I’ve been working through, with my leadership coach recently, a number of issues with setting appropriate boundaries in the workplace. For my entire career I’ve been a “whenever, whatever, no rest when you’re climbing the ladder” kind of person. But since marrying a man I love to be around, developing friendships I want to nourish, and finding a renewed dedication to my own health both physical and mental, working the kind of hours I’ve been working just isn’t sustainable (or enjoyable) anymore.
My coach said, “Any idiot can work 25 hours a day.” This was enlightening to hear. I was running myself ragged trying to do what no intelligent, thoughtful person should do. And what I ended up doing was becoming just that, ragged. Working “25 hours a day.” I realized in this moment, that I needed to set clearer boundaries for myself. Those boundaries include a realistic and appropriate work week.
The difficulty, though, comes not in setting boundaries, but in upholding them. Boundaries aren’t easy when those around you don’t respect them. It’s up to you, and only you, to fight to keep your boundaries. Make those around you aware of what you are willing and unwilling to do, the hours you’re willing, and unwilling to work, and stick to your guns. The best thing you can do for your career is to give it a healthy, happy, and personally balanced individual to manage it. Boundaries will help to make you healthier happier, and more personally balanced. You owe it to your career to set clear boundaries and to avoid being “any idiot” who can work 25 hours a day.
Comment below – what do you do to set clear boundaries in your work?