It is important to set limits at work. Healthy boundaries are an essential tool for controlling your attention, time and energy. They are also a key tool to internalize your control.
A boundary is one that encourages integrity and trust. It helps you to maintain balance and respect for your self. Clear boundaries will prevent demands and intrusions from entering your space, manipulating or disempowering you.
Boundaries are like a property line. They define where you begin and where you stop. Your personal boundaries help you choose the type of communication, behavior and interaction that you will accept from others. To help you feel secure and avoid miscommunications, they create a personal space between yourself and others.
A boundary is a non-negotiable rule, norm, or policy you must follow. This is like having your own code of conduct that is based on your values, beliefs, and preferences. Limits allow you to say “no to certain things” and “yes to those that are vital to your well being, such as working on meaningful projects or spending time with your family.
Boundaries at work are not only a way to clear clutter out of your inbox, your calendar and your mind but also act as an armor that protects your attention from all the distractions that bombard your daily life.
By setting boundaries, you can take control of your problems and not be passive. You can take responsibility for your own goals and priorities by setting up proactive guidelines.
These limits should reflect your values and protect the important parts of your life. However, they must also be realistic and feasible given your individual circumstances. You can, for example, choose to not check email after 6 pm, but you might have to keep your phone off while you eat with your partner.
A limit that isn’t communicated is useless. Your family members must be able to communicate what is important to them and what is unacceptable.
It may be necessary to explain to them that you won’t reply to their emails on weekends. You may want to let them know how they can reach you in case you decide to take a digital leave of absence.
After you have completed the exercise, review the contact list and send an email to the following addresses:
It is very important that I [reason for your limitation], and so, I will [set a new limit]. It is not surprising that you no longer behave the same way as before. [*] I am happy to answer any questions you may have about this transformation.
You can also include a sentence about what you will do in an emergency, or how you plan to ensure that your job responsibilities are not affected by the situation.
Here’s an example of how it might be filled in.
It is important to me that I spend quality time with my kids after work. Therefore, after 6pm, I will not respond to any emails. So that you are not surprised if I do not respond to your email in the afternoon, I wanted to let you know.
You can call me at [NUMBER] if you have an urgent matter. I will also check my email once I go to bed to make sure there isn’t anything else. If you have any questions regarding this change, I am happy to answer them.
Your time and energy are what will grow. It is important to be mindful of your attention and energy. It is your most valuable resource.