When you have a challenging career and getting ahead professionally is a big priority to you, it can be difficult to balance your work life with your home life. It is important that you make time for your other biggest priorities. You can’t let work come at the expense of your health, happiness, or relationships. Letting the things that matter most to you fall to the wayside could ultimately affect your job performance. Furthermore, your job may come to feel less gratifying. Here are examples of smart habits and time management strategies that facilitate balance.

Structure Your Schedule Reasonably

If you’re in a field in which your performance and compensation depend on your work product, you might feel a lot of pressure to work far more than forty hours a week. However, you can’t continually spend long hours at the office day after day.

While you may need to be willing to put in some extra hours when your workload is heavier than it usually is, making a twelve-hour workday a norm could easily lead to burnout. To achieve a healthy work-life balance, you need to set reasonable limits on the amount of time that you spend working on a typical day.

Manage Your Time Well

Be meticulous about managing your schedule and pay attention to deadlines when you’re deciding what you have to focus on in a given workday. Try to start your workdays with some of the most difficult tasks instead of the easy stuff that isn’t time sensitive or doesn’t require a lot of effort.

Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination is a common pitfall that can contribute to time management problems and work stress. These two issues reinforce your tendency to procrastinate, so it can become a cyclical down spiral. If you’re constantly so busy that it’s practically impossible to take care of everything that you need to, you’ll have to make that extra time somewhere, and it’s probably going to have to come out of the time that you should have to yourself.

Take Time Off From Work

Leaving your vacation time on the table every year is wasteful. Even if you feel uneasy about getting away, taking time off is fundamental to a good work-life balance.

To do your best work, you need to feel your best both physically and mentally. Equilibrium between your work responsibilities and your other obligations will help you stay motivated and engaged in your job role.