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3 ways to maintain work-life balance

In our fast-paced world, it's easy to get incredibly stressed. We're increasingly expected to communicate instantly, get more work done in shorter periods and take on additional responsibilities in the workplace.

Regardless of what industry they work in, where they're based or whether they work on-site or remotely, employees are finding themselves stretched extremely thin. Many are finding themselves struggling to juggle their professional and personal responsibilities.

Sometimes, there never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. However, there are ways to work around these time constraints and remain physically and psychologically healthy so that we can attend to all our tasks.

Here are a few tips you can use to help you achieve a much-needed work-life balance:

Manage your time

Time isn't an infinite resource and we need to plan our schedules properly. Map out tasks and engagements by listing them in order of priority based on their urgency, importance and how long they'll take. This is as true for personal commitments as it is for projects at work.

It's helpful to determine each item's deadline and whether you need to do it or if it can be delegated to someone else (such as a colleague or family member, depending on the nature of the piece of work or obligation). Make sure that you're able to complete your professional work during business hours so that you can focus on your home life and get a chance to relax after hours.

Take time off

Most organizations are required by law to provide their employees or contractors with paid time off. Many people feel guilty about using their PTO and end up working themselves down to the bone without a break. This is a surefire way to burn out.

As Cleveland Clinic explains, you can avoid this by making the most of your allotted vacation days. You don't need to leave town to catch a break — often, a "staycation" will do just fine in giving you the chance to recover and recuperate. You don't need to use all your time off at once, either: Sometimes, taking just one day off or leaving work a couple of hours early will do the trick.

Disconnect at home

As Healthline advises, when your working day is done, switch off your notifications, put away your laptop and make a concerted effort to respond to work texts and emails only when you clock in again. Constantly checking and attending to messages (especially outside of working hours) is a one-way ticket to unsustainably high levels of stress. It also makes it difficult to connect to and spend time with loved ones during your time off.

If you can, use a separate phone and/or laptop for work or apps that block work-related communications after hours. These boundaries will help you de-stress so that you're refreshed and ready to be productive when it's time to go back to work.

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