While there’s nothing wrong with having a strong work ethic, there’s a big difference between being passionate about your career and overworking yourself to the point of burnout. We asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members to weigh in on how Americans can combat the stereotype of being tied to their work around the clock and ultimately achieve a healthier balance between their personal and professional lives. Here are their best tips.

1. Unplug Your Phone At Night 

One of the best ways to fight back against the stereotype of being a workaholic is by simply unplugging from your phone every night. After you get home and settled in, snooze your email and social media accounts until morning. By not monitoring your social media page or checking your email you’ll have more time to spend with your family, cook a healthy meal or just relax. We have become so dependent on our phones that unplugging may seem challenging at first. However, once you get used to disconnecting after work, you’ll find that you are a much happier and healthier person. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

2. Get A Hobby

A lot of “workaholics” spend long hours in the office, and when they finally get home there’s just enough time to grab something to eat, watch TV and go to bed. But if you want to combat the negative stereotype of working around the clock and achieve a more balanced life, you should consider getting a hobby. Having a hobby will allow you to spend time doing something that’s not only enjoyable, but also more fulfilling than watching TV. A good hobby can spark your creativity and make you more productive. Whether it’s painting, golfing, knitting or whatever, make time for your hobby at least a few times a week for a better work-life balance. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

3. Be Strict About Your Work Hours

Working remotely means it’s much more difficult to separate work from regular, everyday life, but it’s an absolute must if you’re going to keep your sanity. It helps to carve out specific work times throughout the day if you’re your own boss or have a remote job, because no one else is going to enforce this for you. The idea that we have to work ourselves to death in order to be successful is a sham; your mental health is ultimately much more important, and no one should have to work themselves into the ground to feel accomplished. That being said, be strict about your work hours. Don’t work any longer than you absolutely have to. If it can wait until tomorrow and you’ve already put in your designated hours for the day, walk away and do something nice for yourself. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights 

4. Take Weekends Off

One of the biggest problems business owners face when becoming workaholics is that they feel guilty about taking time off. It’s vital that you have some time for yourself and your family, and forcing yourself to take weekends off helps you keep a work-life balance. You’ll still have the freedom to work a few extra hours during the week if you insist, but by forcing yourself to take weekends off, you’re rewarding yourself and keeping the workaholic stereotype at bay. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

5. Plan A Trip

For workaholics who want to achieve a healthier, more balanced life, it’s important to plan trips. You don’t have to be an international jet-setter all year, but it’s important to get away once in a while to get a refresh. If you don’t want to take a huge trip, book a small vacation in a town a couple of hours away from where you live. Getting a change of scenery and spending time not thinking about work will do wonders for your mood and even boost your productivity once you get back to the office. Whether it’s solo or with family, long or short, near or far, just take a trip! – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

6. Automate And Outsource What You Can

It is difficult to turn off work when work is a click away on a handheld device. It is the job of the employer—in combination with the employee, starting at the workplace—to ensure that everyone is not overworking. It is imperative that as founders we are accountable for working the same as our team members. Work smarter, not harder—leverage automation tools and project management software, and create a mindful company culture. Working smarter takes the form of using automation wherever possible and outsourcing menial tasks, which is a simple fix. Mindful company culture is more complex. Nonmandatory mindful exercises are encouraged, shorter workweeks are enforced and accountability is mandatory. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic

7. Practice Self-Care

One way I combat the overworked American stereotype is through self-care. For example, I am very careful to eat healthily. Luckily, even though processed food is still ubiquitous in America, there is a concerted effort by many companies to provide healthier options. Even traditional fast-food restaurants are beginning to offer healthier items on their menus. As diet improves, so do focus, efficiency and happiness levels. I also just bought a standing desk, which has helped me stay more focused and more mindful about my level of physical activity. If I’m more focused, I am a better employer and team player, which reduces inefficiency and stress. Even small adjustments, such as diet and furniture, can do wonders to combat negative stereotypes about the life of American workers. – Shu Saito, Fact Retriever

8. Maximize Your Downtime

Multiple trips to Europe fascinated me, as I got to learn about the way different countries handle work-life balance. Americans live to work, while I found that countries like Greece, Italy and others worked to live. I loved their simple, more family-oriented way of life. What I brought back here to America was a challenge to maximize my time out of the office, just as I try to maximize my time in the office. As business owners, there never really is an “off button,” but trying to be in the moment when you’re with your family, friends or out creating new experiences is a good way to balance your life. Instead of living for the weekend, as is prevalent in the U.S. corporate culture, we should live to maximize both work time and non-work time. – Joel Mathew, Fortress Consulting

9. Lead By Example

The best way to combat the stereotype is to actually live a balanced life. The truth that not very many high-powered professionals like to admit is that having a healthy work-life balance leads to higher productivity and increases the likelihood of achieving your business goals (the opposite can have the reverse effect). Unfortunately being constantly “busy” has become something of a badge of honor in the U.S., but I have found as a leader that being compassionate about work-life balance and embodying that culture has led to a more productive and efficient team. – Kelley Weaver, Melrose PR

10. Define Balance For Yourself

There will always be broad generalizations the media pushes forth that might make you wary of falling into that stereotype. When it comes to being a workaholic, just sit back and think about the lifestyle you desire and why you want it. If you’re smiling, passionate and having fun doing your work, and you don’t feel you are leaving other important things behind, like family or health, then great! No need to worry. But this does require some thought about your situation. How much do you like the work you do? How clear is your reason why you do that much work? And how good or bad do you feel about the other things in your life, like your health or the time spent with family, traveling, learning, playing, etc? Think about what balance means to you, define it, write it down and make it happen! – Jeff Cayley, Worldwide Cyclery

Source: forbes.com