How to Establish Healthy Boundaries at Work

There’s a fine line between our personal and professional lives. Oftentimes, that line blurs as we jump from one responsibility to the next. It’s even more evident now that many of us work from home, a place we used to often only see as a place for personal happenings.  While work can be demanding, it’s essential to create boundaries that protect your peace.

Boundaries at work are essential to ensuring you’re not overstretching yourself or your capabilities. Below are four tricks to establish healthy work boundaries.

Get clear on your values

Understanding your values is key to all the major decisions you’ll make in life, and it’s no exception in this scenario. By taking the time to understand your values, you’ll be able to easily make decisions that impact your personal and professional lives. If your family is one of your top values like it is for me, then you’ll likely drop whatever you’re doing to make sure that need is met.

Learn to say no

One of the easiest ways to establish healthy boundaries at work is by learning to say no more often. If you’re an overachiever and people-pleaser like me, then you probably find it extremely difficult to say no. To me, it feels like I’m letting my job, manager, and co-workers down. You’re not. You’re setting clear boundaries that protect your productivity, letting you focus on all the responsibilities you already have on hand.

Take your PTO

I’m always shocked when I hear that a co-worker has accumulated weeks (sometimes months) of paid time off after years with a company. While some might take pride in that, I automatically think of all the missed vacations and opportunities to take some time away from your professional responsibilities. Taking time away from our jobs is essential, and whether you’re busy or not, your PTO should be a way for you to build those boundaries.

Communicate clearly

A lot of things can get lost in translation. You might think you’re saying no or requesting PTO, but your supervisor or coworkers might interpret that differently. By communicating clearly, you leave nothing up for interpretation. When possible, track conversations on email. It is a great way to reevaluate a conversation and follow up on things that might not have gone to plan.