When it comes to finding a balance between your home life and your professional career, the balancing act can be hard to navigate. This is especially true in fields such as criminal law, medicine and IT, where employees are often expected to be available to their jobs during non-traditional working hours. If you are struggling to find balance in your life and feel overwhelmed by the demands of your career, here are some work life balance strategies that may work for you.

1. Carve out time for fitness.

Not only can ill health be a detriment to your career, you won’t be at your peak mental faculties without regular exercise. Physical activity not only helps manage your blood pressure and insulin response, it gives your mind time to wander and unwind. Whether you join a health club, take up hiking or dust off your exercise equipment at home, making fitness a priority pays dividends in both your personal and professional lives.

2. Know when to unplug.

The ever-present nature of mobiles and laptops can make you feel as if you can never escape work. All devices have an ‘off’ switch, and you should use it without apology when you need time for yourself. Disconnecting from electronic devices before bed is also a great idea, as it will help you wind down so you can sleep soundly.

3. Learn how to pace yourself.

Plenty of people get burnt out from trying to do everything at once. Think about how your lifestyle can create a stressful bottleneck and how to avoid it. For example, if you’re expecting a child, now may not be the right time to head back to university and apply for a promotion. Try not to overload your plate with too many responsibilities at one time. Pace your goals so you aren’t faced with too much at once, which could prove to be a serious roadblock.

4. Set your priorities.

For some people, nothing short of a high-octane career will do. They want the corner office, the corporate credit card and the endless promotions. For others, it’s fine if the career takes a backseat to having a happy and loving home life. If you’re searching for work life balance, enumerate your priorities. Make a list and keep it handy to ensure you’re being true to your overall goals.

5. Stop being a perfectionist.

This does not mean become a slob or develop an uncaring attitude. However, wanting everything to be perfect is simply not possible. Recognize areas where you are spending too much time on perfection. If you’re proof-reading emails to your partner for spelling errors, spending hours cleaning every nook and cranny of your home or you are spending an outrageous amount of time checking over your subordinates’ work, it’s time to scale back.

6. Don’t be afraid to delegate.

One of the best work life balance tips out there is to learn to pass off duties to others. If you earn high pay per hour, it may not make sense to clean your own home or vehicle, especially if you live an area where maid service or car detailing is reasonably priced. The same can also be said of work projects. Learn to accept help and hand out tasks to others.

7. Learn to say no.

Allowing yourself to be over-committed to too many projects does not bode well for work life balance. There is no shame in admitting you simply don’t have time for another project in your life. Focus on the work, hobbies and commitments that matter to you the most. Don’t be afraid to decline other offers if you don’t have the time or believe it will overload you with work.

8. Carve out time for yourself.

Whether you use a calendar to schedule yourself or keep track of everything using a phone app, schedule time for doing whatever it is you want to do. Each week, leave gaps in your schedule for selfish endeavors. If you like to create art, hike in the mountains or read trashy romance novels, carve out time to do it. This will help reinvigorate you and make your ‘guilty pleasures’ guilt-free.

9. Seek out moments of calm.

If you have a fast-paced lifestyle, it’s easy to forget to take time out to just breathe. For some people, being motionless and calm is almost alien. Set aside a few minutes in the morning to sit in your car and enjoy your coffee before rushing into the office. Take a breather during lunch to shut your eyes and clear your head. Meditate in the evenings for fifteen minutes. Find these moments in your life and make them work for you.

10. Set time limits for yourself.

For those who tend to get bogged down in work, the mantra of ‘just five more minutes’ can swallow hours of your time. The same can also be said for home improvement projects or special programs. Set a limit to how long you will work on a particular activity per day. This will help you avoid toiling into late in the night to complete all your goals for the day.

11. Use you holiday time to go on holiday.

When work is piling up, you may be tempted to take a few days of holiday time to get caught up. Unfortunately, this does nothing to help you catch up on sleep, relaxation and time with friends and family. Use your holiday time for its intended purpose. Your productivity and your health will thank you.

12. Focus on results, not hours logged.

Some of the most successful people use work life balance strategies that focus on the end product. In some jobs, the amount of hours you are clocked in is mistakenly seen as more important than your results. If possible, tailor your life and career so that you can give everything proper attention and then move on to the next task when your productivity wanes. For example, if you know you can only focus on a task for an hour, switch to another task when you feel your concentration draining away. This will boost your productivity without eating up all the hours in a day.

These work life balance tips can help you to get organised and prioritize your goals. If you are struggling to keep your career from swallowing your personal life, these strategies are a great place to get started on the road to a more balanced and less-stressful life.