In today’s workplace it doesn’t matter what position you’re at - there is a level of stress that perhaps wasn’t there a generation ago. Most jobs have targets and performance related outcomes that we are constantly measured on. Also our social circles have become so much wider due to the internet and social networking. There are times when pressures from one area affects the others, such as our relationships, performance, motivation and general outlook on life.
With today’s technology we are pretty much always contactable, and the temptation not to read work emails that come through to us on our phone in the evening can be just as strong as it is not to read a social media status update during office hours. But is it possible to totally switch off at five and leave work until nine the next morning? On the other hand is it possible to park that row you had with your partner that morning until you get home in the evening?
As difficult as it can be to switch from one role to the other there are some things we can do to help prevent one area of our lives creeping into another.
It can be helpful to establish healthy boundaries between work and home life. Know your values and communicate them clearly. For example, if you feel you have unreasonable deadlines or tasks is it okay to speak to your manager? Is it okay to ask for assistance? Is it okay to say no? If these pressures aren’t on your mind at home it can help you concentrate on other things like helping the kids with their homework or enjoying a meal with friends.
When at work avoid personal texts, emails and social media sites. This can help stop procrastination and improve your concentration and productivity. Remember that there's a balance though, there are times when our families and friends need to contact us for something important.
Try developing healthy supportive relationships outside of work. If you socialise with work colleagues how about agreeing not to talk about work outside the office. It may sound easier said than done but try focusing on work in work, and friends and family outside of work.
If you have good supportive relationships whether in work or at home they can remind you when you’re crossing your own boundaries.
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About Darren Magee
I have many years experience working in private practice in the BT9 area of Belfast. I have a collaborative approach to working with clients, drawing on different counselling disciplines to help maximize the support provided.