It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in today’s fast-paced digital world, and the transition to remote work brought on by the pandemic has only made things more complicated. According to server data compiled by NordVPN, Americans were working an additional three hours each day in the first few weeks of the coronavirus crisis, demonstrating that the flexibility of working at any time quickly eroded divisions between work and personal time that used to be separated by a commute.


So what’s the best way to restore healthy boundaries? The following strategies are a good place to start.


Make a list
Making any kind of life change is hard, especially if you’re already feeling overwhelmed. When you’re looking to set some boundaries, start by taking a step back and identifying what’s most important. Make a list of things in your life that you want to prioritize, whether it’s family time, a side hustle, or a hobby that you enjoy. Writing things down gives you a clear picture of what’s competing for your time, which is an important step if you want to begin allocating that time more effectively.


Create a schedule
Working remotely blurs the lines between your time and your work or school time, making it easier than ever to work long days. Along with the other demands life will throw at you, this overwork could be a recipe for disaster. Avoid excessive hours by setting a clear schedule that outlines when work begins and ends. Something as simple as not checking your work email after a certain time or on weekends can go a long way towards establishing clear boundaries between your working life and your personal life.


Take time off
No matter how many responsibilities you might have in your life, it’s always important to make time for yourself. Taking a day or two off every now and then will allow you rest and recharge. It can also provide an opportunity to reassess and think about what needs changing. After all, one of the aims of setting boundaries is to have more control over your time, and learning to prioritize taking time for yourself is a part of that process.


Whether you’re working remotely or commuting, it’s important to be deliberate with your time. Every situation is different, but the strategies above could help you reestablish boundaries that have dissolved during the pandemic.


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