Have you been getting little sleep and rest because you are busy until late every night and you get up early every morning? Are you burning the candle at both ends – working too hard and slowly tipping your life out of balance and your body out of shape? Do you ask yourself, when did life become all work and no fun? You probably blame your current work or your boss. Spare them.

What you life has become is not because of them or any other groundless excuse you can think of. It’s about the decisions or choices you make.

As white collar workers, we have been dragged to our current state of being slaves of time – when time has suddenly become the omnipotent force over us. We have been racing against time or treating it as an abominable snowman at work. Time is indispensable. It is what you need to complete your tasks at hand, or to spend for a picnic with your family and friends.

Today, we are faced with many options that aim to take our lives back to its normal state. These remedies include more paid vacation leave credits or time management programs that teach you how to prioritise between and among tasks. There are a lot of possible solutions out there. However, there is one formula which works. It’s called SPAM. Staying Positive, Active and Motivated. Here are ways on how to be a work/life professional:

Set goals: Goals are the key drivers so make sure you identify them. What are your personal and life goals? With the goals in place, try to visualize the look and feel of the success you have in mind. The regular visualization exercises tug the motivation and determination in you even more, taking you closer to your destination. Always keep in mind that to have effective goals is to ensure that they are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Plan and prioritise: planning and prioritizing are the skills required in gaining control of one’s time. Develop a game plan months or even years ahead to ensure that the work is done each day in helping you to achieve your goals and objectives in the long run. Make sure that you are tagging tem with realistic timelines and clear “to do” lists. You should be able to identify which tasks are urgent and important, urgent but not important. Remember; do not leave great ideas on paper. Act on them now!

Assess, Ensure that you set a timeline to your goals and plans and be disciplined enough to stick to them. Do not delay or cram at the last minute because that will only stir up stress and pressure in your workplace. It’s better to do things one at a time, slowly but surely, than packing everything into a day or an hour. Again, you will only end up burned out and stressed. After carrying out all the actions towards achieving what you have set, give yourself some time to reflect on the performance of effort you’ve given. Ask yourself questions like “How satisfied am I with my effort? How else could I have done if the situation was different, or the conditions changed? What is within my control? What is not within my control?”

Motivate constantly: adopting the right mindset and attitude towards the stress ensures a rewarding experience. To reiterate, stress is a neutral condition and is totally dependent on how we review it. Less, time, more work may appear to be challenging. However, for some people, it is considered the high time for creative juices to work and for adrenalin to push one’s capabilities beyond the limits. Try your best to refrain from worrying or “stressing yourself” for it only uses your engine’s fuel for nothing.

Balancing work and life is to have the right to enjoy your life while you are learning and living. When you are happy at home you will then be happy at work! Think about how scary life can get when you wake up from a very bad dream.

Life’s beyond just work. Always remind yourself that you are owed the right to feel good, to be strong, to work smart and to be in control, to yourself and not to somebody else.

Angeline V Teo is the Managing Director of d’Oz International Pte Ltd. and PEPWorldwide (Asia) Pte. Ltd, a learning and development solutions partner. As a certified Master Consultant and Coach of PEP (Personal Efficiency Program), Angeline has helped multinational organizations and the employees to improve on their work performance and to excel in their roles. Throughout the years of personal and group coaching, she has gained a valuable knowledge and perspective of a person’s life at the workplace.