Time. What we all want so desperately to control but never can. Impossible to hold onto, it just slips away despite our best efforts to stop it. The five seconds it took you to read those first few lines will never be recovered, and just slipped away into the ever-hungry and ever-growing past. By this point, that past is probably five seconds larger, as moments spent reading this article continue to add to each other, subtracting from the precious limited moments you have in each day.

Here are some tips to help you balance your work and social life, so that you are able to spend more time doing what really matters to you: 

Start The Week Strong

On Sunday, go in to work with the energy and mindset to tackle as much as possible. We are always tempted to get as much out of our weekends as possible, but dragging yourself into the office on Sunday morning will only create a vicious cycle of always running to catch up. If you focus hard during the beginning of the week, it will pay off later on.

Focus On What’s In Front Of You

We love to be constantly connected with the world, but that attempt to multitask your work tasks with Facebook messenger will do you no favors in the end. While working, keep the distractions to a minimum so you can be as productive as possible, and catch up with people on your breaks.

Sleep Well

There is a misconception that sleeping is wasting time that could be spent checking items off your to-do list, but a healthy sleep cycle will actually make you more productive. You can’t burn the candle at both ends for forever, so make sure you get enough rest to tackle the next day properly.

Plan Ahead

This is easier said than done, as life never seems to go according to how we neatly organize it. But a little bit of forethought can go a long way. If you know you have deadlines and tasks that need to get done around the same time as some outings, plan some time in advance to get them done so that you can visit with your friends or family guilt-free.

Invest In A Practical Planner

The business of modern life really calls for a planner, no matter what career or how social you are. Having dates and assignments penned in will help you organize your limited time and plan ahead. Perhaps you tried a planner before and never used it; that could be because it wasn’t the right one for you. It can take a bit of trial and error to find a design and layout that you like to work with, but once you do it’s worth it.

Set Aside Real Time

One of the main keys to balancing your work and social life is setting up boundaries. This can be difficult, especially as many careers are no longer restricted to office hours but rather require you to be available at all times. Staying on top of your work and deadlines will help with this, but only in addition to being firm and communicating in advance when you will be unavailable. Setting aside real and distraction-free time to bond with the important people to you is critical to a healthy social life. It’s not always about how much time you spend with them, it’s about the quality of the time spent together and the genuine attention you give to them.

Take Time To Distress

It is impossible to spend all of your energy switching back and forth between your work and social life; you have to set aside some time for yourself as well. Whatever you need to distress, whether it’s yoga, a walk, or reading your favorite book, you have to make time for it so that when you reenter your “real” world with all of its demands, you are ready.

Always Keep The Bigger Picture In Mind

At the end of the day, how you live your life and spend those precious seconds is your choice. In order to do this how you want, you must take a step back every now and then and re-evaluate what is really important to you, and then go after it.