I was thrilled to record an Instagram live with Mamamade founder Sophie Meislin Baron, where we discussed setting boundaries with family, work and tech - a topic that any of you who follow me on my own Instagram account will know I am passionate about.
Seven Tips for Setting Boundaries
1. Communicate boundaries clearly and concisely: for example that you can’t respond to emails out of hours, and that if there is something urgent, you would prefer a phone call.
2. Improve your own worth: when someone oversteps the mark, gently and calmly let them know. Stay strong and have confidence in your own boundaries; respect your own needs, time and energy.
3. Make your schedule clear - you may have previously worked late consistently and that is no longer possible, let your employer know and map out when you will be available. If you work flexibly, be sure to tell others your working hours - you can always add an email signature that outlines when you will be available to respond to messages (and also to communicate to others that there’s no expectation of response if you often work out of typical hours).
4. Once you set boundaries, you need to stick to them - be consistent. This is important.
5. Set boundaries with yourself and technology - if you check emails before bed, give yourself a strict cut-off time and put your laptop away in a cupboard. You could try deleting your email app from your phone over weekends, so you don’t check emails - unless you know you’re expecting something urgent. If you struggle with disconnecting from technology, think about how you’d feel if technology wasn’t imposing on your life - would you be relaxed or wound up? Would you be more present with your family?
6. Manage your time and energy: rather than using your most precious commodity (time) on things that don’t fulfill you, simply say ‘no thanks’. Spend time on things that restore and revitalise you. Many working Mums I meet are stretched so thin and aren't doing things they enjoy or are passionate about.
7. If you struggle with people-pleasing, and saying yes to things you wish you hadn’t, slow down in the moment - rather saying yes or no straight away, say ‘let me go away and think about it and come back to you’. Give yourself the space to make the right decision for you.
Read More: Boundaries, Burnout and What You Can Do
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