Examining Your Own Behavior

As we discussed in Chapter 1, over commitment is a significant contributor to workplace stress. While some external factors, such as tight deadlines and heavy workloads, are beyond your control, it’s important to remember that you do have agency over your own behavior. In this chapter, we’ll explore how setting boundaries and communicating limitations can help you manage your workload and reduce stress.

Understanding the Importance of Boundaries

Setting boundaries at work involves establishing clear guidelines around what you are willing and able to do. This can include defining your work hours, your role within the organization, and your priorities.

Here are some benefits of setting boundaries:

On the other hand, failing to set boundaries can lead to several negative outcomes, including:

Learning to Say ‘No’

One of the most important skills for managing your workload is learning to say “no” to tasks that are beyond your capacity. Saying “no” can be difficult, especially when you want to be seen as a team player or when you feel that saying “no” might jeopardize your job security.

However, saying “yes” to everything can lead to burnout, resentment, and decreased productivity.

Here are some strategies for saying “no” effectively:

Setting Realistic Expectations

Managing expectations is a crucial part of setting boundaries and saying “no” effectively. It’s important to communicate your limitations to your colleagues and managers, and to be clear about what you can and can’t do.

Here are some tips for setting realistic expectations:


Here are some examples of how to use these strategies in practice: