Maintaining focus and setting goals at work is important but learning to ‘switch off’ is equally essential

Many of us feel like we work too much, and would love to have more time doing something else. While we don’t have much control over that, we do have control over how much time we spend on the work we have – there is a difference between spending time at work, and spending time on work.

It’s an unfortunate truth that if you work constantly and take no breaks, weekends or holidays, you will eventually burn out. This will be prove detrimental to your business or work than if you had just taken a day off here and there, but it’s still tricky to find the time to take off when there’s so much to do. As difficult as it may be, it can be done, and here are some top tips for figuring it out.

Delegate. This is the first rule of leadership. Many of us want to take control of a piece of work because we know we will do it properly (or if we don’t, we only have ourselves to blame), whereas giving it to someone else could mean it ends up going badly wrong. The fact is, the more you delegate the more you can focus on the areas you enjoy, benefits will come quicker, and generally you will be happier. It may take time to train someone to do the task properly, but it has to be done – companies have employees for this very reason.

Work in your office. The downside to our technology is that we’re always reachable and always able to work – you can pull out the laptop or tablet while watching TV, or respond to emails on your phone and squeeze out extra work after office hours are up. You need to set ground rules that work takes place in the office, while relaxing takes place at home.

Turn your phone off. Work often seems like the most important thing in the world but it isn’t, and being constantly available puts you under pressure. Turn the phone off and enjoy the company of your friends or family. Share your time with other people, not just the office.

Have hobbies. Although you may think you don’t have time for hobbies, to go away or exercise, you need to realise that even a couple of hours a week being engaged to something else not only revitalises you, it can make you more productive at work. Whether you want to have a long weekend away with your partner or start building furniture, find something to do to keep your mind on something besides work.

Set non-work goals. Work cannot be your sole or main focus in life, so set yourself personal goals. Whether it’s losing weight, decorating the kitchen, helping the community or something to do with the family, goals are important.

Don’t feel guilty for not working. It is good, and beneficial, to not work, so don’t feel guilty for taking time off. Remember that if you did spend that time working, you would probably do a bad job that needed redoing tomorrow, meaning you’re saving yourself work by taking the time off.

It’s important to be focused on work; that motivation will help you reach your goals and become successful. However, you must also remember that there is more to life than work, and you can be successful without dedicating every waking second to your job.

You should be putting the effort in to build a strong business, but there is little point in doing that if you don’t get to reap the benefits of it. With tactics like delegation and time away from the office, you can get a lot more done and enjoy the other things in life too.