Begin by taking action over things that are fairly easy to control such as taking a lunch break away from your desk, stepping away from your desk for an afternoon break, or going in to work an hour later in the morning. Each small step will make it easier to work towards a more reasonable work week.
Set work and personal boundaries – stop taking calls and checking emails on your computer or phone after a specific time each night. Just because you are not available at 10:00 pm one evening when a client calls does not mean you will lose a sale. Trust me, they are not expecting you to answer your phone or reply to an email at 10:00 pm, and if they are, you need to upgrade your client list.
Work on your management skills and don’t micromanage your spouse, children or your employees. Strengthen your delegating skills and let kids, spouse, colleagues and employees be accountable for what they are assigned to do. Keep work at work and cherish your time with your family and friends at home. Cultivate your hobbies and enjoy some fun activities.
Learn to say no!Stop putting too much on your plate and agreeing to anything and everything people ask of you. Stop the busy work and fire-fighting activities that are the result of poor decisions due to knee-jerk reactions to make a client, colleague, or boss happy. Often these quick decisions are a result of your own inability to think clearly due to tiredness because you are busy trying to take care of others. Often to the detriment of your own health.
Cut down on distractions at work and learn to focus on the task at hand. Reevaluate and rethink your career – you may need to take a close look at what you want in your career. Are you happy with where you are now, where you are going, and the plan you have for how you are going to get there?
Schedule leisure time just like you would schedule work time. Schedule a dinner at 6:00 pm Tuesday evening with your spouse or schedule to attend a football or ballet practice with your son or daughter on Saturday morning. You are more likely to follow through when you have penciled in an activity on your schedule. Try to spend one day each week enjoying family, friends, or immersed in a hobby. If you find a full day of not working too stressful in the beginning, start with spending a few hours each day away from your work phone and email.