Have Trouble Setting Boundaries At Work? Try These 14 Expert Tips

Have Trouble Setting Boundaries At Work? Try These 14 Expert Tips

Setting healthy boundaries is essential in every aspect of life, and especially in one’s career. Without them, professionals are likely to find themselves overwhelmed, stretched too thin and struggling with one facet of life or another.

Fortunately, there are effective ways to set boundaries while still fulfilling your obligations and meeting the needs of yourself and those around you. Below, 14 members of Forbes Coaches Council explain how to set limits in your professional life that will ultimately have a positive impact in other areas of your life as well.

1. Define What’s Important To You

Know your values and goals. Rather than just focusing on a perfectly balanced schedule, design one that integrates what is most important. Don’t get caught up in the concept of busyness, and practice saying “no.” Allocate your time wisely; tech tools are a great resource. Create time for deep work, and value the help of others. You can’t do it all! – Susan Murray, Clearpath Leadership

2. Plan With A Singular Focus

Unfortunately, many executives prioritize their time in buckets. They prioritize work projects, family time, reflection time, and so on, all individually, then wind up with competing priorities. Instead, plan your day, week and life with a singular focus. For example, what is more important in the day: attending your daughter’s dance recital or finishing a proposal? You decide. – Shawn Casemore, Casemore and Co. Inc.

3. Share Your Boundaries With Those Around You

First, don’t keep your boundaries to yourself. To maintain the boundaries you have set for yourself, you are going to need help, whether it’s from whoever is at home with you, a friend or someone at work, it’s hard to sustain boundaries if those who can affect those boundaries don’t know they exist. Clarity is key. These people can then help you be accountable when you step outside of those boundaries and help you out. – Alex Draper, DX Learning Solutions

4. Communicate Your Needs

Professionals should take advantage of flexible scheduling and benefits, avoid using personal time to work (outside of emergencies) and communicate their personal and family obligations. Communicate personal needs and ask for support if necessary. As a bonus, boundary setting also provides a good example for everyone, giving them the latitude to do the same and creating a better corporate culture. – Michael Timmes, Insperity


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5. Create ‘Buffer’ Time In Your Schedule

The first thing to do is to identify where you need to set boundaries. What are your biggest time wasters? What do you wish you had more time for? Then, you need to make sure that you always have “buffers” in your schedule. Unexpected things will always happen, and they will take time to deal with. Just as you have some savings put aside for a rainy day, you need to have some extra time. – Rajeev Shroff, Cupela Consulting

6. Identify Your Priorities

Start by identifying what your priorities are, and then set boundaries that protect those specific priorities. The clearer you can get about what’s most important to you and what is urgent but not important, the better able you will be to create and hold effective boundaries. Then, share your boundaries with family and colleagues and ask for their support. – Brandy Simula, Brandy L. Simula Coaching and Consulting

7. Set Boundaries Each Day With A Calendar

Calendaring every minute of the day and sticking to it is the easiest way to create boundaries. Share the calendar with relevant individuals and confirm appointments so that there is no waste of time. Say “no” to arbitrary interruptions. Stick with the plan! – Jacquelyn Van Tuyl, JVT Solutions

8. Delegate Any Tasks Someone Else Can Do

For a month, keep a diary of everything you do, when you do it and so on. Aggregate diary entries that could be done by someone else and delegate them, clearing your diary of the stuff that kills your time and is not important, starting with your emails. Then, prioritize what you want to be doing. Schedule this in your diary, and focus on one priority at a time. – Chris Averill, Northford Capital

9. Focus On Emotional Goal-Setting

Emotional goal-setting is very beneficial to managing our busy lives and thriving. Instead of going through your task list, make an ambitious plan. Stop and identify how you feel right now and how you want to feel at a specific moment, with specific people or in a specific context. This will move you from having “the mind full” to being mindful. Start now—how do you feel? How do you want to feel? – Krumma Jónsdóttir, Positive Performances

10. Prioritize And Schedule Everything

One of the best ways to set better boundaries in your life is to prioritize and schedule everything you need to do. This means setting aside specific times for things such as household chores, working on your career, managing your finances and spending time with friends and family. – Peter Boolkah, The Transition Guy

11. Start Setting Boundaries Early

The boundary-setting process starts with the job interview. If it’s clear that the organizational environment is toxic, nothing will help. Create a list of ground rules, share it with your team and get team agreement. Create a set of boundaries during a one-on-one with your manager or stakeholders. Some boundaries won’t be accepted or agreed upon, but you’ll have clarity on the rest. – Aina Alive, Bee Agile

12. Take Care To Not Overcommit Yourself

The first thing to do is accept that you are a human living in a body that requires care, nourishment, movement, sleep, connection and meaning 24 hours a day. If you’re in denial, you overcommit due to a lack of awareness of your limitations. (Ask your people if you do.) Track activities over a week. Are you taking care of what you care about most? Make and keep commitments. Delegate or delete what you can. – Christine Rose, CEOAccel

13. Focus On What You Want

Boundaries tend to be conceived around keeping out what people don’t want. Instead of setting boundaries, professionals can focus on what they want—rather than what they don’t want—to maintain balance and health in the various areas of their lives. This entails choosing their priority in the moment and opting to direct their attention and action to whatever and wherever needed. – Lisa Marie Platske, Upside Thinking, Inc.

14. Paint A Picture Of Your Ideal Life

Start by painting a picture of what you want life to look like, personally and professionally. Get really specific so that you can envision it and start to think about how to make it happen. For example, what would an ideal day look like? How would you adapt when things get hectic? This makes it much easier to set boundaries that you can flex as circumstances change. – Neena Newberry, Newberry Solutions

Published at Tue, 24 Jan 2023 18:15:00 +0000

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