With an increase in technology accessibility, our work days have extended so much longer than ever before. Checking email before bed and first thing in the morning is routine for most professionals. Work-life balance has become a career perk, not something you’re always guaranteed. I’ve put together five ways to create some work-life balance, even if you’re working around the clock.

Hold Yourself Accountable

You know your schedule and workload better than anyone else. Hold yourself accountable to what needs to be done. Your calendar is your best friend. Log every meeting, deadline, and block off productivity time. The more you get done during work hours, the less you’ll need to worry about during the evenings and weekends. It’s also so much easier to actually enjoy your time off when you don’t have unfinished projects hanging over your head.

Find Activities Outside of Work

Find a hobby or get involved in other activities. Having non-work-related events on your calendar will give you something to look forward to and a break from the grind. If you’re spending money on these activities, you are also less likely to skip them. It’s also a great way to meet people…that aren’t coworkers!

Don’t Procrastinate

Just do it already! The more you push it off, the more it will weigh on your mind and cause you added stress. The people that have the most work-life balance are the ones that get down to business because they don’t want to cut into their personal time to pick up the slack. If you struggle with procrastination, ask a coworker to help keep you on task. If you are easily distracted, take initiative and remove the distractions.

Establish a Routine

Get in a habit at work. The more routine you are, the less likely you are to miss deadlines. A routine is good for at work, but also at home. Wake up earlier than you have to so you can enjoy the time in the morning. Try incorporating a walk over lunch to help refresh you. By building a routine and sticking to it, your mind and body know what to expect throughout the day. It will also create a sense of balance.

Be Realistic with Expectations

Don’t overload yourself. It’s okay to say no. You don’t need to raise your hand at every meeting or to constantly pick up the slack of your coworkers. Be realistic with what you can handle. Wait until you complete a few projects before taking on more. A manager is going to be more impressed with the quality of your work, not the quantity.

I hope these 5 tips help you create some balance in your life.

Want to read more about career development, check out this blog on How to Avoid the Job Search Burnout.

MacKenzie Porwoll, Corporate Recruiter