4 Ways to Set Personal Boundaries in Work and Life

By Alyana Olivar for Belo Medical Group on February 16, 2021

Working from home the past few months have blurred the lines between work and personal life. If you’re not careful, this can lead to other issues that will impact both aspects of your life. To manage that fragile work-life balance, you need to set some boundaries for both your work and personal relationships. Here are some ways you can start.

  1. Try to follow strict work hours.

It’s easy to get swept away with everything you have on your to-do list, especially when you don’t have a buffer from your work hours. We also know it can be difficult to ignore work-related messages even if it’s technically after hours. Still, there’s a lot of evidence that suggests working for 10 or more hours a day and 40 or more overtime hours per month can create feelings of stress that can be harmful to you in the long run. If you want to start following stricter work hours, it means not answering e-mails, picking up calls, or doing anything work-related before and after these designated times.

2. Turn off the notifications once your shift or workday is done.

In line with keeping strict work hours, a concrete way of setting personal boundaries at work is by turning off notifications from apps you use at work. If you also have your work e-mail logged on your phone, turn that off too. There’s a very real cost that comes with these notifications, especially e-mails — a 2001 study by the Loughborough University indicates that it takes you 64 seconds to return to work at the same rate you left it. Now, imagine spending time with your family and having to take a break from it to answer an e-mail or work message. That’s a minute taken away from your personal life. It can easily add up and never taken back.

3. Be clear about your role, both at work and at home.

While it’s tempting to flex that you’re a jack or jill-of-all-trades, overexerting yourself to compensate for others isn’t a sustainable practice. When it comes to setting limits, it helps to go back to the role you play in the work and family setting. For example, what tasks were explicitly stated in your contract when you signed up for your job? Are you constantly doing things that are “outside of the job description”? You can do this at home too. For instance, both you and your partner need to equally contribute to household chores.

4. Have your me-time.

Personal relationships deserve our time and attention, but do you know who else deserves it? That’s right, it’s you. Spending time alone to do your own thing — enjoying your hobbies, doing your skincare, being alone with your thoughts — is such an important boundary that not a lot of people prioritize. “Periods of solitude may not only be intrapersonally healthy, but also helpful in improving relationships with others,” wrote psychology professors Drs. Shoba Sreenivasan and Linda E. Weinberger on Psychology Today.

Which personal boundary will you be applying IRL? Let us know @belobeauty!

Most Popular

Belo uses cookies to allow to ensure you get the best experience. By continuing to use this site, you consent to this policy. Learn more