In the remote work era, the boundaries between work and personal time have become increasingly blurred. But regardless of work environment, industry or even job level, it can be difficult to “turn off” work when the day is done, leaving professionals to struggle with consequences like burnout, mental health crises and increased stress levels.

As experienced business leaders, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council know that a poor work-life balance can be a significant obstacle on the road to success. Below, 10 of them share some clear signs that you might need to improve the balance between your personal and professional lives, as well as how you can achieve it.

1. You Feel Irritated All The Time

Sometimes you just can’t stop feeling irritated and annoyed at the slightest matter. When this happens regularly for a stretch, you know you need more work-life balance. Overloading yourself with too much work can make you feel frustrated. Just take a day off and turn off all electronic devices. During this time, say no to checking your emails and text messages and ignore all work-related calls. This quick break can work as therapy and help you regain your peace of mind when you get back to work. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

2. You Have Pessimistic Thoughts

The clearest indicator of being out of balance with your work and life is your thoughts and how they manifest. Do you feel you’re being pessimistic? Do you find yourself drained after every problem that arises, praying another one doesn’t crop up? How would your spouse or family describe your mood at the current moment? Answering these questions will give you insight into your current headspace. If you find that you are experiencing that lack of desire—aka burnout—the first thing you need to do is treat yourself like someone you’re responsible for. Keep the inner dialogue positive. Give yourself some grace and begin to formulate a plan. Maybe it’s an extra round of golf or taking a Friday off for a long weekend in the woods. Whatever it is that grounds you, do it and give yourself some grace. – Shane Levinson, Carpets of Arizona

3. You Never Have Time For Yourself

Work-life balance is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for people with demanding jobs that keep them constantly on the go. If you have a job that requires lots of travel or long hours, work-life balance can be hard to maintain. However, if you recognize the signs that you need more work-life balance, it’s easier to find ways to improve your situation. For example, if you feel like you never have time for yourself, take time out for yourself by going on a date night or spending some time with your friends. Keep track of how much time you spend at work and at home each day and make adjustments as necessary. Working fewer hours per week might be one way to achieve more work-life balance – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

4. You Feel Stressed And Scatterbrained

A clear sign to me that someone may need more work-life balance is when they seem stressed and scatterbrained at work. Especially in meetings where we need creative ideas or new strategies, I can tell when my team members need a break. When I’m trying to help my team achieve work-life balance, the main thing I stress is getting on a schedule. Planning helps prioritize important tasks along with time for brain breaks, which may include things like going for a walk, grabbing a coffee or meeting a friend for happy hour. The bottom line is that achieving work-life balance isn’t easy, but it definitely won’t happen without strategic scheduling for both work and play. – John Hall, Calendar

5. You Feel Generally Overwhelmed


Feeling overwhelmed in general is a clear sign that someone might need more work-life balance. This is because when we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. And when work is constantly on our minds, it’s hard to enjoy our personal time. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

6. You’re Struggling With Simple Tasks

When an employee begins struggling with a simple task or part of their job function they typically excel in, it is usually a sign that burnout is pending. It might look like delays, missed deadlines or sloppy work. It could look like a task that gets done, but right down to the wire. The change in behavior is indicative that they are overwhelmed and struggling to find motivation. If you’ve identified that in yourself, you may need a brain break from work. The best course of action is to set some boundaries. Stop skipping your lunch break. Stop taking on roles that are not yours. Turn off your helper attitude for a bit and lean on your team more. Leave work on time. Consider taking a mental health day or a vacation day to do something you love. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design

7. You Feel Disenchanted

Whenever we take on a project, we enter it feeling a bright sense of purpose, enthusiasm and excitement. Over the course of the task and the stresses it may bring on, one may get lost in the details and feel more distance from the “why” that started it all off in the first place. This fosters a growing disenchantment and is often a sign that someone may need more work-life balance, as getting lost in the details makes it easy to lose perspective on the larger purpose and mission. By having a degree of balance and distance, one is able to approach a problem with vigor and get into the details but still be able to zoom out as necessary to never lose sight of the bigger picture and guiding principles. Taking time away can help reenergize and remind someone why they began in the first place. – Akshar Bonu, The Custom Movement

8. You’re Constantly Working

If you feel burned out or stressed or if you’re constantly working, even from home, then you need work-life balance. The best way to achieve work-life balance is to make a time block calendar. A time block calendar is a simple time management technique that divides your day into a block of time, and you assign a task or an activity to that specific time frame. Once you organize your day into blocks, you’ll have an easy time maintaining your work-life balance. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

9. You’re Always Talking About Work

If someone is constantly talking about work, even when they’re not at work, it’s a clear sign that they need more balance in their life. This is because they’re not taking the time to relax and recharge, which can lead to burnout. To achieve work-life balance, they need to make time for themselves outside of work. This can be done by taking vacations, setting regular hours and taking breaks during the day. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

10. You’re Chronically Tired

Fatigue is common among entrepreneurs, those in medical school, those finishing up law school or those with a big project due. All you seem to be doing is going home, eating a quick bite and sleeping. Then, it’s back to the same grind. The fatigue is awful. You need to take a break. That means learning to let go of some work either by delegating it, asking for a night off or simply taking a chance and closing shop at 5 p.m. rather than staying open late. It may mean you get off your computer, stop sales calls or lock your office door at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m. and go home. You must do it to get some peace and rest. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure


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