Has Your Personal Life Interfered With Your Work Life?

Empowering Extraordinary During a scheduled coaching call, the CEO asked me, “can you help me when my personal life comes to work with me and interferes with my performance? I had a scuffle with my spouse this morning and am struggling with focusing at work.” I smiled inside as I could relate to this very real dilemma. Through my own experiences of this quandary, I developed some techniques that were helpful.

How many of us have struggled with the same issue? Stress as home can impact our performance. Depending upon the severity, here are some suggestions on how to regain your workplace mindset.

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  • I recommend, using some form of meditation app. Many of my clients have taken my Stress pinned on noticeboardsuggestion and use Headspace and enjoy this app. Another software program is emwave from HeartMath. HearMath has developed programs to help you get out of your head and into the heart. Taking 10 minutes to “clear your head” by using a meditation app promotes calmness, clarity, flexibility, and adaptability. (I highly recommend both of these as I have used them for several years).
  • After your 10 minute meditation, create a list of tasks that need to be accomplished from the most important and immediate first, to the least and can wait item. Often, when we are overwhelmed with emotions, it is hard to decide where to begin. Performing this exercise brings your mind into a framework to start working and in an organized fashion.
  • Decide to concentrate and devote 45 minutes to the first task. Breaking up the work in these increments gives you a feeling of control and makes the task appear more manageable. Try to eliminate any distractions so that you can dive in and apply yourself fully. During your break, take time to walk around, talk with a peer, and inquire how they are doing so that you are “other” focused. Take time to notice something about them or their work and then pay them a compliment or an appreciation. Being “other” focused in this manner takes you out of the emotional part of the brain and gives you a sense of wellbeing.
  • If the situation is severe and overwhelming to the degree that you know you cannot focus on work, talk to HR or your superior or text your coach, and decide if taking a personal day is more productive. At times the issue is more than we can handle and we all need to talk through challenging personal issues.
  • Taking care of your-self is important. Plan a massage after work or take your-self out to dinner or meet with a friend. Having something to look forward to can help relieve the stress. [/message][su_spacer]

Maintaining a sense of composure at work during difficult personal challenges can be accomplished. Following the tools I have mentioned can improve your focus and clarity, which will help recover your performance. What I have outlined is a way to discipline the mind. Vince Lombardi explained it best when he wrote, “Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it character in action.”

I appreciate your comments and feedback. Please share techniques that you use that have helped you recover your workplace mindset when your personal life has interfered.

Email me for a complimentary and powerful coaching session. And remember, Success Starts With You!


Melinda Fouts, Ph.D.
Melinda Fouts, Ph.D.
Melinda Fouts, Ph. D., International Executive Coach, Psychotherapist is a select Columnist & Featured Contributor for BIZCATALYST 360° and a Member of the Forbes Coaches Council (comprised of Top coaches offering insights on leadership development & careers), and founder of Success Starts with You. She was recently chosen to receive the Empowered Woman of the Year Award for 2021 given by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP). She also received the honor as the top international coach of the year in 2020 by the IAOTP. She provides visionary leadership in her field and her many credentials prove she has the ability to empower women worldwide. Her exemplary role as a female professional in a male-dominated industry displays her influence, capability, and proficiency. Inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) is an honor in itself, only a few women are chosen for this distinction based on their years of experience, professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, and contributions to their communities. With innovation and compassion, these women empower others to reach their goals, while creating change for future generations. With over 2 decades of professional experience as a business coach and psychotherapist, Dr. Fouts has proven herself as an accomplished professional and expert in the field. As a dynamic, results-driven leader, Dr. Fouts has demonstrated success not only as an Executive Business Coach, but in every role she has held. Prior to executive coaching and leadership development, Melinda has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for over 20 years. She leverages her strengths and insights from her psychology background to help leaders and managers in transition through increased self-awareness. Owner and founder of Success Starts with You, is based upon the premise that you are already successful. Increasing self-awareness to increase emotional intelligence and unlocking blind spots are paramount to continued success. Dr. Fouts leverages her strengths and insights from her psychology background to help leaders and managers in transition through increased self-awareness and discovering their blind spots. It can be lonely at the top and as a thought partner, she makes sure you are not alone. Dr. Fouts’ unique approach from other business coaches is that she helps get rid of thinking and behavioral patterns that tend to keep executives stuck. Her key areas of expertise include but are not limited to: small business consulting, enhancing emotional intelligence, self-awareness, unlocking fullest potential, brainstorming, identifying limitations, challenges, obstacles and optimizing performance. In addition, her successful career as a Psychotherapist and International Executive Business Coach, Dr. Fouts is a sought-after speaker whose key-note address to Women’s Leadership Conferences is Channeling Feminine Power in the Face of Adversity. Her newly released book, Cognitive Enlightenment, was to be presented at the London Book Fair, March 2020, the NY Book Fair, May 2020, and the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2020 until COVID hit. Melinda received her Ph.D. in Jungian Psychology from Saybrook University and her Masters in Psychology from Pacifica University. Melinda has worked as a consultant with executives and businesses for over 20 years. As a result of her experience and studies, she has developed a unique craft to fine-tune leadership development for peak performance. She lives in Colorado with her big, beautiful dog, Stryder. For more information on Dr. Fouts please visit:

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  1. Thanks yet again for another beautifully written article with precise steps to overcome unnecessary stress, Dr. Melinda!

    The technique that I have used, more often than not, is to read books or articles written by someone other than myself. It helps me divert my attention immediately and I feel enriched by some additional ideas and/or information that I never knew about.

    I try to avoid confrontation in my personal life as much as possible. However, it does not mean I just give in to wrong acts or thoughts, plans or deeds. I make my point in understandable terms to get the other person consider my opinion in the light it deserves.

    Meditation is an elixir we can never take too much of. Depending upon a specific situation, the solution could be as simple as drinking a glass of cold water, or if at home, taking a shower . Once refreshed, your own mindset adjusts to the situation and you can have a broader outlook. At work, empathy works best. Give the other person a patient hearing until his/her peeve or rant is all blown out. Then start dissecting the same piece by piece and that helps make them turn around.

  2. Great points Melinda, I can relate to “perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in.” I remember an email message I received from the President of a Company I was interested in representing ‘I have the greatest admiration and respect for the fact that you were able to deal with such profound and significant family issues while maintaining your commitment to work and your employers.” Its not easy but its possible. No one wants to take time away from work but sometimes it is needed to deal with commitments, especially related to loss of life. Everyone deals with loss differently and understanding on the part of the employer is of equal importance in the healing process.  

    • What a wonderful observation and compliment for you, Suzana! Managing a family loss is difficult and it takes more than 3 corporate days to grieve.