BE 2024 Conference

The Number One Reason You Should Set Workplace Boundaries

anxiety burnoutprevention medical burnout mental health mental illness mental wellness mindfulness physicianselfcare self-care stress therapy womeninmedicine womenphysicians workplace boundaries Mar 24, 2023

In today's fast-paced and hyper-connected world, it's easy to feel like work is taking over every aspect of our lives. We're constantly bombarded with emails, text messages, and notifications that leave us feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and on edge. It's no wonder that so many of us struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

But what if there was a simple solution that could help you take control of your work, your time, and your life? What if there was one powerful strategy, that could help you achieve professional success without sacrificing your well-being? 

The answer, everyone, is boundaries. 

That's right. By setting clear and effective boundaries in your workplace, you can create a sense of balance and control that will help you thrive both personally and professionally.  

Workplace Boundaries Matter 

As a female physician, I understand that setting boundaries is crucial for my overall well-being and professional success. We have a responsibility to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally, as well as show up and provide the best care for our patients. By establishing clear boundaries around our work schedule, workload, and other responsibilities, we can manage our time and energy effectively, reducing the risk of stress and physician burnout. We must recognize that we cannot do it all and that prioritizing our own needs is essential for maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 

Setting workplace boundaries sends a message to our colleagues and supervisors that we value our time, productivity, and well-being. This not only improves our professional relationships but also earns us the respect we deserve in the workplace. By setting boundaries, we are taking a step towards achieving a sustainable and fulfilling career. We are choosing to prioritize our own needs while still succeeding in our work. We are capable of maintaining our mental and emotional health without sacrificing our personal lives. 

Sister, let us be empowered to set boundaries in the workplace. If you need guidance on where to start in setting healthy boundaries for yourself, my book, Brave Boundaries will help you. As someone who understands the importance of setting boundaries, this is a handy tool for practical strategies that I've found helpful in setting workplace boundaries with my own life and work as a physician. 


How Do Workplace Boundaries Work? 

Workplace boundaries are the guidelines and limits that we establish to create a safe and healthy work environment. These boundaries can be physical, emotional, or professional, and they help to ensure that everyone in the workplace is treated with respect and dignity. 

At their core, workplace boundaries are all about creating a sense of mutual respect and understanding among all. When everyone understands the true meaning of workplace boundaries, there is less room for misunderstandings, conflicts, and stress. Yes, setting workplace boundaries can be challenging, especially if we are dealing with a fast-paced and demanding work environment, but it's important to remember why we need them in the first place. These boundaries are not just about protecting ourselves - they are also put in place to create a culture of respect and support that benefits everyone in the workplace. 

Feel like the only option is to quit? 

I have been there too. I have been deep in chaos, struggling to create boundaries and set limits for myself. Before we talk about anything further, let's assess what are you currently feeling: 

  • Have you ever felt like work is taking over your life? 
  • Do you find yourself answering emails late into the night, or bringing work home with you on the weekends? 
  • Do you feel like you're constantly juggling multiple tasks and projects, struggling to keep up with the demands of your job? 

If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. The truth is, in today's fast-paced and competitive work environment, it's easy to fall into the trap of overworking and burning out. We live in a culture that glorifies long hours and endless productivity, but the reality is that this approach is not sustainable. Without clear boundaries in place, it's all too easy to pick this option: quitting. 

That's why setting boundaries in the workplace is so important. By having clear limits around our work hours, workload, and responsibilities, we can create a sense of balance that will serve as the key for us to stay productive and focused without sacrificing our happiness. 

Let’s start with the baby steps. For example, setting boundaries might mean that you turn off your email notifications after a certain time of day, or that you delegate certain tasks to others instead of trying to do everything yourself. I used to be like this. The person who was eager to see all notifications and the one that is always “available”. In the long run, that became too exhausting. And now, I find time to take regular breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge, and set aside time for activities outside of work that I enjoy.  

This helps me avoid burnout, reduce stress, and maintain my mental and emotional health. I was able to approach my work with clarity focused energy, which always leads to improved productivity at work. So, if you're feeling overwhelmed and overworked, it might be time to start setting some boundaries. Remember, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your work. When you prioritize your well-being, you'll be better equipped to succeed and thrive in all areas of your life. 

If you're struggling with establishing boundaries and feel lost, consider downloading my free guide for helpful tips and guidance on taking control and navigating your way toward successful boundary-setting. 

Boundaries in the Medical Field as a Woman Physician 

As a female physician, I understand that setting boundaries in the medical field is not just important, but essential. Women physicians often face unique challenges, such as navigating gender bias and discrimination, and managing the physical and emotional demands of patient care. Without clear boundaries in place, these challenges can quickly become overwhelming, leading to burnout, compassion fatigue, and other negative outcomes.  

For me, one of the most critical aspects of setting boundaries in the medical field is learning to say "no" when necessary. As a woman physician, I often feel pressure to take on additional responsibilities or work longer hours, but this can lead to exhaustion and resentment over time. By setting clear limits around my work, I can protect my time and mindset and ensure that I have all the resources I need to provide high-quality patient care. 

Another crucial aspect of setting boundaries as a woman physician is prioritizing my well-being. This might mean taking breaks or seeking support from colleagues when I need it. It might also mean setting aside time for self-care activities outside of work, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with my loved ones. Setting boundaries not only in this field but in our any career, in general, is about creating a sense of balance and control. It's about recognizing our limitations and needs and advocating for a system that will prevent us from feeling overwhelmed.   

The Ultimate Recipe is Saying No 

In the current workplace system, it is easy to fall into the pressure of saying "yes" to every request that comes our way. 

But the truth is, the ultimate recipe for success and fulfillment in your career is learning to say "no". A plain simple “no”. Saying "no" can be a difficult and uncomfortable thing to do, especially when we are used to being the person who always says "yes". But when we learn to say "no" strategically and effectively, we can create more time and space for the things that truly matter to us. 

Saying "no" doesn't mean that we are egocentric. It only means that we are prioritizing our time and energy, and recognizing that we can't do everything all at once. Of course, it isn't always easy. It can be hard to turn down a request, especially if you're worried about how it will be perceived. But remember that saying "no" is not a sign of weakness - it's a sign of strength and self-awareness. 

So, if you're feeling overwhelmed and overstretched in your career as a woman physician, it might be time to start saying "no" more often. Remember, the ultimate recipe for success and fulfillment is not about doing everything all at once - it's about learning to prioritize and focus on the things that truly matter.  

If you need a breather from all the noise and chaos around you, I think I got what you need and deserve. Join me at The Coach's Retreat: A Brave Enough Retreat for Women Coaches in June. This is an incredible opportunity for women coaches or leaders to come together, empower each other, and boldly step into our full potential. You will leave this retreat feeling like the master of your life, as you navigate the art of setting boundaries and creating the life that you long for.  

My Boundaries Above Anything Else 

Let me recap all of this for you: When it comes to navigating the challenges of work and life, there is one thing that can make all the difference: boundaries. 

Boundaries are the limits we set for ourselves to ensure that we can prioritize our well-being, our values, and our goals, even in the face of competing demands and pressures. When we make our boundaries a priority above anything else, we are sending a powerful message to those around us. It is a way of saying that we value our needs and that we are not willing to compromise our well-being in the pursuit of success or approval. This can be especially important in the workplace, where the pressure to perform, please others, and take on more responsibilities can be intense. I feel you, been there, done that. 

But setting and enforcing boundaries is not always easy. It can feel uncomfortable or even selfish to say "no". However, when we make our boundaries a priority, we are doing ourselves and others a favor. I want to emphasize that by taking care of yourself first, you can show up more fully and effectively in your work and your relationships. One of the keys to setting and enforcing boundaries is to be clear and specific about what you need and why. When we are clear and confident, others are more likely to respect and support us.  

Of course, setting boundaries is not a one-time event - it is an ongoing process of self-awareness, communication, and self-care. When you make your boundaries a priority above anything else, you are taking a powerful step towards creating a more fulfilling and meaningful work and life experience. You are saying "yes" to yourself and your needs, and opening up new opportunities for growth, creativity, and success. 

The #1 Reason Why You Should Do It? 

Clear your mind and listen to your inner voice. 

The most important reason to set boundaries at work is that you love yourself. 

You deserve to be respected and valued, and setting boundaries is a powerful way to show yourself that you prioritize your well-being. Don't hesitate to create the space and time you need to be your best self. Remember, you are worthy of the highest level of self-care and self-love. Let that be your guiding light as you move forward and establish boundaries that honor your needs and support your personal and professional growth. 

Start taking the brave and bold start in establishing workplace boundaries by joining me and other fearless women at the BE 2023 Women's CME Mastermind Conference. This is the chance to connect with others who share inspiring values and vision and will leave you feeling more connected, energized, and equipped to navigate your way towards a successful boundary-setting.  

Feeling stretched thin? I can show you 10 ways to get back TWO HOURS in your week!



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