Career coach Marty Nemko said that aiming for happiness in life is a “misguided” idea. “Mother Teresa didn’t work in the stench of Calcutta streets, ankles bitten by scorpions, because it made her happy. She did so because helping humankind was far more important than her being happy.” To Nemko, work and life cannot be balanced because there was never a comparison; life encompasses what you do for a living and all the moments in between.

He suggested that instead of aiming for happiness outside of work, one should look for happiness and fulfillment within it.  And perhaps, more than the happiness the outside world brings, one should start with the joy within oneself.

According to the PhilCare Wellness Index, the first study in the country to look into the attitudes and practices of Filipinos on health and wellness, 85% of Filipinos believe that they have work-life balance.

However, 41% admitted to experiencing regular bouts of stress.

Although stress was said to be healthy (as long as it is in moderation), experiencing it for an extended amount of time will result in physical burnout leading to health-related problems. To help you cope, we listed five tips so you can reset the balance, take control of your life, and enjoy your job from 8-5.

Set the boundaries

Being employed means your time is subject to other people’s. But how will you coordinate and sync well with others if your task management is all over the place? Create a personal set of rules. Forbes suggests creating a schedule of important acitivites, both personal and professional. Work on your monthly report every Wednesday. Allot your mornings for answering emails and the afternoons for paperwork. If you receive an email at 2pm and it’s not urgent, leave it for tomorrow morning. Don’t open your emails on weekends so you can focus on your family. By setting strict rules on doing things, you can do more with less time, have a little extra for a power nap at work, and ultimately have enough time for family and yourself as much as you have for your job.

Learn to say “no”

If it’s not in the calendar, don’t be so quick to accept the work without checking your calendar first. If your boss asks to do a presentation tomorrow but you’re already swamped with paperwork that’s due tomorrow as well, then it’s better to politely decline now. Your boss can always ask help from someone else rather than accepting extra work you know you can’t handle just to save face. It’s easy to overpromise and easier to underdeliver – and that’s a worse impression to leave your boss rather than being an efficient worker who knows his priorities. If you’ve made free time for yourself at the end of day, you can always offer that helping hand.

Remember your needs

You are a human being, not a robot. If you need to take some time-out, ask for vacation leave for a couple of days. If you’re burned out at work, you will not be able to function effectively.  It’s important to have a little rest and relaxation rather than power through it drudgingly with very little reserve to finish it off .

How do you balance your personal and professional life? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.