While many of us may not see it, working too hard is affecting our free time more these days. This means less time with family and friends, as well as losing out on sleep and relaxation.

The world of business is more competitive than ever, so our automatic reaction is to work as hard as we can. Although this can mean financial success, it could also mean that our personal health may suffer as a result.

Here are our top tips on how you can achieve a healthy work life balance:

Do Not Let E-mails Rule Your World…

This can be very difficult, especially for those who are self-employed, but constantly monitoring our emails just means that we are not getting the rest we need, which neither benefits us or our clients. As such, you should make it clear as to what times you can be contacted. An out of office reply also allows you to politely inform your customers or clients of a time you will be back in the office to respond to their e-mail.

Of course, not all companies and individuals can follow this process, but they shouldn’t assume they must tackle e-mails alone, as even self-employed individuals can hire help should they require it. As such, if you have e-mails that need to be constantly monitored or replied to, then why not consider a virtual assistant service? Not only can this be a cost-effective solution, but it also ensures that you’re getting the rest you need.

Sometimes, You Simply Must Say No…

While it’s not easy to admit, the fact is that some of us can be too nice for our own good. Many people like to appease their employer by trying to meet a series of challenging demands, but sometimes, it’s just not realistic. In this regard, you shouldn’t be afraid of saying no. Consider the other option, you take on the work and find that you’re just not able to complete it. This will have a more detrimental impact on your character than saying no, so don’t feel you must be superhuman; we all have our limits!

Work Smart…

Many would assume that the harder we work, the more we get done. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, as many will be able to testify. As such, we should look to work smarter, rather than harder. Some may struggle with this, but you’d be surprised at how productive instilling such a habit can be.

For example, all high-priority tasks should be given a realistic time limit for completion. Giving unrealistic turnaround times only means that your personal time is being affected as a result.

Many people now outsource what they simply do not have time to do; bookkeeping, social media, marketing, recruitment, admin and so on. Of course, many may assume that they cannot afford such a service but consider this. If you’re able to keep on top of all your tasks with such a small investment, it can only furnish you with more rewards moving forward, especially when it comes to money.

Work is Work & Home is Home…

While it can be difficult to split the two, it’s important that where possible, we know when to leave work alone. Again, in today’s hustle and bustle, it can be easy to feel lazy for doing so, but we’re all entitled to some much-needed respite.

Again, it’s completely understandable that some of us become anxious when trying to commit to such an endeavour, but outsourcing tasks can mean that you’re able to rest up, without the constant worry of an overwhelming inbox when you return.

It also means that you’re able to maintain a healthy relationship with loved ones at home, as they will not be frustrated that you’re constantly engaging with work, which can also help reduce stress and anxiety.

Set Your Own Guidelines…

When it comes to dealing with overwhelming amounts of work, it’s easy to bury our head in the sand and hope for the best. However, a more pro-active way of addressing such issues is to be clear in the beginning as to what your availability is, and when they can expect to receive the finished work.

Some of your clients may not be happy that their work is not top priority, but they will be disappointed when they don’t get the completed work by the expected deadlines. As such, clarity is key, and it stops unwanted bouts of stress.