#rhaitalks 14 — I wonder why you haven’t set work boundaries yet…
Monday Inspiration curatorship here — I love working, it keeps me sane during tough times. And I also hate working too much. When I am in this loop, it does not feel right. I easily can get into the workaholic mode — if I am way passionate about a product I am working on. Know that, been a decade I fight against passion and/vs. work. Why can’t things be easier for everyone?
A few tips
Life won’t be easy! The baby is crying in the background. Some stakeholders may not follow the concept of punctuality. Your PMS is killing you and you still gotta smile on the video call [true story]. Your internet may be unstable on Monday mornings [true story-2]. Your neighbor’s studio is under construction, one f* time!
I. Add your personal blocks in your GCalendar ✋ After Working hours, Work-out, Therapy, Disconnect-time, Commute, Kids to School… And please make sure it is Public to the team members — we should not sneak up on your personal commitments, or micromanage you, but this tactic makes our lives easier before scheduling a meeting with a large forum. “If this is not in my calendar, this does not exist” — as I heard from a colleague last week, why not think that way? Putting life boundaries starts by putting digital boundaries: Clockwise can help you do this.
II. Make sure your status on Slack is accurate 📲 And feel empowered to snooze your notifications when you are busy. — Express what you’re feeling by using these amazing and creative emojis. I love creating funny modes to say “I am busy, can’t reply timely”. You should try. When you are sick, you should let peers know. When you’re having back-to-back meetings, tell people by updating status with the messaging around “DND — do not disturb”.
III. Avoid meetings on (Summer) Fridays 🏴☠️ Know our capacity may not allow us to make it in some work environments, let’s try to avoid making hard team decisions on happy/Summer Fridays. Can’t you wait to regroup on a Monday morning?
IV. Need a quick Slack huddle? 🎧 Go for it! Vent! Chatting live is way more friendly rather than long texts and callouts on Slack. We have lots of channels to manage everyday. Start a Slack huddle right now with your close colleague. I tell you that because every day I get ignored, and you know what? Leads are busy minding their own business. Can’t take it personally, can’t say it’s my fault.
V. Also feel encouraged to mind your own business 💙 What’s the point of having you in that meeting? Are you making big strategic decisions? No. You may take the time back if you are busy. Are you being accountable for a decision? Yes, try to be there. You can not join it anyways!? Can you move it instead? Off-lining about that hot topic works? Can say it helps! Generally speaking — I am bored of joining meetings that do not add any value. Been a decade running in a circle when it comes to MAKE TEAM DECISIONS IN A MEETING. We still struggle so much. We have big teams, short time.
VI. Keep scheduling 1:1s with your colleagues ☕ Last but not least: make sure you are a good partner and are able to understand how your peers’ working style is. How can we get close to our partners if we don’t talk much and know their pain points? Is she/he doing okay, is she/he needing some support? Is her/his family healthy? Is she/he a native English speaker, does she/he needs some help? — feat. a special gift of the We Don’t Talk AnyMore video clip. And we should definitely work on our work schedule to make sure we are giving ourselves some appropriate self-love and time back on a daily basis.
Come on, we’re too smart to get stuck to set boundaries!
*This article is a long version of a personal manifesto I once dropped on Slack.
Text by Rhaissa V.
Brazilian, mild OCD and photophobia. Loves wasabi and contradicts herself. Been reading about career management, communities, and mental health. Works as a Senior Product Manager at Huge Medellín, Colombia.