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How to achieve a better work/life balance

5 tips to be more productive at work - freeing up time to live your life

Read in 4 minutes

By Ben Robson

Co-founder, GOAT

Want to know how to achieve a better work/life balance and be more productive at work? Read on…

1. Change your mindset – get up early and exercise

If you sleep an average of eight hours a day, by the time you’re 30 years old, you’ll have slept for ten years of your life. One third of your life will have been spent in bed!

Imagine what you could have achieved if you went to bed earlier (to stay fresh) and slept only 6 hours a day. Hypothetically, that’s an extra 2.5 years of time you could have used to be more productive.

Obviously rest is important – but the ‘get up early’ mentality has made a multitude of people, rich, both financially and spiritually – allowing them to give more of their time to the people and tasks that need it.

A great way to get your day off to a flyer is to exercise. It gets your body’s metabolism going and makes you alert for the day ahead – making your more productive and happy in the process, through the release of endorphins.

Successful people aren’t necessarily more talented than others, they simply have a head start on everyone else each day.

2. Don’t check your emails first thing in the morning

Checking your emails first thing in the morning can make you lose control of your day, in a flash.

The tendency when checking emails is to be greeted with a new task you hadn’t planned to tick off your list that day – putting you back on your own tasks or agenda.

Set one or two 15-minute windows a day to send and respond to emails and keep your focus on the tasks that matter.

Emails are often answering someone else’s problem/question and moving you no closer to completing your own tasks. Take control of your emails; take control of your day.

3. Ask if the meeting you’re invited to is necessary

Meetings are one of the biggest drains on time. Often, the need for each person to be present in the meeting is debatable – with some invitees being invited either out of politeness, or ‘just in case’ they need to be there.

Push back on meetings. You’ll leave the office on time and get more done. Never have a meeting for meeting’s sake. This article discusses the issue of time wasting meetings further.

4. Write a list – break tasks down into component parts

It’s all too easy to try and keep your to-do list in your head. Do this at your peril.

If you fail to make lists, you’ll feel more stressed out – thinking of hundreds of tasks and flitting from thought to thought throughout the day. Secondly, you’ll not truly appreciate the time a task will take… until you come to do it and realise you’re going to have to leave work late again.

Make a list and include all the component parts of that task. Split it up and supercharge your daily and weekly planning. You’ll feel more in control of your working week and less worried about missing something important.

 5. Go home on time – work efficiently during the day 

Staying late at work helps absolutely no one.

In the long-term you’ll burn out and resent the fact you’re staying late. Your family and friends will miss out on the most precious commodity you have… time.

Clients will view you as someone who bends over backwards to any request – and while ‘going the extra mile’ when necessary is a good thing, doing it too often, especially without charging for your time simply devalues the relationship, making you a doormat in the process.

This quote from former Coca Cola CEO, Bryan Dyson, sums it up perfectly:

“Imagine life as a game, in which you’re juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air.


“You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit– are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered.


“They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.


“Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends and have proper rest. Value has a value only if its value is valued.”

What are your tips for making the working day more productive? Please leave a comment below and share this post with those who you think would enjoy it.

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Thanks for reading.