Boundary Setting

This week's trek is inspired by Boris Groysberg and Robin Abraham's research at HBS on work/life balance.

Does your job habitually step over the line into your personal life?

We all struggle to set clear boundaries between work and personal time. Groysberg and Abraham's research with executives has shown that even leaders have to make "deliberate choices" about what they will and won't take on in order to maintain the right work/life boundaries for success.

Introducing Your Boundary Setting Exercise

What It Is
A 15-minute exercise to identify your work and personal life deal-breakers so you can be sure to the set the boundaries needed to avoid line-stepping on each.

Why We Love It 
When you have a lot on your plate at work and at home it can be challenging to determine what, in particular, should take priority. This exercise helps you re-evaluate what matters most so you can make better choices both personally and professionally. 

How It Works
1. Set aside 15 minutes in your calendar and grab your favorite notebook/journal/scratch-pad.

2. Write out your response to this question: Right now in your life, do you live to work or work to live? There is no right or wrong answer to this one; it's about being honest with yourself about which is your main focus.

3. Based on your answer in #2, when it comes to the work side of things what are you not willing to give up? Perhaps you want that promotion. Or you want to work on a specific project. Or maybe you want to work with certain people. Think through your professional non-negotiable items and write them down. 

4. Based on your answer in #2, when it comes to the personal side of things what are you not willing to give up? Perhaps you don't want to miss more than two nights at home due to work travel or you never want to compromise time with family or friends. Maybe you want to always get your cycling class in. Or perhaps you gotta make sure your Sunday afternoons are reserved for Netflix binging. Think through your personal non-negotiable items and write them down.

5. Take a look at your lists in #3 and #4 and identify where your must-haves are currently not being met. Then, take a few minutes and think through how you can reprioritize your commitments to focus on what matters to you most. If you are currently spending time on something that doesn't make this list, find a way to deprioritize or delegate it. 

Source: Thrive Global

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Ev Boyle, Director @ LA-Tech.org
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Shankar Desai