top of page

Just Say No!

Are you often afraid to say “no” to a request to do more work? Or maybe your calendar is so full you barely have any time leftover for self-care?

If this sounds like you, you may want to consider enforcing boundaries to protect your energy, time, and peace of mind.

One area many of us struggle setting boundaries in is work, especially now, where remote working easily spills into our personal lives and time.

However, when we take on too much or lack boundaries around our time, we end up being less productive than if we had established times and schedules for everything we need to get done.

Boundaries create structure, increase focus and productivity, protect us from unnecessary stress, and help ensure work-life balance. Boundaries can help you feel more in control and improve your overall wellbeing.

Here are 6 tips for setting and enforcing healthy boundaries at work:

1. Reflect on your non-negotiable needs:

Determine what boundaries will help you best manage your stress and perform at your best.

For example, how much rest do you need, what behaviors are you not willing to tolerate in the workplace, do you need to be able to work distraction-free when in the office?

Understanding what you need to be productive is the first step in establishing boundaries.

2. Communicate your boundaries to others:

Once you’ve established your boundaries, you need to communicate them.

For example, do you prefer only to be contacted via work email or chat and don’t want to receive calls or texts on your personal phone?

Be sure to communicate this boundary (and any other you set) to your boss and co-workers.

3. Respectfully enforce your boundaries:

If you’ve communicated your boundaries, now you need to ensure you uphold and enforce them with others.

Anytime someone tries to overstep your boundaries, kindly remind them of your boundaries and offer alternate methods of engaging you.

4. Don’t say “yes” to every request immediately:

Give yourself time to consider how a new task, meeting, or activity invite falls into your schedule and if you can manage it.

Then, negotiate to accommodate everyone’s needs if needed and get comfortable with saying no sometimes.

5. Give yourself a set start and end time to the workday:

Commit to mentally and physically unplugging from work after a certain time, especially if you work from home.

In a FlexJobs survey, remote workers cited that the inability to unplug was the biggest challenge of working from home.

6. Block off focus time in your calendar:

If you know you’re most productive at a certain time of the day, block that time off in your company calendar so you can spend those hours powering through as much as possible without fear of interruptions.

Apply this same idea in your personal life by scheduling non-negotiable self-care time.

Learn more about how to support your team by fostering a culture that respects boundaries in this week's Wellness At Work Newsletter.


VitaliTeam Workplace Wellness provides solutions at the intersection of organizational health and individual wellbeing.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page