How to create boundaries in life and work
How to create boundaries in life and work for a growing breed of people doing more than just one career.
Do you even remember the days of working 9-5 at one job? As we continue to transition into a digital first landscape, providing us with the means to turn our ideas into business reality just through the click of technology, we have become a society of multi-hyphenates.
As so many industries and passions now co-exist, we have the power to bring together all our interests and work them into our daily routine as we please. However, with all the positives and freedoms of entrepreneurship, multi-careers and even remote working, our lives are losing boundaries. Do you notice the demise of lunch breaks? Evenings spent researching or sifting through emails? Holidays abroad now spent predominantly on your laptop?
Life has become lived out through career growth, as our paychecks are based on our own endeavours: in the US research shows over 64% of millennials at least have a side hustle if not multi-hyphen career. Heightened by the pandemic which turned the term ‘pivot’ into everyday speak – we all celebrated our innate human ability to pick up new skills.
Millennials like to look at careers in a non-linear way: that having many strings to your bow can help futureproof your career. This is about taking power back into your own hands and choosing a lifestyle.
However, in doing so, we have become a nation largely living with burnout; according to research by Glassdoor, the amount of UK people suffering burnout has risen by a record 48%. So how can we integrate boundaries and structure into our free-flowing, self-curated lifestyles?
Firstly it’s important to be in the right mindset as you navigate your own path: Embrace your own unique special powers: One of the joys of embracing a multi-hyphened world is that you are at the centre and you can bring your unique skills to the table. These might not be the usual skills that are rewarded in big corporations –Are you good with people? Fiercely independent? Adaptable? Can you learn new things quickly?
Choose your priorities: “Work-life balance” is not about eliminating work through better time management or by shutting your phone off at a certain time each night – that is just a waste of willpower.
Instead, focus on actively rebuilding parts of your personal life that are important and you feel you’ve let slip over time. As you invest time in your personal life, you’ll see those areas actually re-energize you and therefore make you more effective in your professional work.
So, think about what things matter to you? What do you consistently neglect that, if attended to, would make you feel more fulfilled and help you better manage stress and feel better about yourself.
Create something tangible like a chart: Balance isn’t easily achievable in the fast paced, modern age and even less so as a start up. Having something tangible to tick off or look at, keeps you focused on your goals. It takes no more than three minutes each day but develops an increased awareness of how I’m doing on my stated priorities. After picking your priorities create 1-3 questions for each priority to see if, or how well, you do them on a daily basis.
Create a team of people around you: It’s not just careers and business start ups that need team input, a healthy life needs a crew of people too who understand your life structure and goals. Find friends who aren’t associated with your work endeavours but are happy to join you in pursuits – e.g if you want to make a pre work gym workout your priority, find someone who will join you.