Has this happened to you? It is 6:30 pm on a Tuesday night, you are standing over a boiling pot of pasta, your kids are arguing, your dog is barking at the Amazon delivery person, and your phone rings – it’s your boss. You don’t answer because clearly, you have your hands full. 5 minutes later, your boss is texting you, “Where are you? I need to talk to you now.”
What do you do?
Well, I used to stop the world, take that call, and 20 minutes later, (while still on the phone) I would realize that the matter wasn’t urgent and that I had given my boss my last bit of conserved energy that I was saving for family time. As a result, I became drained, overworked, anxious, and resentful. Any boundaries that I had in place withered over time because I allowed this pattern. I realized that by not setting boundaries with my boss, I let her set my boundaries with me.
So how do you stop this pattern and reset your boundaries to allow energy, happiness, and balance back into your life?
Turn off Technology
When you get home after a long day of work, put your phone on silent and put it in a place where it is not visible. Save yourself the distractions that can come from an email or text that are most likely not urgent and can wait for the next day. By not responding, you are setting boundaries with your boss and co-workers.
As we approach the end of the year, now is actually the best time to set your expectations with your boss. Schedule a meeting with her with the intention of discussing your 2023 business plan and building your boundaries into the framework. Such as the importance of uninterrupted time when doing projects, letting go of working on weekends for self-care, and limiting after-work activities to save your energy for your family.
Manage your Manager:
If your boss is a micromanager, be proactive in dealing with her. If you know her expectations of time frames and deliverables, be a step ahead of her. Don’t give her anything to bite on to belittle you. And, when her micro persona emerges, don’t give her any emotion to play upon. When individuals manage in this manner, they are usually seeking a reaction. If you stay calm and confident, you will disarm her.
Setting boundaries with your boss can be hard. After all, we all want to appease our higher-ups, get promotions, and be viewed as loyal, and thoughtful employees. But you don’t have to give up your boundaries to be successful and well thought of. If anything, by setting them you will be respected, protect your energy, and lead by example.