HAVE you been getting little sleep and rest because you work late every night and get up early every morning? Are you burning the candle at both ends, working too hard, and tipping your life out of balance and your body out of shape?

If you ask yourself “When did life become all work and no fun?”, you will probably end up blaming your current work or your boss. Spare them.

What your life has become is not because of these factors or any other groundless excuses you can think of. It is about the decisions or choices you make. We all know that life is not just about work.

As a white-collar worker, you have been dragged to your current state of being a slave of time. Time has suddenly become the omnipotent force over you. Time is indispensable. It is what you need to complete your tasks on hand, or to spend for a picnic with your family and friends.

Today, you have many options that are aimed at taking your life back to its normal state. These remedies include more paid vacation leave credits or time management programmes that teach you how to prioritise between and among tasks.

There are a lot of possible solutions out there. However, there is one formula that offers a comprehensive approach towards achieving the work-life balance that many professionals and executives dream of.

Think “Spam” or staying positive, active and motivated to keep your professional career on track and your personal life back.

Here are ways to be a work-life professional:

1. Set goals

Goals are the key drivers of work-life balance, so make sure you identify them. What are your personal and life goals? With the goals in place, try to visualise the look and feel of success you have in mind. Regular visualisation exercises motivate you, taking you closer to your destination. Keep in mind that effective goals are S.M.A.R.T or specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

2. Plan and prioritise

Planning and prioritising are the skills required in gaining control of your time. Develop a game plan months or even years ahead to ensure that the work you do each day helps you to achieve your goals and objectives in the long run.

Set realistic timelines and clear to-do lists. You should be able to identify which tasks are urgent and important; urgent but not important; not urgent and important; not urgent and not important. Do not leave these great ideas on paper, act on them now.

3. Assess your efforts

After taking the necessary steps towards achieving the goals you have set, give yourself some time to reflect on your performance or effort so far. Ask yourself these questions: “How satisfied am I with my effort?”; “How else could I have done a particular step, if the situation was different, or the conditions changed?”; “What is within my control?” and “What is not within my control?”

4. Motivate yourself constantly

Adopting the right mindset and attitude towards stress ensures a rewarding experience. Stress is a neutral condition and is totally dependent on how you view it.

Having less time for more work may appear daunting to some; but for others, it is considered challenging, even motivating. They get an adrenaline rush and their creative juices start flowing at the thought of pushing their capabilities beyond their comfort zone.

Take the sensible approach. If work is stressing you out, because you just have too much to do, perhaps you could talk to your supervisor about the situation. Work out a realistic schedule to complete the tasks. Try to calm your mind with positive self-talk — tell yourself you can meet your deadlines and do a good job.

Balancing work and life is to have the right to enjoy your life while you are learning and living. When you are happy at home, you will be happier at work!

Always remind yourself that you have the right to feel good, to be strong, to work smart and to be in control of your life.