Setting Boundaries in Your Life
Life can get busy. Between work, family, friends, and the responsibilities of everyday life, it can seem like 24 hours just are not enough. If we are not careful, our work life can blend in with our lives at home. It’s easy to ignore the limits of the workday when there is just so much to get done. Setting boundaries in your life is important so that you can prioritize the truly important things.
Figure Out Your Priorities
The first thing you need to do before setting hard boundaries in your life is to determine what is truly important to you. What do you want to spend your time doing? Who do you want to spend your time with? How much time can you designate to each aspect of your life? Once you figure out what your priorities are it will be much easier to set boundaries so that you can put the important things first. Without priorities, the natural flow of the day will take hold and the most important things will get lost in the hustle and bustle. Making a list of what is really important in your life is a great place to start. From there, you can determine the things that deserve your time and plan accordingly.
Set Strict Work Hours
Whether you work from home full-time or often bring your work home at the end of the day, setting strict work hours can help you spend more time with the things you prioritize. Limit how many times you check your work email when at home. Set a clear schedule. Looking at a work message quickly may not seem like a big deal. However, it can often lead to unexpected work that may put your priorities to the side.
Trying to balance work and life is not a foreign concept. The topic of work-life balance has been broached many times, yet no one has all the answers. It is important, however, that we continue working to create boundaries that will keep work from completely taking over our lives. Be kind yet strong in your boundaries. At the end of the day, as long as you are getting your work done, no one can fault you for wanting to spend more time with family or friends.
Limit Draining Relationships
We all know one person that can drag you down the rabbit hole. They can go on and on and bring you along with them for hours of conversation. Or they may be insistent on doing things with you when you have other plans. Setting expectations for your relationships will help you set and maintain boundaries that will free up your time for the things you deem important. Setting time limits on conversations or saying no to activities is perfectly okay when you are trying to prioritize your time. Being honest and open with your friends and family about wanting to spend more time on other priorities is important. If they really value you and your time, they will respect the boundaries that you set.
Setting boundaries isn’t about blocking other people out or putting less effort into your responsibilities. Good, solid boundaries are about putting value on the things in your life that matter most.