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Contributed by Heather S.

Work and home life balance, it feels like a never ending battle. It can truly be a struggle, especially with a stressful demanding job that requires long hours. Then you have your home life, kids, pets, etc... All needing your time and attention. It can be frustrating and stressful to know when to draw the line between both. Here are a few tips to help keep the balance.

1. Know when to draw the line

You want to be able to prove that you are reliable and dependable. But remember, no one expects you to be able to do it all. You have to be able to say no and take time for yourself and family. If you find yourself missing more family/personal events because of work, it may just be time to say no. Dedicate as much time as you can, but don’t miss the important/quality times because of work.

2. Don’t bring work home

This can be a very tricky task. With constant access to emails it can be hard to not check on work. Or, if you have a big project coming up it’s hard to not think about it. But by doing these things, you are allowing work to come home with you and distract you. If you are guilty of this try setting goals of not looking at emails after 8pm or something similar. You will become less stressed if you do.

3. The key to productivity: work smarter, not harder

As they say, work smarter not harder! It’s a saying for a reason. That reason is because it works and you become more productive. Here’s some tips on how to do this.

  • Set deadlines for your project and stick to them.
  • Block out time in your day to work on each task and complete it.
  • Use your team for help, they are there to support you.

4. Listen to how you are feeling, physically and mentally

If you are thinking you are too stressed out, you are probably right! But don’t just ignore this problem; address it. Take a break, 10 minutes of mediation or a quick walk around the block can do wonders. Another good practice is to not eat lunch at your desk. It’s too tempting to check on that email that just came in or get something really quick to someone.

5. Use your vacation time

Did you know that in 2017 Americans had 212 million vacation days forfeited! That is unbelievable. It’s your vacation; use it. Go on that trip that you have been talking about, or just take a couple days for yourself to be away from work to spend time with your family or to work on your hobby. You will be more relaxed and productive when you do.