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Work-life boundaries: how to separate your work and personal life

John Sherman

While everyone understands the importance of setting boundaries, the process of doing so is often easier said than done. Regardless of good intentions, many people struggle with actually separating their work and personal lives. It can be all too easy to find yourself checking your work email on your day off or checking your social media notifications when you should be working.


Failure to separate your work and personal life might seem innocuous at first, but over time it can lead to potentially disastrous results. You could find yourself overworked due to your inability to unplug from work, or you could find your career in jeopardy due to your inability to focus on work at appropriate times.

Establishing Work-Life Boundaries

The amount of time that you put into work tasks and personal tasks will vary based on several factors, including your corporate culture as well as what each day is like.

Some days could very well differ from other days. Once you learn to set boundaries based on your obligations and priorities, you will feel far more in control and free to make decisions that not only function well but also allow you to lead a more productive life both at home and at work.

Create a Schedule

Once you have made the commitment to setting boundaries, it’s a good idea to put those boundaries to paper. Although this might seem like an unnecessary additional step, you might find that actually writing down your guidelines will help you to take them more seriously.

Studies have shown that people who take the time to write down their goals are more likely to achieve those goals. Therefore, if you have decided that you are going to disconnect from work every evening by 7 p.m., make a note of it on your calendar. Create a schedule that works for you, and then stick to it.

Unplugging from Technology

Today, most people are bombarded with technology. As a result, most people never truly have a separation from it. This has led to blurred lines between work and personal lives. Simply turning off your phone and going for a walk or spending a few minutes working on another activity is a terrific way to relax and unwind.

Leave the Office

Many people find themselves at the office far later than they should be. Not only is this not healthy for you and your personal life, it’s also not good for those who care about you. One simple change can alter that. It’s as easy as making a commitment to leaving the office on time. If necessary, let others know about your commitment, so they can help to hold you accountable.


Meditation is an excellent way to help you disconnect mentally from work once you are at home. This is a great option for people who experience trouble in unwinding once they get home because they are still too caught up in the day’s events.

The ability to disconnect from work once you arrive home can actually help you be more creative. How to Meditate – The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation is an online course designed for anyone who has tried to meditate but found it difficult to do so.

In this course, you learn how to meditate and gain inner peace while becoming more connected to the people around you and your surroundings.

Schedule Time for Your Personal Life

Reserve time in your schedule for personal activities that will add value to your life and give you the opportunity to recharge. This could include a weekly social night, daily exercise, or family activities. This simple change will give you something to look forward to while also helping you manage your time.

Establish Boundaries with Others

One of the most common problems that many people encounter when trying to separate their work from personal lives is that others continually tempt them to stray from their goals. This can work both ways. Friends and family might tempt you to go out when you need to be working on a project at work.

Likewise, co-workers or even your supervisor might try to get you to work later when you need to spend quality time with family and friends or even just some time on your own relaxing.

To combat this problem, it’s important to make sure you communicate your boundaries with friends and family as well as those with whom you work, so that everyone understands the lines you have drawn to establish healthy boundaries and why.

If you have decided you will no longer be available to work on the weekends, give your team at work a heads-up. You could also set up an out-of-office response for your email. Need to spend more time at work? Communicate this to those close to you, so everyone is on the same page.

Juggling work and home is not always an easy task. Yet, it’s imperative that you learn how to strike that balance to avoid burning yourself out.

The following courses can help you in setting up boundaries that will help you to get just the right balance:

Remember, striking the right balance between your personal life and work is important not only for your own health and well-being but also for others in your life.

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