Striking a work-life balance can be akin to balancing on a wire.

It's tricky, every step you take matters, and you never know when you might come crashing down and sabotage your success.

And no one knows this better than Australian psychologist Alison Hill.

Ms Hill has penned the book Stand Out to give people the tools they need to 'become the boss of busy'.


This includes time management, writing lists and having a clear focus.

She even suggested outsourcing menial tasks, such as transcribing, while you sleep to better maximise your time.

Here Ms Hill shares six tips for mastering the art of being busy.


It's a well known fact that there are simply not enough hours in the day.

But there are ways you can maximise the time you do have, without giving up your Tuesday yoga class.

Ms Hill said people should look at how giving up a habit - such as bringing work home - could open up time for something you enjoy.

The habits to consider ditching include staying up later than 9.30pm, bringing your phone with you everywhere, staying back late or arriving early at work, going to every meeting or sending emails after hours.


It sounds simple enough, but when you're facing an inbox full of unread emails, an impending deadline and back-to-back meetings, it's hard to know what to do first.

In order to take control, Ms Hill suggested asking yourself why you're doing a certain task.

'If you're answer is 'just because' or 'that's the way it's always' been done', or 'because I should' then challenge yourself to focus on what else matters to you,' she said.

'Get clear on what's the most important thing for you right now - then go do that.

'Some days the most important thing might be to just go and have lunch. '


Find you're working hard but not getting anything done?

You need to get your priorities in order, and do the action that will move your work day along.

'It might be that you need to pick up the phone and connect with potential clients rather than worrying about putting up that poster around the office,' Ms Hill said.

'Think about the actions that give you the best traction.'


And check it twice.

Ms Hill suggested writing down everything you found draining throughout the week, be it washing the dishes or planning a client project.

From there review the list, and determine how you can free up time and energy.

'Sort out what you can mitigate, delegate or eliminate,' Ms Hill said.


Mastering the art of delegation is an ideal way to free-up your own time.

'Take some time to gain clarity about your greatest strengths and where you make the biggest contribution, and find ways to delegate the rest,' Ms Hill suggested.

'We live in an era where you can outsource pretty much anything, to anyone, even for a short period of time.

'If you just need someone to do some transcribing for you, you can get that done while you sleep.'


Sometimes you have to be ruthless.

If you keep writing down goals but never get around to doing them, it might be time to set it aside altogether.

The same can be said for people.

'Focus on spending time with people who are going to lift you up, who inspire you, and are going to be your champions to moving toward,' Ms Hill said.