Identify the limits of what you are going to do or are willing to allow others to do. To help you identify your boundaries, here are three types of boundaries successful people set at work:
1. Guard your time.
Check email two or three times a day, not multiple times per hour. Say “no” to requests that do not further the goal of your work. Conclude meetings at the time they are scheduled to end. Stop sending follow-up emails after you have tried a few times, and pick up the phone.
Identify habits and behaviors that are wasting your time. Is there an alternative way to complete a task that would be more efficient or effective? Focus your efforts on work that will help you and your team to advance. Successful people respect their time and other people’s time.
Being cognizant of your time is particularly critical if you are working virtually. Many professionals are finding that they are working longer hours during the coronavirus pandemic. Work hard, but don’t burn yourself out.
While successful people value their time, they don’t only focus on what they want to work on and say “no” to everything else. Successful people recognize that they are part of a team and have to support their colleagues. They compromise and recognize that everyone’s time is valuable. When your teammates see that you respect their time, they will be more likely to respect yours.
2. Conserve your energy.
Step away from your computer, and take a break when you need to. Stop worrying about what you cannot control.
You may find yourself grinding your wheels without making any progress. Successful people recognize times when their actions are unproductive. Tell yourself to stop so you can reserve your energy for the matters that need your brain power.
3. Own your ideas.
Don’t let someone else take credit for your idea. If you came up with an idea or it was your accomplishment, make it clear to your colleagues. Your career advancement depends on people recognizing your achievements. If your achievements are not known, you will find it hard to achieve your goals.
Be a team player, but don’t be a doormat. While you don’t have to claim every little thing as your own, make sure your manager and coworkers are clear on the important things you have done.
Set boundaries around your time, energy and ownership. It takes discipline to have boundaries. Investing in yourself is just as important as investing in your work.