Posts Tagged ‘boundaries’

When working at home, set up boundaries

March 6th, 2017

Here are some ideas about setting up healthy boundaries for working at home


Do you work from home- either full-time, or like many of the people I know, part of the time? Then you need to set some boundaries for yourself and for your family/roommates if you are to succeed. They include the working “rules”, the space, the hours and the exceptions.


First, you need to set up working rules that everyone agrees to.

This can be difficult, if you have smaller children at home, or if your partner is home most of the time, too. You will have to be strict, especially at the beginning. You may have to work when most people are out of the house, or find a way to signal “Do NOT disturb” to the others. You will have to choose the what and the how. Mostly, you will have to make your rules follow-able for all. That also includes you! Watch out, or you will not get as much done as you need.


Second, you need to define your working space(s).

Where is your “work stuff”? Will it be a private office where you can shut the door, if necessary? I have a colleague who is in transition and he has a to the three room apartment, including the kitchen. When a client comes, his wife goes to the bedroom and waits. This is not ideal, but until they move, it is what has to be done. I have a winter garden that works as a coaching and conference room and my own office. For me this works. Also, I have a few places I can rent when it is necessary to be in or closer to Zürich. But mostly I like sitting on my sofa and working in a cushy comfortable environment. You get to choose.

Working hours are important to set, otherwise you can while away your time.

When I am not teaching I try to keep 9-5:30 as my work day with lunch and a dog walk break. I try and keep these hours with phone calls, with (work) emails, and such. This does not include my reading, which I usually do in the evening and at the weekend, neither does it include social media presence, which is done at breaks or “off-hours”. What it DOES include is writing and thinking and reflecting and all the normal work needed to be done. Today, for instance it includes writing this blog, sketching out a podcast, working on my new vision board, and many other things.

Make sure you have grace in your rules for exceptions.

There will be seasons, breaks, and ups and downs. You will get sick, have funerals to attend, and people who are not just “work” people to see. Allow for them as you plan your week. Otherwise you may miss out on what you REALLY need to be doing. I usually look at my next week on Friday and on Monday and CUT out things.


So, what does your working at home boundaries consist of?

Have a productive and fulfilling week!


Patricia Jehle


Ps- I invite you to my LinkedIn group, SMEs Grow Together, here:

Time for a reflection check-up on your personal and professional goals

February 27th, 2017

Reflection Check-up

It is almost March and perhaps you should take some time for a reflective check-up. It is important to regularly reflect upon your goals and check your progress to make changes and keep on your chosen course. First you must ask yourself questions.


Ask yourself

Questions and reflection can help you be better at work- and at home. They help you remember what is important for you.


Here are some questions to ask yourself:


  • What are my goals (yearly and quarterly) and where am I at regarding them right now? What changes need to be made to reach those goals, or do I need to re-work the goals?
  • How am I doing with my work and personal relationships? Where do I need to change here?
  • How am I doing with boundaries? Do I have enough time and energy to get my work done and have healthy relationships?
  • What am I doing daily for me, for my health and well-being?
  • How has my attitude been lately? Do I need an adjustment in attitude? How can that be best achieved?


Let’s look at a few of these activities for the rest of this blog, namely boundaries and “me time”.


Boundaries- at work and with others:

At work:

  • Make sure you are able to work in an environment where your values are honored.
  • Make sure you and all people at work are valued and respected.
  • Make sure you know your physical, mental and emotional limits.
  • Make sure you are able to and (if possible) are expected to communicate your needs.
  • Make sure your environment allows you to express boundary violations.
  • Make sure you have a set of “what ifs and thens” for when boundary violations happen. Be prepared.
  • Make sure the structure at work is clear for all.
  • Write out your boundaries for that specific work place.


Personal life boundaries:

  • Know and name your limits.
  • Know your weaker areas and work on them to grow and gain confidence.
  • Know and be able to visualize your goals.
  • Be your own best counselor (if you cannot, get one).
  • Trust your decisions to be right for you.
  • Remind yourself that no means no.
  • Expect to be respected.
  • Expect to be honored and not “used”.
  • Be able to be authentic and vulnerable at appropriate times.
  • Make sure you have time for you. (more about this below).


You can add to either of these lists with what is best for you. But remember setting boundaries is way of setting up a barrier against “losing yourself”- to others or to the “system”. It keeps your identity intact.

Me time

Finally I have a list of activities you can do for personal “me time”. It doesn’t have to be done alone and in fact some of the items on the list are social, but remember even extroverts need time along, to recharge and think things through.



  • Read what you want.
  • Watch a TV show you have chosen yourself.
  • Exercise, your choice.
  • Take a walk (perhaps with your dog, if you have one).
  • Take a course that interests you.
  • Work on your hobby, including making something.


Much more could be said about these issues. In fact, books have been written. But enough said here- just remember to reflect and ask yourself questions and that this time of year is a perfect time to do it.


Enjoy your week and be productive and healthy!


Patricia Jehle