Balance – a virtue that is culturally universal: Yin and Yang must always be in harmony, angels and demons forever locked in a constant struggle. Regardless of your outlook on life, balance is a fundamental principle upon which we all rely. Too much on one end of the scale sends everything out of whack, especially when it comes to work and play.  

Now, for those rare souls who are in love with what they do for a living, work and play are one in the same, rather than the two extremes. How do they do it? Here are just a few simple steps you can take. 

Do you believe in multitasking? Sure, you can walk and chew gum at the same time, but can you really, successfully, work on several projects at once? (Unless you’re Elon Musk). No. You can’t. When it comes to managing a workload, it’s important to realize that you need to focus down one whole assignment at a time; otherwise, you’ll just end up chipping away at a few things without really accomplishing anything. The next time you feel like you can do a hundred things at once before you go out or take a break, start with one, finish it, and then go to another. 

What is easily one of the most recognizable interferences in our daily lives, both professionally and socially, is our phone. If you’ve ever gone without your phone for a period of time, whether because it was forgotten at home, out of power, or you just straight-up lost or broke it, then you probably get that feeling; the one where you feel like you’re missing an appendage? Yes, our phones may play an important role in our professional lives as well as offer an entire catalog of escapes when we need them, but there has to be some kind of compromise. Unless you actually need to call people (you know, like on the actual “phone” part of your phone), then chances are that Siri is more intrusive than she is helpful. Try keeping track of the number of times you check your phone in an hour, try to lower that score by 1/3 in the next hour.  

Remember planners? When you had that little book in grade school so you could write down what needed doing and by when? What is probably the easiest way to draw a line between crunch time and you-time is to make yourself a reasonable timeline – a dying practice these days. How about all that time in between those assignments? That’s all you.  

The struggle is real, but it’s a good struggle to have. Learning to manage your time is one of the most vital skills you can have. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but all play and no work, well, then he’s just kind of a tool.