5 expert tips to improve your work-life balance

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Feeling frazzled at work?

You’re not alone. According to a recent study by Monster Canada, 58% of Canadians say they’re overworked. One in 4 has left a job due to stress.

While our careers aren’t likely to become less demanding anytime soon, there are a few steps you can take right now to help you get the most out of your workday, spend fewer late nights at the office and log more precious time with family and friends.

If that sort of professional decompression sounds appealing, check out these 5 simple-yet-effective strategies to put your work-life balance back in actual balance, courtesy of 2 Toronto-based time-management pros.

1. Put it in writing

It’s no secret that writing down your priorities before the day begins is key to staying on track professionally. And your schedule isn’t the only area of your life that will benefit from this easy-to-adopt habit.

In fact, according to Eileen Chadnick, principal of Big Cheese Coaching and author of Ease: Manage Overwhelm in Times of “Crazy Busy,” list-makers also get additional payoffs: A happier mood and better decision-making abilities.

“When you’re too loose with your day, your brain quickly becomes overwhelmed and switches to a fight-or-flight mode,” says Chadnick. “That shuts down the part of your brain that lets you make better decisions.”

By taking just a few minutes to jot down the handful of things you must get done that day, however, you can fend off that impulse — and put yourself in high gear. “From a neuroscience perspective, your brain loves a plan,” Chadnick says. “[By making a list] you’ll get an immediate feeling of relief because your brain senses there’s order.”

An additional tip: Chadnick suggests making your list in the evening. It could help you get a better night’s sleep knowing you have a plan of attack for the next day.

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