Many people experience work-related stress after struggling to balance their time. While working long hours each week may be beneficial in the short-term, the longer-term effects are likely to be negative and could prove potentially harmful to your health, as well as your personal life.

If this sounds familiar, following the ten below tips could help you to restore some balance:

Leave work at the office 

Taking your laptop or work phone home can bring the temptation to continue tasks. This could stop your home from feeling like a place of sanctuary, instead running the risk of merging the two locations. Making the effort to leave work at the office could really help you to relax in the evening, but if you really need to continue at home, you could practice keeping work-related technology switched off until you absolutely need to use it.

Go home on time

Similarly, leaving work on time could help to earn back some me-time. Even if it isn’t possible every day, choosing a couple of days a week where you wrap everything up before finishing time can ensure that you spend more time in the evening enjoying yourself, without having to worry about your work.

Consider shorter hours or working part-time

Working part-time isn’t for everyone, whether for financial reasons or personal, but doing so could help to free up extra down-time. If possible, you could speak to your boss about whether part-time hours or flexi-time are options – you could always work longer hours for four days per week, and have an extra day off each week to help you recharge.

Learn to say “no”

Many who find themselves with an unmanageable workload often struggle to say “no” to taking on a task. In many cases, this stems from a fear of it having a negative impact on their career. On the contrary, too much work could actually stifle your productivity, so next time you get asked to do something you don’t have time for, you could always consider saying “no” and, if possible, delegating the task to someone else.

Organise and prioritise

When you consider how much time we dedicate to work compared to our free time, the ratio can be surprisingly unfair. Why not try making a list of what you want to achieve in both scenarios, and prioritise your tasks to make sure that the most important things always get done, without compromising something else?

Take up a hobby

It’s important to think about something else other than work, and taking up a hobby could allow you to do this. Whether it involves going to the gym or learning to play a musical instrument, you could find yourself able to take your mind away from work by immersing yourself in something completely different.

Make time for loved ones

It isn’t always easy to make sure that we spend quality time with our family every night of the week. However, making time, and organising catch-ups with friends can help to offer some perspective on what is important in life, and distract from work stresses.

Plan something to look forward to

Whether it’s a two week family holiday in the sun, or a trip to a concert with some friends, having something to look forward to could help your time at work to feel like less of a slog, and provide a light at the end of the 9 – 5 tunnel.

Use your holiday allowance

 It can be easy to forget about that all-important holiday allowance during busy periods, but booking time away from work could help to recharge your batteries and give you time to sort out any personal admin.

Consider your career choices

If you feel like you are spending more time worrying about work than enjoying it, then maybe you could reconsider your career choices. If you are financially secure it could be a good idea to consider looking for something else, but if you like the company you work for, why not speak to someone about moving into a different area of the business?

Alternatively, is there an option to set up on your own? While this option requires a lot preparation and commitment, it could be a good option for those who are secure enough to make a big new change.

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Alan Cleaver / Flickr.com