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Define your boundaries at work: work/life balance

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

While you may have to do some things you don’t love on the job, you shouldn’t have to continually operate outside your comfort zone, says Mike Figliuolo, author of One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.

Try to establish a line that you won’t cross or allow others to cross with you. Since everyone’s line is different, the only way people will know about your line is to teach them about it and let them know your limits, within the boundaries of your boss/admin relationship.

First, define those limits. Figliuolo suggests you take some time to write down answers to these questions to help you out.

  • What kind of work is required for you to be happy with your job? Which specific tasks or activities do you find the most fulfilling?
  • What kind of work or tasks would you love to eliminate from your daily routine?
  • Which characteristics of your job would you like to maintain at all costs (e.g., flexibility, predictability, ambiguity, simplicity, complexity, independence)? In what kind of environment are you most productive?
  • What characteristics of your job would you like to eliminate (e.g., flexibility, complexity, etc.)? In which environments are you unproductive or unhappy?
  • How do you prefer your co-workers, bosses, and team members to interact with you? How do you prefer they not interact? What pet peeves do you have regarding how others treat you?
  • Do you know someone who has an outstanding balance of doing work they are thrilled with compared to work they do not enjoy? How do they achieve that mix? What can you change about your own approach to work to better emulate them?
  • Has there ever been a point in life where you had a good work/life balance? What were the circumstances surrounding that situation that made it work?         

— Adapted from “How to Set Better Boundaries at Work,” Mike Figliuolo, Thought Leaders.

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