Let Boundaries Help You Stay Productive

Let Boundaries Help You Stay Productive

You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say NO to people. ~Unknown

A cornerstone to maintaining productivity is the ability to set boundaries. I have to admit I am terrible at doing this.

When you set boundaries with others and yourself, the number of distractions you experience will decline significantly. This gives you more time and space to complete the tasks you’ve set out to complete.

Below, let’s explore the benefits of creating healthy boundaries and how to maintain them.

Benefits of Creating Boundaries

The benefits of healthy boundaries – besides productivity – are many and varied.

  • It can lower stress levels at both work and home.
  • You’re able to maintain a reasonable workload.
  • Reducing possible burnout.
  • Less stress over meeting deadlines.

Creating Boundaries with Yourself

Before you can create boundaries with others, you need to create them with yourself. This is key in separating work time from play time. If you spend all your time working, there is no time for leisure. If you spend all your time playing (get rid of that TV), there is little time left for work and you begin to feel stressed – especially if you’re trying to meet a deadline.

I used to work on the computer from whatever time I sat down at my desk until sometimes midnight. Every day including Saturday and Sunday. One night my son unplugged my computer. Thank goodness for auto save. 

After a min-freak out, I realized that I was spending all my time “working” but no time with him, and he let me know it. Of course, I asked him to stomp his foot or yell or scream. Anything except unplugging my computer.

Creating Boundaries with Others

It can be difficult to crate boundaries with others whether you’re working in an office or at home.

For example, if you have an office coworker who is chatty, you can set what I call a silent boundary. When I worked in an office, if one of my coworkers popped by my desk, I’d listen for a few minutes then when that person paused to take a breath, I’d stand up and say “I’ve enjoyed our chat. I need to get back to [whatever you’re working on]. Maybe we can continue our chat when we go on break.”

If you’re working from home, you can put up a sign to alert others that you are working on a project and can’t be disturbed. Or you can let the person know a specific time you can get back to them.

My son and I live with my 80-year-old Mom. Whenever she thinks of something she wants to tell me, she walks right into my office space and asks if I’m busy. Of course I am.

If I can’t afford to take a few minutes to talk with her at that moment, I stop, look her in the eye, and tell her that I’m working toward a deadline.

If I can afford to take the time, I stop and say, “I can take five minutes then I need to get back to this project.”

Or I will ask, “Can I come see you in 30 minutes?” [Fill in whatever time limit works for you in either of these scenarios.]

Was this uncomfortable to do the first time I tried it? Yes. But it works and it makes me feel better when I hear her tell someone else that I’m working on an important project and can’t be disturbed.

Setting boundaries with others is dependent on the person and the scenario.


When setting boundaries either at work or at home, it is best to be clear and firm. People need to understand the boundaries you put into place.

This may take redirecting and reminding more than once. Be patient.

You may run into situations where the person still doesn’t understand or respect your boundary. In this case, be prepared to cut them off to save your sanity and mental health. Setting boundaries with yourself and others may be difficult at first, but it will be more beneficial to you in the long run.


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