7 Ways To Set Time Boundaries
Updated: Nov 9, 2020
Many things can prevent you from getting an important task done, make you leave work late, or even disrupt family time. These everyday occurrences often include meetings that run over the scheduled time and unexpected requests from colleagues. How can you set and communicate boundaries so that you feel your time is respected? Here are ways to create limits that are polite on the outside and make you feel calm on the inside.
Block out times on your calendar to commute, take your kids to school, or get focused work done.
Set meetings for an appropriate amount of time.
Before accepting a meeting request, run it through the 2/3 Rule: if two-thirds or more of the meeting does not pertain to you or your team, consider whether you need to attend.
Stick to a focused agenda, and communicate that you have a hard stop.
Schedule four times to check your email, Slack notifications, or texts during the day, avoiding the temptation to respond immediately. Remember, most messages can wait.
When given a task, ask when the real deadline is. You may assume "as soon as possible" means in the next ten minutes when the actual deadline could be Thursday at noon.
If appropriate, tell your colleagues your preferred way of communicating and ask the same of them.