Work Boundaries

Lately, I’ve been in need of some guidance. Lucky for me, I have a mentor…for a little while. She’s really nice and helpful, and has given me some solid advice and direction.

One of the things I’m struggling with–that I haven’t brought up with her yet–is the balance between work and the rest of life. Writing from home is working from home, and thus boundaries are blurred. Do I clock in from nine to five? Can I work hours here and there? How do I resist the temptation to always be writing or editing or submitting or promoting or networking? I don’t know. I simply don’t know.

I want to put the first things first, but how much time am I supposed to give them? It’s making me feel like a clown juggling a dozen bowling pins. And the clown is bad at juggling, so they only stay up in the air for a split second, and are now scattered across the ground.

So I’m asking you, dear self-employed friends: how do you set boundaries and what should they look like?

Here are the things in my life, in no particular order:

  1. Work – which includes writing, editing, submitting, research, networking (blogging, tweeting, FB-ing, etc.), etc.
  2. Housework
  3. Family life (I’ll be helping my sister with my niece for a little while after Little Guy is born)
  4. Spiritual life
  5. Social life/friends
  6. Volunteer life (planning writing meetings, and then “teaching” them every-other week)
  7. Personal life (fun and reading)

How does one juggle? One pin at a time for so long (each day) I’d imagine. I guess I could set time for different things. I think I will.

Sorry. Thinking out loud.


How do YOU deal with the distractions of life and juggling the necessities?

Keep your pen on the page,

5 thoughts on “Work Boundaries”

  1. Beth — Still working on that! I have a day job, with a fairly standard workday — so that defines itself. Chores have to get done, usually on a schedule. I have to define scheduled times for other things, too — I can manage time better if I’ve committed to it in advance. The somewhat eccentric result is that I end up doing a lot of writing and critiquing while I’m eating lunch or dinner. (What the Gilbreths used to call “unavoidable delay.”)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tend to organise on a weekly basis – how many hours per week will this thing take me? Then once I know that, I can better keep track if something is taking up too much of my time.

    I also tend to write lists of tasks in order of priority, and give myself a certain number per day, so that if I get overwhelmed, I can always say, “It’s OK, I only need to do these things today”, but if I get more done, then awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! You’ve got it down to a science, it sounds like. Wish I had as much discipline as you 🙂 I like the priority list bit–that’s what I’ve done, per a mentor’s suggestion.
      Thanks for stopping by!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.