The Boundary Meter: Where do you Fall?

The school bell has rung, class is now in session,

I want to encourage Educators and anyone else working remotely at this time in their lives. A family member and I were discussing since working remotely, it appears as if our workload has doubled.

The question I asked myself is why? Why does it appear we are working longer and harder than before, although we are in the same positions? Why do we feel so unsettled and restless? What is the solution?

What I have concluded is that we are not managing our time as well as we should. The solution is that we need to begin to set boundaries for ourselves, hard, clear boundaries. The three areas we need to truly protect are our Emotional, Family and Work space. As you read the nine tips provided below, reflect and see where you fall on the Boundary Meter.

Nine tips on how to protect your Emotional, Family and Work space:

Say no – It is ok to say no if a task is outside of your ability or if someone wants you to do something or go somewhere in which you feel uncomfortable.

Say yes to help – If a task is a part of your responsibility and you do not know how to do it, seek help.

Say Thank you without shame or apology – If someone pays you a compliment, thank them and do not make excuses, graciously accept.

Protect your time and do not overcommit – This is a huge one, and one of the main reasons I still use an actual planner along with the calendar on my phone. I am an avid deleter, because I like to declutter. For this reason, the spreadsheets on my MacBook and paper planner serves as a backup on communication logs and events. I highly recommend it!

Designate family time – Spending time with family is therapeutic. These are usually people who love you unconditionally and allow you to be yourself, do not forget to nurture these relationships. They are often taken for granted.

Do not overshare – Information should be offered in a give/take fashion, and not one-sided. There will be times when it will be one-sided, but it should not be routinely so. Guard your heart from those who may not value it. When building relationships with people, sharing should be mutual. There are differences between friends and associates.

Spend time in the presence of friends – There is nothing more fun than laughing and sharing with friends. This is healthy and uplifting to the soul. The Bible describes laughter as medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

Bedtime – During our sleep cycle our body is renewing itself, it is important to get to sleep at a decent hour during the work week. This article about sleep was an interesting read.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health

Create a work schedule – It is understandable to work overtime occasionally, but if it becomes a habit, it can be detrimental to your physical and emotional health. Have you ever heard that overworking could lead to an early death? GET A SCHEDULE and aim to stick to it, the work will be there the following day, I promise. The article about being overworked is below.

Setting boundaries is beneficial in helping us operate more efficiently in all areas of our lives. There will be days when we will work late, do not say no, or ask for help, but that should be the exception and not the rule. If we want to be more productive and operate at 80 percent and above; we have to set boundaries for yourselves in our Emotional, Family and Work space. I hope that after reading this you will take the time to reflect on these areas and decide to make considerable changes. I plan to do so myself.

The school bell has rung, class dismissed!

Published by Kamina A. Fitzgerald Ed.D.

Loving others as I love myself

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