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How to set healthy boundaries to work to prevent burnout


Burnout is real. However, you do not have to set your phone on fire.

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There is no doubt about it – Americans now spend too much time working. More and more studies show that our excessive dedication to our jobs actually damages our work performance and our health.

Although it seems that you have to be online 24/7 to make a career progress, this unsustainable work style increases your risk of burnout – and a burnout employee probably won't make any progress at all. Instead, if you develop healthy communication boundaries, you can stay mentally fresh and have great success in the long run.

Setting strong limits is difficult, but don't be afraid – I am here to give you some solid tips on how you can be more assertive in the workplace.

1. Let your work computer work

If you are not working at home and your company has supplied you with a laptop, always try to leave it at your desk at the end of the day. This is also a good opportunity to remove work-related software (such as Slack) from your computer at home, so that you are not tempted to cheat. If you first prepare for a presentation on Monday morning, you can make an exception to the rule, but try to make it a habit to work alone in the office.

2. Limit communication channels if possible

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Millions of different communication channels do not help with your productivity.

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You probably use email, Slack, Google Chat and more to communicate with various colleagues and business partners. This definitely does not help with stress levels – a survey of working professionals found that nearly half felt that multiple communication channels felt less productive and unfocused.

Instead of monitoring three different email accounts and one million at the same time Slack channels, try to centralize your communication. This may mean that you have to forward all your e-mails to one account or leave Slack channels that are not necessary to perform your tasks.

3. Your boss must be your only boss

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If a colleague's request leaves you overwhelmed, just tell them that you will arrive later.

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How often has a colleague stopped at your desk with a "quick question" that ultimately takes more than 15 minutes to untangle? It is difficult to say no when someone asks for help, but if you are too busy at work, you should consider limiting these personal favors.

Instead, try to set boundaries with people who are not your boss or direct reports. If it is not time sensitive, ask them to send you an email about the problem and you will come back to it later. Don't be afraid to let your boss know when these extra tasks stand in the way of your actual tasks – they might be able to win you something.

4. Keeping personal channels personal

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No one likes working texts on a Friday night.

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It is sometimes completely normal to give your mobile phone number to colleagues – you may be traveling together or you are friends outside the office.

But the lines start to get a little blurry when colleagues & # 39; s start texting you & about work-related things outside office hours. This "never on the clock" mentality causes a lot of stress, so it is better to establish a strict line with colleagues. Unless it's a serious emergency that only you can solve, you politely ask colleagues & # 39; s not to text your personal cell phone number about work & (cat photos & # 39; s are still very welcome.)

5. Set the right example

Treat your colleagues the way you want to be treated. If you work late at night, do not send 9 p.m. emails – try to schedule them for the morning. Do not send sms & # 39; s with colleagues & # 39; s about work-related issues at the weekend, and hopefully they will come back.

6. Communicate, communicate, communicate

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Healthy communication boundaries are always a good thing.

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As soon as you start taking these steps, people in the office who are not used to the new can begin to push back. They may want the colleague who always responds directly to their e-mails, not the one who takes several hours. If people disagree with your renewed work style, then calmly communicate with them why you behave this way and how it helps you to reduce stress .

Of course, if these tips actually affect your work performance, you have to adjust your ways. But if a colleague complains because you did not respond to their 10 p.m. text, it's time to say no again.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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