Being a hard worker is a good thing, but sometimes that valuable quality has an evil twin—and its name is Workaholic.
When you start giving up sleep and food for more meetings and projects, it’s been proven that your productivity and sometimes even your health can start to slip. However, there is one good thing that comes from being a workaholic: you can take those traits and use them to improve your relationship.
Here are six ways to do just that:
1. First to arrive, last to leave.
Getting to work early allows you to get stuff done without interruptions from chatty co-workers, while staying late can give you a head-start on tomorrow’s goals. This kind of mentality can also be good for your relationship.
If you have a date planned with your partner, get there early. Whether it’s ordering drinks before he or she arrives at the restaurant or finding the best seats in the movie theater, showing up before the agreed upon time and having a few surprises ready shows you really care about having a good date night.
2. Working through lunch.
Eating lunch at your desk while you finish that next assignment might not be the best idea (you actually don’t get as much work done, you’re more stressed, etc.), but it is a good concept to use in your relationship.
Just like you might have tunnel vision for finishing the proposal that’s due at 5 p.m., you should have that same dedication when you want to get to the next step in your relationship, whether it’s moving in together, getting married, having children or any other big milestone.
3. Answering work calls or emails 24/7.
Let’s face it: Most workaholics sleep with their cell phones on their nightstands, if not in their beds. There’s barely a time when they’re not connected to technology, and communication is always open when it comes to work. It should be the same way in your relationship.
Responding to texts and calls from your SO as soon as possible shows you want to hear what they have to say. Talking about any problems you’re having, where the relationship is going, how you’re feeling, etc. is vital to any successful partnership.
4. Not taking any time off.
Going months without a day off or years without a vacation is an obvious sign that you’re committed to your career, but why not have that same kind of commitment for your relationship?
Instead of separating, try to work through your problems together. This doesn’t mean you can’t take a few days to think about things on your own, but an honest two-way conversation is what will bring you two back together.
5. Putting work ahead of everything else.
It’s common for people to put work first during their 20s and early 30s, which is a great way to start your career off right. The same mindset can grow your relationship.
There comes a point in every relationship when you’ll need to put your partner in the #1 spot and put everyone else behind them, except any children you may have. This doesn’t mean your family and friends aren’t important, but to build a strong union, sometimes you’ll have to keep outside influences from interfering.
6. Doing all the work yourself.
People in leadership positions, in the hopes of getting the job done quickly and correctly, often will take on all the work themselves instead of delegating tasks to their colleagues. When you think about it, this risks managers eventually feeling overwhelmed and burnt out but it's great in your relationship .
Instead of ordering his or her favorite takeout food delivered, cook the meal yourself. Instead of buying an expensive-but-unsentimental gift, leave your partner a handwritten love note on the bathroom mirror or plan a romantic picnic in your favorite spot. Making considerate gestures like that speaks volumes.
Being a workaholic doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. If you’re driven, dependable and dedicated, not only will you go far in your career, but you’ll also go far in your relationship.
Copyright 2015 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editor.