Boundaries are an integral part of work. Without addressing gray areas and establishing clear expectations, we’re setting ourselves up for anxiety, demotivation, lack of growth, and even failure. As employees, it’s only healthy that we know where lines are drawn when it comes to things that should be of concern to us. This way, our priorities are straight and, let’s face it, our conscience is clear! As ideal as it sounds, when we become the catch basin of all additional work and work-related issues, we end up not only physically exhausted, but mentally as well.
How do we manage expectations from us at work?
Communicate with your boss.
When it comes to priority-setting, it’s important that you and your boss are on the same page. After all, no one wants to exert effort and dedicate hours to something that’s close to futile. Once you’re clear on what should and shouldn’t top your to-do list, it’s also easier for you to communicate what is realistically doable for you and the things you might need some assistance with. Along the way, if your responsibilities start to become overwhelming, open it up for discussion as well!
Align expectations with your skills and capabilities.
When you’re thinking twice about taking over a big project or setting tougher KPIs, always ground it with your knowledge of the extent of not only your skills, but the capabilities that circumstances allow. For example, if that big project means you have to put in an extra 5 hours and you don’t have that many to spare, then you should probably look for growth elsewhere at the moment.
Don’t pressure yourself to say yes.
If you’re unsure, it’s always better to leave the conversation at “Let me look at my tasks and schedules and see if I can squeeze this in!” rather than saying yes on the spot. This is a more responsible and reasonable approach to managing expectations compared to saying yes for the sake of it, only to underdeliver.
Taking on some more responsibility doesn’t just further our growth, but they’re also plus points to our work performance. So while the time isn’t right yet to do just that, it helps to come up with a compromise. This eases the burden for your team and shows diligence from your end at the same time!
Hold yourself accountable.
A healthy workplace is an accountable one! Setting and managing expectations should be tied to a good account of factors that contribute to achievements and shortcomings. Never hesitate to give credit where credit is due and admit your personal setbacks because this is the only way to discuss ways to improve!
Take the time to disconnect from work.
Being burned out makes it a thousand times harder to meet what’s expected of us in the workplace; so no matter how demanding the job is, don’t skimp on much-needed time away from work! Check out our articles on how to disconnect from work here and how to prevent work burnout here.
Though sometimes a point of frustration, hard-to-reach expectations are crucial to our career and personal development. It’s when we cross the path between comfortable and uncomfortable while keeping our goals realistic that we better our skills, boost our confidence levels, and better manage expectations!