Sometimes, it can feel like work is taking over our lives. We all want to do well in our careers but that sometimes mean that we neglect our personal lives in order to work hard and get ahead. However, this can do more harm than good, leading to stress, depression, and burnout in the worst-case scenarios. It’s far healthier to strike a balance between work and personal life, and actually you may find that when both sides of your life are in harmony, you’re more productive, more successful and ultimately more happy.

So, how do you strike a good work-life balance? Here are a few ideas to explore:

Consider Flexible Work

More and more companies are allowing staff to work flexibly, and if you’re in the UK, you have the right to apply for flexible working. Flexible working will give you more freedom to organise your life as you see fit, so you can see your kids school play without having to take a day’s annual leave or attend that early morning yoga class and not have to rush to work shattering the calm that you’ve just cultivated. There is a lot of flexible working advice out there if you’re unsure of the procedure, and it can be helpful to consider your options. If 9-5 doesn’t currently work for you, it might be the best answer.

Pursue a Job You Love

A good way to strike a better balance in your life is to find a job you love. When you’re doing a job you live, it doesn’t really feel like work at all, so even if you do end up putting in a few more hours than you really should, you won’t feel hard done by – you’ll be up every morning with a spring in your step. Yes, you may need to retrain in order to find the right job, but if you’re up for a challenge, it could be the best thing you ever do.

Say No More Often

Lots of us want to please at home and at work so we end up saying yes to requests that we really should decline. This has led to many bosses taking advantage of their employees by piling more and more unpaid overtime onto them. There is no reason why you should not say no to the extra work if you don’t want to do it or you have other priorities, and the same goes for requests from family and friends. Don’t feel guilty – you need to put your own health and wellbeing first. That’s not to say that you should never help anyone out but really think about your decisions before saying yes.

Switch Off Your Phone

Unless it’s in your contract that you must be available outside of working hours, start switching off your phone more in the evenings. Those work emails will still be there in the morning and you’ll be able to deal with them much more effectively if you’ve had some time off.

Find the right balance and your work and home life will benefit immensely.