Our world today has so many expectations on us. Do you ever feel like you’re being pulled in every direction all at once?
Between work responsibilities, home responsibilities and personal needs, how are we supposed to fit everything in and stay balanced? Emotionally happy? Fully engaged?
Work is especially controlling at times – invading every moment. Current technology has made working from home even more flexible, but is that always the best thing for us?
Our ever-changing workplaces settings make it difficult to set productive and healthy boundaries with our employers.
So, how can we arrange healthy time boundaries?
What Exactly Are Time Boundaries?
First, let’s define what time boundaries are.
Time boundaries are literal ways in which we protect our time each day and night.
The intention with setting boundaries is to protect you from feeling that you must agree to do things that are an unfair use of your time, and to shield you from things that you don’t want to do, or are uncomfortable doing.
Three examples of time boundaries are:
- I only take calls from 9:30-5:30 M-F for work.
- All of my evenings are set aside for my spouse and children.
- Every weekday morning I go to the gym from 8-9.
We can set work related time boundaries to also allow us to produce more. To focus more. To feel safe.
Some work boundaries include:
- Limited time slots for meetings and appointments
- Deadlines on cancellations of meetings and appointments
- Limits to your personal disclosure
- Personal space boundaries
- Setting a professional tone in your office and space
How To Set Healthy Time Boundaries
It is important to set healthy boundaries with your employees and employer from day 1. This sets the tone that will stay.
Starting with your first interview, you can show how you expect to be treated. Describe your ideal work-life balance expectations. Detail your boundaries and chosen limits. Then, stick to these limits or you’ll see your situation decline at work.
Common boundary destroyers:
- Being too physically and emotionally available
- Completing work that is outside of your job description
- Checking work email 24/7
- Allowing payments to be late
- Allowing your times to be changed or appointments to be canceled
- Missing family events due to work
A loss of boundaries will literally have you feeling broken down, and disrespected. It causes work tensions and toxic environments. This is why you must see the importance of setting boundaries from the get-go.
Types Of Boundaries At Work
There are different types of boundaries at work: mental, physical, and emotional.
Do you ever feel that you are in a fog? Or that work is generally bringing your mood down to the point of not wanting to go into the office?
Maybe an employee is crossing lines and putting you in an awkward position at work. This can all be very draining, and should be addressed. Take care of your mental health!
Some examples of mental boundaries include:
- Hours: Choose hours that work for you, and stick to them.
- Focus time: Protect your ability to focus by setting away messages so that you can fully engage in your work projects.
- Work drama: Avoid all drama in the office among your co-workers. It’s hard to do, but worth it!
This may not seem necessary, but if professional boundaries are being abused, it’ll be clear.
Some examples of physical boundaries include:
- Touch: Your space is your own. Choose handshakes over hugs
- Alone time: Ask others to respect when you want to be alone
- 24/7: Don’t require yourself to go to all work events after hours, and protect your weekends.
- Health: Demand that your personal health issues are respected and honored (such as nursing breaks, standing desks, etc)
Emotional boundaries are tied into communication in the office place – even if you work remotely.
Creating an environment that is rich in empathy and understanding is key for a nice work environment.
Examples of emotional boundaries include:
- Communicate your feelings clearly and effectively.
- Give and receive feedback.
- Make sure work is evenly distributed.
- Listen clearly to others.
Your schedule should be fair and clear to others.
How to Set Professional Boundaries with Coworkers with Pav*r
Do you want to know how to set time boundaries at work another way?
Use your Google calendar with the Pav*r add-on!
Your boundaries will define your relationship with your boss and your coworkers. Steps to set boundaries include effectively communicating your boundaries with your fellow employees, and setting a clear schedule.
You can find easy ways for setting time boundaries at work by creating a clear schedule with Pav*r and your google calendar!
With Pav*r you can:
- Set available time blocks for work.
- Set focused time for yourself.
- Schedule in family time, gym time, personal appointments, etc.
- Set Goals for motivations.
- Communicate your schedule with employees with time blocking.
- Find ways to say no with scheduling, and to set boundaries at work.
How To Say No At Work
Do you know how to say no without feeling guilty?
DO you know how to say no without hurting someone feelings?
Sometimes we need to say no. Saying yes when you want to say no is an issue. It’s not easy to say no, in any situations. It’s especially difficult at work. Fear of loss of work or causing ruffled feathers makes many people stay quiet.
That’s why it’s important to learn how to say no when needed effectively. There are many different ways to say no.
Here are some simple ways to say no without saying no:
- How to say no politely at work: I’m sorry that I can not help you right now.
- How to say no to overtime at work: I can not add any additional work at the moment.
- How to say no to work requests: I do not take appointments at that time.
- How to politely decline helping someone after work: I have a previous engagement and can not attend.
- How to say no without being rude: Thank you for thinking of me, but I can’t today.
- How to say no to a project at work: Unfortunately, I have too much to do today.
- How to say no when work calls you in at off hours: I do not work on weekends but I’ll tackle this on Monday.
When to say yes and when to say no is really up to you – you know what your own demands and time are.
Remember, less is more they say – not all details are needed when saying no. Sometimes that reads as excuses. Simply, quickly and clearly state, “ No. I can’t”, and find other ways of saying no that are comfortable for you.
Knowing how to say no to your boss can be far more complicated. It’s hard to know what to say at the moment.
- Approach the situation with empathy.
- Gently tell them about the boundaries you set for yourself.
- Communicate politely and respectfully.
- Offer alternative solutions with-in your boundaries.
Do keep in mind that you can set messages to protect your time. Most email platforms have a “do not disturb” feature you can utilize.
Boundaries For Good
Setting boundaries allows you to set your expectations in stone – and that’s a good thing! Learning to say no at work isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for your own peace.
Group projects and assignments are more easily planned when your boundaries are clear. This can help to prevent bumps in the road with your boss and fellow workers. They’ll respect you, and your time!
When issues do come up, learn to say no at work! Try to know your limits with set focused “me” time. Respect your own energy, responsibilities, and feelings.
Knowing how to set healthy boundaries at work is crucial for everyone. When your boundaries are set up front you protect yourself – and others- from overstepping limits. This allows you to succeed in life to your highest potential.
Remember, if you feel that your boundaries are constantly disregarded in the workplace, you may be in an environment that is toxic for you. Make changes.
Set boundaries: when to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life!