Three women sitting on couch looking at laptop

Talking about 2023 boundaries with Rickesh Lakhani

by | December 23, 2022

5 min read

With nine days before we hop into 2023 (!), I thought it would be perfect to share 9 tips on how to create effective work life boundaries and protect yourself and your mental, physical, and emotional health in 2023.

To be honest, as a busy mom of three, entrepreneur, and serious type A personality, this is something I struggle with regularly.

One person who inspires me in this space is Rickesh Lakhani, who has openly shared his experience with burnout and his intentional time fully stepping away from work. I’ve only recently met Rickesh in the last year but have been following him on social for a while, and so much of his content is GOLD.

Rickesh recently shared details about his experience with burnout in Kimberley MacKenzie’s podcast The Intersection Hub. Following that discussion, I reached out to Rickesh, and we chatted about work life boundaries. What came from this conversation was a quick take-a-way on how to create boundaries for yourself, and we knew right before the New Year was a perfect time to share. Even if this article gives you one takeaway to apply to your life or if it simply inspires you to think about your boundaries our goal has been met.

Now without further ado {insert drumroll here} I’m thrilled to share our nine ways to create work life boundaries in 2023.

  1. Find questions to ask yourself to evaluate your relationship to work.

Taking a bit of time to evaluate your relationship with work is an important step in establishing priorities. Where do you prioritize work in all your life-roles (parent, caregiver, volunteer, pet-parent, sister, brother, grandparent, etc.). Some other questions could include what do you love about your job? What brings you joy? What do you dislike? What drains your energy? And then you can create boundaries around this.

  1. What might be available to you that you’re not using (time off, benefits, etc.)?

For those who have access to benefits take time to evaluate what is available to you and use it! Don’t let those extra benefit dollars for therapy, massage, naturopath, etc. pass you by.

And please, take the time in early 2023 to map out a plan on how you are going to use ALL of your vacation time; we know you have heard it before, but taking this time does recharge you and you can come back refreshed, energized, and more productive.

  1. How much have you internalized the grind? And, how to recognize it.

Do you find yourself grinding your teeth, tensing your shoulders, carrying responsibility for roles that aren’t yours? How does the stress of the grind show-up in your body? The more you become aware of its hold on you, the more you can work to release yourself from it.

  1. “Pay yourself first”: meaning when there are opportunities to do something for yourself or for your job, how do you approach it from not just defaulting to work first.

We LOVE this one, too often we say things like “oh, I can’t do that I have to work”, perhaps it means missing out on some volunteer time in your child’s class, or a quick lunch with a friend. What if you could create boundaries in your work week that provide you with the space to “pay yourself first”.

  1. Be realistic with your time and clarify your time commitments to the people around you (employer, peers, family, etc.).

A great way to do this is to block your commitments (all of them) in your calendar. This could include school pick up, important monthly evening board meetings, or a standing walking meeting with a mentor. Put these in your calendar and make them non-negotiable, and people in your life will begin to understand these commitments.

  1. Be aware of your non-negotiables.

See above, and make sure you give time to your non-negotiables. For example, one of my personal non-negotiables is dropping my kids off at school in a focused way (not on a call, not trying to multi-task, etc. One of Rickesh’s non-negotiables is dropping his kids off to school (I think this is a similarity among most working parents), so no early appointments.

  1. Give yourself grace, some days you can show up as an awesome parent, some days as an awesome employee, and some days as an awesome individual, but not always all of these at all times.

It really is okay to not be a superstar in all aspects of your life every day. Give yourself grace when needed and be willing to say “no” to things if you can on these days.

  1. Commit to scheduling and taking lunch breaks.

This is self explanatory and has proven to help productivity, but for some reason so many of us still don’t do it! Give it a try this January and feel and see the benefits!

  1. Lastly, recognize that not everyone is able to shape their work as much, so be mindful when putting expectations on others.

While there are a lot of discussions about our relationship with work, we have to recognize that in some professions, or in unsupportive work environments, there may be limits on what many can do to shape their work. This is why we cannot stop once we have crafted our own ideal work relationship. We have to continue to push for everyone to have better working conditions.

We hope this helps as you head in to the New Year. Want to chat more about this topic? Have questions? Feel free to reach out to myself or Rickesh any time!

Lacey Kempinski

Lacey Kempinski

Lacey Kempinski is the Founder of Balanced Good. Driven by her desire to help other working parents and women find balance while finding her own balance, she gets that the struggle is real. As a mom of three young children, a seasoned fundraising professional, and a newly self-described feminist leader, she know the social profit sector can do better.

Learn more about Lacey Kempinski

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