Did you know that a new study from Stanford shows that the old saying ‘work smarter, not harder’ is still very relevant?

The Standford study concluded that productivity falls sharply when we push ourselves past working 50 hours, and our productivity can fall so much after 55 hours that they reason there is no point even working anymore.

Why is work life balance important? Successful business people know how important it is to shift gears on the weekend and rejuvenate. Working less, actually makes you work stronger, better, faster.

However, if you are like me and completely driven and love working, it’s easier said than done to switch off. It doesn’t come overnight, it’s a learned concept but I will say, my best ideas and clarity always come to me when I am out running, horse riding, at the beach with my family or anything in between. As long as I’ve mentally shut down from ‘business mode’.

Do you want to know how better time management can help you to work less and enjoy life more? Here are some key tips to work smarter not harder:

1. Disconnect and Select

On the weekends, disconnect from everything work related. The reason why this is so important is because if you don’t, you’ll rock up to work on Monday morning feeling like you never really left. Yuck.

Disconnecting allows you time to refocus and recharge. If taking the whole weekend off simply can’t be done try allocating specific times on Saturday and Sunday for checking emails and crucial things.

2. Minimise Chores and Find Balance

As mums, we always have 1001 chores, that washing is not going to put itself away! Sometimes it can make us feel so overwhelmed and like there is never any time to relax. But try being kind to yourself and accept that you need balance. Secretly, I might do the washing but then I will dump it in the spare room and deal with it another day. I might not win domestic goddess of the year but at least I got to sit down and read a magazine for half an hour to recharge my mind.

3. Reflect and Grow

I’m a constant dreamer and always reflecting on events that have happened in the week and asking myself if I could have done better. Reflection is a powerful tool for self-improvement. Take some time to ask yourself some questions, and if you feel like you could have done better don’t dwell on it. Forgive yourself and work on it. We aren’t perfect!

4. Exercise is Great For The Soul

When I was younger I used to look at people out running early in the morning (usually when I was on my way home from a big night out!) and did not understand how the hell they could do that. Fast forward to now and I’m one of those people, and I love it. Running and going to the gym is a game changer. As busy mums it can be tough stuff finding the time, but it’s not about finding it, it’s about making the time. A key tip is to find something that you enjoy and then make it a non-negotiable in your week and remind yourself that even if you really, really, don’t feel like going you’ll never regret it once you are there.

5. Designate Mornings as Me Time

This was another game changer for me, but it only was possible when my little ones stopped waking at the crack of dawn. Having some ‘me time’ in the morning pays dividends in happiness and cleanliness of mind. I love waking up at 5am, having a green tea and taking a moment to be truly grateful for everything big and small in my life. I set my intentions for the day and enjoy the stillness. I won’t lie, it’s not something I do every morning – after two years of severe sleep deprivation from my littlest not sleeping through the night, I need my sleep. But on the days I do manage it, it is so rewarding.

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