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Is it Time for a Maintenance Check on Your Personal Boundaries at Work?

Updated: Dec 13, 2023

Common ways to know that your personal boundaries at work need some Upkeep and simple steps you can take.

Tattered personal property sign to depict the importance of maintaining your personal boundaries at work

In today's world for a variety of reasons, it's easy to blur the lines between our work and our personal life. However, maintaining healthy personal boundaries at work is essential for your overall well-being and effectiveness at work. Here's how you can recognize if your work boundaries need some attention.

1. You're Always "On"

If you find yourself constantly checking your work emails, responding to messages outside of work hours, or picking up work-related tasks during your personal time, it's a clear sign that your work boundaries need some maintenance. Being always "on" can lead to burnout and negatively impact your personal life.

2. Work is Interfering with Life

If you're canceling plans with friends or family to meet work deadlines or sacrificing personal interests and your basic needs for work, it's a red flag that your boundaries need reevaluation.

3. Feeling Overwhelmed and Stressed

A constant feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed about work-related tasks is another sign that your work boundaries need attention. If you cannot disconnect from work worries, it's time to take action.

4. Lack of Recognition of the Importance of Time Away

If your employer or colleagues don't respect your personal time and expect you to be available at all hours, it's a sign that your work boundaries are not being respected. It's essential to communicate your needs and set clear expectations with your employer.

5. No Clear Separation Between Work and Home

With the rise of remote work, the lines between work and home can become blurred. If you find it challenging to switch off from work mode when you're at home, it might be time to create physical or mental boundaries to separate the two. You can do this by setting up a routine or a small ritual that signals that you have passed from work time into personal time.

How to Maintain Healthy Personal Boundaries at Work

Recognizing that your work boundaries need maintenance is the first step. Here's how you can start to rebuild those boundaries:

🍃Communicate Clearly:   Set clear working hours and stick to them. Talk with those you work with. Make sure everyone understands when you are available and when you need personal time.

Tip:  It’s also important to have a heart-to-heart with the one closest to you.  That would be you.  Hold your own lines.  Talk yourself through a strategy of how you’ll address your own needs.

🍃Create a Dedicated Workspace: If you're working from home, create a dedicated workspace that you can leave at the end of the workday. This physical separation can help you mentally disconnect from work. If you can't carve out a separate space, create a place in your home you use consistently, or create a playlist that indicates it's work time.

🍃Prioritize Self-Care: Make time for hobbies, exercise, and relaxation. Taking care of yourself will help you be more productive and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Tip:  Do whatever you need to do to make this happen.  Book the activity and pay for it in advance, or gather some friends so you have accountability buddies to help you make it out the door, or if it’s as simple as calendaring it the activity then make sure you chart out your self-care days on your calendar well in advance.

🍃Use Technology Wisely: Set boundaries with technology by turning off work-related notifications outside of work hours. Disconnecting from work-related technology can help you fully enjoy your personal time.

🍃Seek Help if Needed: If you find it challenging to set or maintain work boundaries, consider finding supportive help.  A counselor or coach can assist you in generating personalized strategies to create and maintain healthy work boundaries.

Maintaining healthy boundaries at work is essential for your overall well-being and effectiveness at work. By recognizing the signs that your work boundaries need maintenance and taking proactive steps to address them, you can create a more balanced and fulfilling work-life experience. Remember, it's not just about working hard; it's about creating a sustainable way of working, making taking care of yourself essential.



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