It is crucial to be able to create a proper balance between work and the rest of life. This can be especially difficult for self-employed individuals to accomplish. Following a few tips make it much easier to balance a rewarding career with a rewarding personal life.

The first tip is to designate specific work hours and then stick to those hours. Without this kind of disciplined schedule, it is easy for work to take over someone’s personal life. Though sometimes unexpected events throw off those work hours, it pays to adhere to them as much as possible.

Being able to prioritize tasks throughout the day is also crucial. Everyone has to-do lists for work and everything else. The key to striking the proper balance is to divide tasks up into one of four categories. Those four categories are both urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent yet not important, and not at all important or urgent.

Time management is the key to living a balanced life. It’s best to devise a timeline, which is easy to do with the right software program. Word tables and Excel spreadsheets can help keep track of what needs to be done when. The top of the spreadsheet or table gets dates, while the list of activities goes below it. This should be done to keep track of both work and personal commitments, all on the same chart. Before agreeing to do anything, it’s best to check the schedule first.

Making your finances a priority helps keep life in check, especially for business owners. Accounting software makes it easier to keep track of cash flow, both professional and personal. Checking it every day, week, or month is the best way to stay on track to keep life moving along.

Another tip is to structure workdays according to one’s personal preferences. People who only feel creative later in the day shouldn’t force it during the early hours. Knowing when to do certain tasks and when not to can make work go much smoother, leaving more time for relaxation.

Scheduling regular breaks throughout the workday is also advisable. If nothing else, a 30 to 60-minute lunch break helps make the day feel like its passing faster.