of the latest trends in IT and technologies, blogs about efficient strategies in education and business coaching, and holds educational webinars. Right now, Erica is the most effective writer in The Word Point.