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If you’ve been around for the Super Swell Snooze-Fest of the past few weeks, you’ve probably noticed that things have been a little quiet/boring/un-exciting around here. Sorry, friends! Things have been pretty out-of-control for the last few weeks — mostly on the work front. Ironically, very few of my clients are yelling at me these days, but there are a bunch of little things that are weighing me down, like:

  • The client who had to fire me because they lost a major investor.
  • The sales guy who talked over me when I gave him solicited advice.
  • The admonishment I received for “making excuses” when I apologized to a client for missing their email.

When you take all those little things and mix them up with the big things in my life — the sick bunny, the grad school applications and the major life decisions sitting on my doorstep — you get one stressed out mess of a humanoid.

“Boundaries!” Is My Battle Cry

A few months ago, Andy and I decided that we needed to implement some pretty strict boundaries in our lives. We blocked off our calendars to prevent invasive call scheduling, we stopped answering when clients called our landlines and we made a real effort to stop checking emails on the weekend. It worked great for awhile, but it wasn’t long before I found myself sliding back into my older, less-than-healthy habits.

You see, I like being helpful. I also — for the most part — like working. So sometimes, I would check my email on a Saturday and hop on for an hour to bail someone out. Or I’d call the home office on my way to the driving range, just to be helpful. Or I’d stay up late to finish something “because it’ll make my life so much easier tomorrow.”

And what has that gotten me? A major headache.

So it’s that time again. Time to reevaluate my work-boundaries and engage in a little more “self-care.” Here’s what’s going down:

  • No work at all on Sundays.
  • One email check at night. Responses only if absolutely necessary.
  • No calls after 7.
  • No computer work after 8.
  • In bed by midnight every night.

I’m hoping that these new boundaries will increase my productivity at while also improving my general outlook on life. In the past when I’ve set boundaries, they’ve been trampled. But not this time.

Have you had to set boundaries between work and real life? How did that go?