In the age of mobile technology, WiFi, and cloud computing, we are truly always-on. The notion of snow days, sick days, and after-hours have essentially been eliminated from the workplace. With 24/7 access to email, files, and contacts, even the idea of a proper vacation is lost for many professionals, who are unable to unplug or escape from constant questions and requests.

While technology has enabled us to redefine our industries, achieve new professional heights, and propel us forward into new frontiers, it also requires that we become hyper-vigilant about our work-life balance and essentially police our employers, co-workers, and clients to ensure we receive the separation we need.

Life hacks and apps abound to help maintain work-life balance and increase your productivity at work so you can enjoy your personal time. But often, work-life balance starts with a shift in priorities and lifestyle. Below are 3 great tips to help you start chipping away at the always-on grind:

Maintain Separation

We know, easier said than done! However, try taking small steps to limit the time you spend working or even thinking about work while at home. This will allow you to recharge your mental and physical batteries, and start fresh the next day. Not only can this help your productivity, but it can also help you avoid long-term burnout.

Whether you put a moratorium on work-talk at the dinner table or you implement a “no-tech after 8pm” rule, shifting your relationship with work when you are at home will help you focus more quality time on family, friends, and yourself.

Prioritize Work & Personal Tasks Together

As a professional, you likely have your own process for organizing work priorities and deadlines. For many of us, to-do lists, calendar reminders, and project management programs are our lifeblood for juggling the numerous and ever-shifting demands our roles require.

But despite your stringent organization at work, do your personal needs and tasks fall by the wayside? Software entrepreneur Matt Given recommends combining your professional and personal priorities into one massive to-do list. This will allow you to still tackle time-sensitive and high-impact tasks at work, while also making a greater impact on your personal goals and needs. So next time you draft your to-do list for work, be sure to pepper in your high-priority personal tasks.

Live by the 80/20 Rule

For many us, after-hour work is required when meetings eat up our entire day. Without enough time to actually work during the workday, these efforts naturally bleed into our nightly routines.

That’s when “Pareto’s Principle” comes in. Commonly referred to as the “80-20 rule,” this business best practice asserts that 80% of your effectiveness results from only 20% of your activities. In other words, only a handful of your daily tasks will actually drive the majority of your daily impact at work.

Know what makes the most impact in your day-to-day performance, prioritize those items, and deprioritize the rest. By putting your high-impact items first, you can continually maximize your effectiveness and achievements, while freeing up time and energy for personal balance.

These are just a few of the small changes you can make to improve your work-life balance. Do you have any recommended methods that have changed your work-life balance?

Burchard & Associates is an executive search firm specialized in accounting and finance recruiting across all business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution, healthcare, financial services, and more.

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