Many people get into the habit of spending hours and hours at work and not having any work-life balance. It may be a good option to get a higher salary or a promotion, but there is an inherent risk that impacts personal life. Jose Duarte, a successful entrepreneur from Costa Rica, explains how entrepreneurs can balance work and their personal lives to excel in both.

The competitiveness of organizations depends directly on the productivity of their employees and this in turn on the satisfaction, motivation and happiness with which they develop their workday after day. Of course, for people who are starting to look for work and those who want to change their careers, it is essential that organizations offer them the conditions to establish a balance between their work and personal lives. This is a determining factor in attracting and retaining a human talent committed and satisfied with their work.

Balancing personal and work life is important because overwork negatively affects physical and mental health, stress levels, satisfaction in personal relationships and the ability to do a good job. The effort to achieve a healthy balance between work and personal life goals, helps in improving the health of the person. The important thing is to be happy with yourself and with the people around you.

Asserts Duarte, “Reducing the number of hours from one day to the next may be difficult, but you can gradually reduce the workload. Reducing the schedule realistically starts with reducing the workload by a few hours each week.” The phrase “just five more minutes” unwittingly becomes extra hours at work. It’s just a matter of knowing when to disconnect. The key to achieving balance is knowing where you are.

Believe it or not, the world doesn’t end up taking a break. Humans are not robots; we need time to disconnect, eat, go to the bathroom and relax. Not taking vacation days or accrued does not help the employer. The employee is less productive and may make mistakes due to inattention. Therefore, complying with the rest helps the employee to maintain momentum and avoid exhaustion.

Finding the balance between personal life and work life can be achieved by practicing a hobby that you really enjoy outside of working hours. Try hiking, surfing or fishing, volunteering or art classes. The important thing is to get the disconnect from work.

Making a list of weekly activities and identifying the most important tasks helps you know where to start and estimate the times it will take to complete each slope. Prioritizing is necessary to focus on the important and not the urgent, which usually causes stress and inconvenience that can be avoided.

If there are a large number of important tasks, it is advisable to meet with the superiors and define what the priorities are, so you will have the managerial support and complete your work without uncertainties. “Prioritization is the key to success and is a lesson that can be applied in a large number of sectors and industries,” explains Duarte.

Believing in the performance of colleagues is fundamental to develop a job on time and successfully. In many cases, it is necessary to work in a group to complete the tasks. Trusting in the knowledge, ethics and work skills of teammates is key to reduce stress and deliver tasks on time.

More and more, people are working from home. It is a way that can help in this desired personal and work reconciliation. It’s good to start with a day or two a week and see how the experiment plays out. If it is positive for both parties, you can always increase the number of days of work at home.