#WFH: How Do You Set Boundaries?
Setting boundaries is one of the most important parts of success in relationships. This is true of our relationships with time, space, emotions, physical conditions and human relationships. To function well, we have to set boundaries that work for us. We all have had experience with poor boundaries, boundaries that are too loose or too strict, boundaries that are not working. So how do you change this?
The first step in setting boundaries is to get in touch with you. Ask yourself what will make you comfortable? If the problem is a physical boundary, you may need to close the door, lock the door or pull the curtain. If that doesn’t work, you may need to go to a different physical location. Get out of the house. Rent a space from a work share group or go to the library or Starbucks. What’s important is that you identify what you need to accomplish, set your priorities in a realistic fashion and then set up the mechanism to achieve it. Make responsible choices based on your priorities. Being clear about your priorities helps you recognize good compromises. Your priorities are essential to your boundary strategy. If the boundary is an emotional one, you might ask yourself, “How much am I willing to give?” Once you decide what you want and don’t want, communicate that to people and keep them informed. You have the choice to be constructive toward boundaries, not destructive.
Some things may be negotiable and some things will not. Scheduling is an example of something that can be either negotiable or nonnegotiable; it depends on you. Perhaps your daughter wants you to drive her to the mall and you had other plans. You negotiate that you will take her and her friend but not until after you finish what you are working on. Nonnegotiable may be the $50 she tries to extract from you because she wants mall money.
Scheduling issues can be nonnegotiable too. “I will work 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday, but on Friday, I have to leave by 2 p.m. to pick up my children for swim team.” When setting boundaries, ask yourself: “Where can I be flexible? And where do I need to hold my ground?”
The most important part of making these choices is asking: Are they working for you? Are you accomplishing what you want? Are you enacting your priorities so that you can meet your goals? There is nothing wrong with making sacrifices, but if you are doing it too frequently, you will wind up feeling resentful.
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