Work-Home Boundaries — How to Draw Them During a Pandemic

your time is yours
Work-home boundaries help.

Strong work-home boundaries require making choices every day.

You decide what balance to strike between work and home.

But what if you are actually working from home, as so many are these days? Those boundaries are tricky to maintain in normal times.

How about during a pandemic?

Well, first let’s take a look at some of the reasons that maintaining clear work-home boundaries is important.

Advantages of strong work-home boundaries:

Advantage #1: Fewer Interruptions
Boundaries here keep your work at work and your home at home. Your schedule is less likely to be disrupted by others’ urgency. This means you maintain space and time to follow through on planned tasks.

Advantage #2: Promoting Competence in Others
Encouraging others to take care of themselves promotes their confidence and competence. Whether at work or at home, as you let go and let others step up to the plate, you also demonstrate trust.

Advantage #3: Capacity to Focus on One Thing at a Time
Keeping strong boundaries reduces outside distractions and encourages focus, flow, and personal productivity. This holds true both at work and at home.

Are there disadvantages?

Yes, there are some things that might prove problematic when you’re creating and maintaining strong work-home boundaries. Here are three examples:

Disadvantage #1: Untended Problems Might Escalate
If problems come up that actually need your input and attention, those problems may escalate if left untended.

Disadvantage #2: Reduced Personal Flexibility
If you can easily transition from work to home activities, rigid distinctions may discourage creative solutions.

Disadvantage #3: Fewer Opportunities to Delegate Tasks and Responsibilities
Sometimes regimenting roles and maintaining strict boundaries deprives you of chances to explore enhanced cooperation.

Find what works and talk about it.

When you are working from home, the need for clear boundaries is heightened. How many zoom calls have you been on where activities in the background distract from the focus of the group? Often it’s humorous, but still, it’s a distraction.

So, when thinking about creating boundaries around your at-home work, it’s vital that you begin by considering everyone who will be affected by the boundaries. Then discuss what you need, and who will do what, when — with everyone involved.

For example:

  • Under what circumstances is it okay to interrupt you?
  • What support and flexibility is your employer able to provide?
  • Are you willing and able to change your hours to better accommodate work and home needs?
  • If you have a partner, which one of you is better able to adjust hours in an emergency? Think about this both in terms of at-home and at-work ‘partners.’

Implementing your work-home boundaries:

Here are some guidelines to consider: 

  • Clarify everyone’s roles before commitments are made. Consult with everyone affected and factor in their responses. Adjust as possible and needed.
  • Identify possible conflicts ahead of time. This helps you weigh the implications of your boundaries and address them upfront when possible.
  • Develop contingency plans. This lessens stress on relationships and allows you to shift gears quickly when you need to. Getting everyone’s buy-in and communicating these plans, ideally in writing, helps, too.
  • Review and revise your boundaries as needed. While some of your boundaries may not be negotiable, everyone benefits from updating commitments, and especially the ones that are flexible.

How will you put these skills to work in your life?

What is your next step to create more effective boundaries, so that you can find more time?

For more help…

Setting and maintaining boundaries is a skill that makes everything else in your life possible. And it’s a difficult challenge for lots of smart, motivated people. People like you.

“Your Secret Power: How to Honor Your Time and Claim Your Space with Boundaries” gently steers you to a more profound understanding of where and how your boundary-setting efforts get short-circuited. Not only that, but it helps you establish the boundaries you need to unlock the door to your freedom. Boundary-setting is a skill that’s learnable, doable and definitely within your reach. And the strategies, tips and exercises in “Your Secret Power” help you discover how to:

  • Set and maintain boundaries to enhance your productivity and, yes, make more money;
  • Recharge your energy so you have the time and freedom to do what you value and what you’d like to do in your life; and
  • Learn how to say no, which opens the door to your next big Yes.

Ready to start using boundaries to maximize your time and energy? Click the link below to learn more about this transformative time tool and the bonuses that come with it:

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