Brainfood: Your route to the top - Find work/life balance

Blur the boundaries. Treat work as part of your life, not a separate entity.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Manage expectations. Be clear and honest with people upfront if you're going to be working late. If it means you need to say no to something, say it, rather than disappoint later.

Clear your mind. Leave your to-do list on your desk. Use your journey time to empty your mind and get yourself ready for your destination.

Show your other side. Give people in each part of your life a glimpse of what else you do. Spend 10 minutes sharing your day with the people at home or your weekend plans with a colleague. Keep it brief and interesting, then move on - you don't want to bore them.

Challenge yourself. Work provides us with plenty of challenges, but home life can be more humdrum. Set yourself a challenge that motivates you - say, running a marathon or learning to paint - and throw yourself into it.

Transfer your talent. Use your skills from one part of your life to enrich another. If you're a master at writing reports, why not start that novel?

Focus. Give whoever you are with your full attention. At home, focus on your partner rather than worrying about work tomorrow. The same goes for work - think budget sign-off, not new bathroom.

Pace yourself. Don't put yourself under pressure to maintain the perfect balance all the time; look at a couple of months or even the whole year.

There will be ebbs and flows, but try to keep the right balance overall.

Take time out. If it all gets too much, take time off. Recharging your batteries is the perfect way to help focus on what matters most.

The Mind Gym: Wake Your Mind Up is published by Time Warner (£12.99), www.themindgym.com.

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