Boundaries can be seen as limiting and constricting – something to avoid. If used in your own interest, however, the opposite is true – boundaries can set you free. How? By keeping out things that do not serve you, creating the time you need to manage well, eliminating people and things that drain your energy and creating space for things that fuel you.
The tricky part comes with setting boundaries. There is plenty of room for conflict, misunderstandings and more energy drains, if you do not set your boundaries clearly and calmly. How to do it?
First, get clear on why you want to set the boundary. For example, you may want to stop a constant flow of interruptions during your workday, because they are counterproductive and work is not getting done at the rate you want. You could either set specific “open office” hours for non – emergency situations or specific “closed office” hours to have concentrated time to work.
Second, communicate the boundary well. Make your communication about you, not others. Be clear and state your reason for setting the boundary. Be open to what others have to say, but stay firm on your need for a boundary.
Third, stick to it. Whatever the boundary is, do not relent. You may make changes, but the end result has to be improvement of the situation that created the need for the boundary in the first place.
Boundaries, well considered and well placed, can set you free to manage effectively and lessen the stress of your everyday.