How to Set Boundaries at Work and At Home

Everyone would like to perform well at work, but that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with everything. Respect requires boundaries, for yourself and others.

In order for others to respect you, you will have to respect yourself as well.

In addition, when we are too stressed, we tend to take the problems we have at work into our homes, and this is not good at all. In this case, issues that have nothing to do with your personal life may end up affecting it, ruining the peace and quiet in your home and inflicting damage on your relationship with the people you love. So, setting boundaries in the workplace and at home is extremely important because it will keep you from facing too much stress and from mixing your professional life with your personal one.

But how do you set boundaries at work so that your boss and colleagues won’t get offended or see it as a bad thing?

According to psychologists, setting boundaries will show people that you actually have a backbone. Of course, you will have to be diplomatic about it and transmit your messages in a calm but assertive manner. Thus, you need to be properly prepared to make this step and utilize communication as the best tool to do it.

So, yes, it is not going to be an easy task, but with some planning ahead, a good strategy, and trying to communicate your thoughts in the best way possible, you will succeed.

To start with, define the values that are most important to you. You may have other values, apart from work, which mean a lot to you. Whether we are talking about volunteering or other passions that make you feel fulfilled, most certainly you would like to be able to dedicate some time in this direction as well. This means that you won’t be available around the clock, for your boss or colleagues, and working overtime will only be a rare occurrence.

Be as clear as possible when communicating your boundaries, to make sure that everybody will understand them. For example, if you don’t want your colleagues or clients to call you all the time, be specific when telling them between what hours you can be reached on the phone, so you can talk about work. And when a boundary is broken, make sure to mention it and not just get upset, bringing it into discussion weeks later. If you allow time to pass by, the power of your boundary will fade away, this is why it is important to reinforce your boundaries each time someone forgets about them. Of course, be careful to do it in a calm and diplomatic manner.

But it is not enough to set boundaries at work, as you will have to do the same at home. How are you going to avoid stress if you continue checking your e-mail right before dinner or fidget your mobile device while spending time with your family? You need to do your best and leave everything connected to work at work and, as soon as you walk inside your home, you will focus on other things, like movie nights with your family members or reading stories to your children. Everything else that is related to work will have to wait until you reach your office the next morning.

Back to you! Do boundaries, or the lack of them, affect your life? How so? Please let other readers know!

Joanne Victoria

Joanne Victoria, host of the San • IT Project podcast, author of 7 books including Lighting Your Path - How To Create the Life You Want, partners with Entrepreneurs who want better want better Life-Work Harmony and more clarity, more confidence, more fun and more success.
Joanne Victoria

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