When work and life feel like they’re in conflict, we can all set boundaries and take steps toward better work-life integration, says Leif Hass for the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

Here are some tips for creating the perfect balance of work and real life:

Start with self-awareness. Simply recognizing the need for work-life integration (WLI) requires awareness; making a habit of noticing where our minds are going and what our body is telling is key to make sure we are on the right path with our plan.

Articulate your priorities, plot out your boundaries, and make your schedule. Look at the exercise above and let it inform you as you plan. Weekly or even daily planning is time well spent. As you schedule, plan to take on your important work tasks first when you are at your sharpest. Schedule in time for yourself and those you most care about, too. Put good boundaries around your personal life’s “must-haves.”

Hone your time-management skills. Find tech “hacks” to help with planning and coordinating those plans with others, like using and sharing Google Calendar at home as at work. Turn transition times such as commuting into productive time; reflect on your successes and failures as you review your time-management strategies.

Delegate. At home this means hiring things out, if you can afford it, and getting those you live with to do their share. At work this means operating at the top of your skill set while empowering others to take on tasks when appropriate.

Maximize your attention by taking breaks and working in bursts. Do the tough work in bursts; avoid disruptions and multitasking. You will be more productive and creative if you take breaks that use other parts of your brain. Also note that being outside and vacations make you more productive!

Work fluidly but be mindful of your boundaries. It might be OK to take calls when cooking dinner, but only if it gets you time you really want away from work and the work thoughts don’t stay with you all night. You need to know yourself for your boundaries to hold up.

Be your authentic self as you connect with others. Essential to WLI is being “the real you” at work; you will be happier, better at your job, and better able to advocate for changes you need to fine-tune your WLI.

Communicate. Try talking with family, friends and colleagues about what’s most important to you. Ask them about their own values, needs and responsibilities. You might discover what you have in common with your coworkers. At home, you can find out from your loved ones if your idea of WLI works for them.

Draw strength from your sense of purpose. Finding meaning in our work and personal life helps affirm our values and provide strength to buffer against the stress that arises when we run into inevitable boundary issues.

Go easy on yourself. Stuff happens, the best-laid plans go awry, and most of us don’t have the most realistic expectations. Your house might not be as clean as you like, and your kid’s hair might be better brushed, and not all your work products will measure up. Keep an eye on your values, keep making time to organize – and see what might need to change! Also be sure to give yourself a little love and be thankful for your rich and dynamic life.