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Striking the right balance between work and home can seem like a big challenge, but it’s not entirely unattainable if you plan ahead and have great time-management skills. Of course, there are many other factors which come into play, such as your support system at home, work culture and company policies. Don’t strive for the perfect schedule; strive for a realistic one. Everybody wants to get the best of both worlds – be it professional or personal, but it’s important that you set a realistic goal about workloads and deadlines. If you are unable to strike a balance between life at work and home, your stress levels are likely to soar and affect every aspect of your life. Also, companies which encourage employees to strike a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible schedules tend to enjoy a higher employee retention rate.

At the end of each day, it’s important that you do some self-reflection and ask yourself these questions: what worked today, what didn’t, what went wrong and how the issue can be resolved? This helps you identify the pattern and avoid those mistakes in future. Here are four tips to help you achieve work-life balance:

Prioritize:  Whenever you are facing a big project at work, start by dividing them into smaller tasks. Reward yourself after completion of each task. If you want to manage the workflow efficiently, learn to prioritize those tasks into these categories:

-Urgent and important

-Important but not urgent

-Neither urgent nor important

Making a to-do-list will also help you take care of the more important tasks first and eliminate the ones which are not essential. Also, limit the amount of work you do at home – including responding to phone calls, texts and emails.

Stay active: Make time for exercise at least 30 minutes a day. It will not only reduce stress and boost your immunity, but also help you perform your best at work. When you eat healthily and are physically active, you are at a lesser risk of getting sick and missing days from work, which could ultimately impact your productivity. Make sure you prioritize activities or hobbies that made you happy whether it is going to a spa, a simple hot bath, meditate or take a walk. The aim is to relax – take a vacation, do things you enjoy and unplug from work or personal commitments every once in a while.

Delegate work: You cannot be good at everything. So, stick to your strengths and outsource other tasks to people who are experts in their respective fields. Do not hesitate to ask for help whenever it’s required. If you’re trying to earn a promotion, it can be tempting to spend most of your time at work, but you also need to realize that your personal life will take a hit. If you’re working too much all the time, you might miss important family events or milestones. Think about what is at stake- with every decision you make at work and be smart about it. Communicate: Whenever you are in a tight spot, be honest with colleagues or your boss. Learn to say “no”, if your calendar is overscheduled with activities. Suggest alternatives which are feasible; instead of complaining, try to look at things from others’ perspective. If you feel your life is spinning out of control, do not hesitate to speak to a mental health professional. Check with your employer if they have stress management resources available, through an employee assistance program (EAP).