Setting Boundaries Virtually and In-Person

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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Saying “no” can be harder than it seems. Especially in-person. As we re-enter the office or start our more permanent hybrid work schedules, it’s important to learn how to set boundaries and protect your time.

It’s become such a hot topic that I was interviewed on PIX 11 and my LinkedIn Learning course “How to Set Boundaries and Protect Your Time” is one of three courses in LinkedIn’s new “Mastering Hybrid Work” Pathfinder series.

Here are three ways to get started setting boundaries.

1) Envision Your Future.

In order to protect your time, you need to know what you’re saving time to do! That means setting priorities. This is something that I walk you through in my book Listful Living.

If you’re not sure what those are, envision your future. What are your goals? How would you like your day-to-day life to be? Once you have those answers, you’ll know what you need to stop (and start) doing.

If you want more sleep, you might have to start turning down some social invitations. If you want to spend more time on a hobby, you have to make sure you’re leaving room in your schedule to do it.

It’s easier to say “no” to things, when that means you’re saying “yes” to something else.

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2) Have Rules and Stick to Them.

Similar to my advice about “how to make a four-day work week work for you”, you have to set rules for yourself and keep them, otherwise your new boundaries won’t stick. (After all, setting up a four-day work week is setting up a boundary around your work schedule.)

If you want to stop working on Fridays, communicate that to your coworkers, put up your out-of-office message, and then don’t work on Fridays. Ha, I know, that’s the hardest part. Setting up a boundary is setting up a new habit and it takes time and practice.

For more help forming new habits and boundaries, read the interview I did with author, Gretchen Rubin, about “Habits in a Hybrid World”.

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3) “No” is a complete sentence.

Saying “no” gets a bad wrap for being impolite. But that’s not true.

Whether over email or in-person, declining an offer for a social engagement with a “No, thank you,” is both clear and polite.

You don’t need to explain yourself. In fact, giving people too much detail about why you’re saying no sometimes makes it easier for them to push back against the boundary you’re trying to set up.

“No” is a complete and powerful sentence. Especially when sticking to your boundaries.

For more help setting boundaries and being your best in a hybrid work environment, check out LinkedIn Learning’s new pathfinder series, “Mastering Hybrid Work”, which is free through the end of the month.

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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