It’s time to talk about a major life hack that can make a huge difference in your career, personal relationships, finances, and health. Boundaries. They aren’t easy to set or enforce, but the hard work you put in upfront when you establish clear boundaries can create a ripple effect throughout your entire life. That’s why so many successful women consistently practice setting boundaries every single day. It’s no secret that women are all too often expected to balance a lot, but it isn’t our job to rise to the expectations that other people set for us. Finding success in all areas of your life takes focus and by setting boundaries with everyone in your life, you can free up a lot of time and energy to devote to building your dream life.
Let’s take a look at some of the boundaries that successful women practice every day so you can start to think about how you could change your day-to-day life for the better.
1. Saying No
Two small letters can lead to a whole lot of progress. Will you drive me to the airport? Will you clean up the break room? Will you tutor my child after work? Will you…You get the gist. There’s nothing wrong with someone asking you for a favor, but there’s also nothing wrong with saying no to that favor if it’s something you don’t feel you can accommodate. Saying yes to everything that comes your way is the shortest route to burnout.
Successful women know how to prioritize their work and say “no” to nonessential requests. Saying “no” should be a guilt-free answer. If a request makes you feel uncomfortable, say no. If a request will make it hard for you to prioritize your wellness like a full night’s sleep, working out, or eating three meals a day, say no. If a request means you’ll work overtime instead of focusing on your personal life, you can say no.
Saying no applies to fun things too. You don’t have to go to every party or family brunch. Once you get over the initial awkwardness, you’ll feel great, we promise.
2. Turning On ‘Do Not Disturb’
Having technology readily available at our fingertips does not mean you owe everyone you know constant access to you. Continuous interruptions throughout the day can be immensely distracting which can make it harder to accomplish your goals in a timely manner—whether that be finishing a work project or finally getting through your book club read. Successful women set communication boundaries by turning off notifications and responding to emails, texts, and calls at a time that works best for them. This simple boundary helps reduce stress and distraction, thus improving productivity and making it easier to manage tasks efficiently.
3. Delegating and Outsourcing
You don’t only need to set boundaries with other people, you also need to set them with yourself. One major boundary worth implementing is letting go and being able to delegate and outsource. Successful women know there are only so many hours in the day (please don’t compare yourself to Beyoncé) and that the secret to getting more done effectively is to delegate or outsource certain tasks.
Whether you pass off work to an assistant or team member, hire someone to put together your new furniture, or simply pick up a gorgeous cake at Whole Foods instead of making it yourself before your BFF’s birthday party, delegating and outsourcing can help you find success and balance in one fell swoop.
4. Protecting Their Financial Interests
Other people love to tell you how to spend your money, even though they may not realize that’s what they’re doing. Successful women know that a huge element of reaching their personal, career, and financial goals is to be strategic with their money. That can mean saving, paying down debt, or investing. When a friend is pushing you to go all out for a night on the town or your parents really want you to travel across the country for that third cousin’s wedding, you can set boundaries that protect your financial interests.
It’s important to remember that your financial well-being is your priority. If you’re feeling pressured to go out to expensive dinners or travel to far-flung destinations, you can simply shut down that pressure by saying no. If you have an intimate relationship with the person, you may choose to clue them into your financial goals and how they impact your spending decisions, but you also don’t have to share anything about your finances if you don’t want to. By setting clear boundaries and communicating openly with those around you, you can build stronger, more sustainable relationships while also setting yourself up for a brighter financial future.
5. Refusing To Give Excuses
When we refuse a request or say no to someone, we don’t have to justify or apologize for our decision. One major boundary you can set is not owing anyone an explanation. You don’t have to justify any answers you give when you’re trying to set boundaries that work for your schedule or comfort level.
There’s no need to give elaborate excuses because that implies you owe the other person a worthy reason for not complying with their request. Only you need to be comfortable with your reason for saying no. Successful women don’t need to devote any time or energy to coming up with “good” excuses when that brain space can go towards much more important things.
Can’t attend that family function? Don’t have time to work on that extra project at work? Want to skip the overpriced bachelorette weekend for a friend you aren’t that close to? Stop giving excuses. A vague, “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to make it” or a quick “My workload is too heavy to take on that project right now” will do the trick.