Avoiding, preventing, and overcoming burnout requires that you learn how to set appropriate boundaries in all areas of your life, whether business, friends, or family. Once you learn how to set boundaries, your life will change, and you’ll actually end up even more productive, all without getting burned out.
As you set your boundaries, remember the reason you’re doing it and the ways the limits you set on yourself and others regarding using your time and resources advance the goals you’ve set for yourself for the different areas of your life.
When you seek first to be kind to yourself and others, you will be able to set the right type of boundaries. You see, being kind is about doing the right thing, not the convenient or even fun thing.
For example, if your friends are pressuring you to go out to a party and you have to get up in the morning, you’ll easily say no. Saying no for something else due to it interfering with your overall life goals is exactly the same thing. It’s kind to say no because it’s the right thing for the future and doesn’t hurt anyone now.
Know Your Limits
You know the minute someone asks you to do something you really would rather not do, but you’re doing it to avoid a confrontation, to look lazy, or because you cannot think up an excuse to say no. The point is you don’t need a reason to say no. If the only reason you have is, you don’t want to do it, that’s good enough.
Accept Your Feelings
It’s okay to feel bad about saying no. If you are feeling bad because you just don’t want someone mad at you or you want everyone to always like you and be happy, this is something you have to learn to deal with. Likely, as you say no more often or stop doing things that cause resentment in you, you’ll have stronger relationships, and your fears will not be realized.
Take the Direct Route
The best way to set boundaries with anyone is to be as direct as possible. Don’t make excuses; don’t give extra information. Just state things the way you want them and let that be. It’s up to them how they respond, not you.
There is no reason to feel bad when you say no or don’t act in a manner others are used to you behaving. If you’ve always done all the housework and you stop, people are going to get upset. Change is hard on people, but if you stick to your guns long term, it’ll pay off, and people will get over it because they know it’s unreasonable to expect everything of you. Unless someone confronts you, pretend you don’t notice.
Let Experience Guide You
When you need to decide about something, look back at how you felt in the past about it. Don’t underestimate your own experience in life. Your feelings, thoughts, and ideas matter and are important.
Get and Accept Support
You are likely surrounded by people who want to support you if you let them. Many people-pleasers who experience burnout tend to turn down offers of help. Don’t allow pride to get in your way. Get and accept support whenever it’s offered as needed.
One way to know if you’ve set appropriate boundaries is you notice you start to feel less stressed, less resentful, and more successful with getting the stuff done you need to get done. Remember, the boundaries you’ve set are not about anything but ensuring that you use your own time and resources as wisely as possible in a healthy and manageable way. It’s not about saying no or even saying yes, it’s about the practical use of your time and resources mentally, emotionally, and financially.