Learning to set healthy boundaries is the key to overcoming resentment and achieving work-life balance.
Boundaries are lines we set about our expectations, availability, and energy. Because boundaries protect our energy and focus, they allow us to be more productive in the workplace.
Boundaries simply prevent us from overcommitting and make our lives easier.
We might think that setting boundaries push others away from us. However, setting boundaries can actually help us have better relationships with others in the workplace and help us prioritize our wellness.
Use these 10 common boundary setting statements you can use at work to help you manage your stress:
1. Your boss asks you to take on a new project and you are already overwhelmed by your existing workload.
"Thank you for thinking of me for this project, can you give me a few days to take a look at the projects and deadlines on my responsibilities and we can have a follow-up conversation on how I can shift priorities”
Follow-up action: List current priorities along with new tasks and make a list of tasks that need to get shifted for you to take on the new project.
2. You are asked to stay late to do a task and you either don’t want to or have other obligations.
"Can you tell me when does this need to be completed? I can stay until (x) time, but I have other obligations and can complete this task tomorrow."
3. Your manager sends you a long list of to-do items right before your scheduled vacation and you don’t have enough time to do them all.
“I won’t be able to finish all the items before tomorrow, which ones do you want me to prioritize”.
4. You are asked to attend a meeting that you don’t see as relevant
“Thank you for the invite to this meeting however I don’t believe my presence is required. If you need my input on something specific, don’t hesitate to email me your needs.“
5. You are asked to go to an event you can’t or do not want to attend.
“Thank you for the invite and for thinking of me. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to [Event] on [date]. Hopefully, we can get together another time.”
6. Your manager is micromanaging you and you want some space to do your work.
“Thanks for checking in on x project. I’ll continue to provide you with updates (state timeline of update). If there’s anything specific you need I am happy to address this and would appreciate some autonomy to get my projects completed."
7. When a co-worker’s priorities are interfering with your work.
“I understand this is a priority for you and I will get to it when I am able to as I am currently working on more pressing items.”
8. Your co-worker leaves the organization and your manager gives you their workload on top of your own.
'Will these tasks be part of my job long-term? If so, is there an opportunity to re-evaluate my job title and compensation to reflect these additional responsibilities more accurately?
9. You are asked to go back into the office to do your job when you would like to work from home.
“Can you tell me how my job duties and functions cannot be completed at home?”
"I would like to work from home (x) number of days as I feel my productivity has been better when I work from home, can we discuss how we can make this happen”
10. You disagree with your manager's direction with a project because you know it will lead to unnecessary work for you.
"I wonder if instead, we can do it this way (pitch way to do it instead)."
Whenever you're ready, there are 2 ways we can help you:
1. Join The Stress Relief Toolkit to build a better system to optimize your wellbeing
2. Explore an organizational solution to boost the wellness of your team: