When work takes over your life

Discussion Guide

1. Are you more of an integrator or a segmentor? How have your preferences and habits changed over time?

2. How can you create a workplace where both integrators and segmentors feel that they can express their values?

3. When you work with a colleague or boss who doesn’t disconnect from work, how have you gone about setting boundaries?

4. We all have to say no to some requests. What are the kindest ways that you’ve seen people do that? (A personal favorite, courtesy of E.B. White: “I must decline, for secret reasons”)

5. In your next conversation about setting boundaries, where would you apply the hostage negotiation advice to ask “How am I supposed to do that?” or “Are you totally opposed to the idea?”

6. What policies have you found helpful to prevent distractions? What enables you to get into flow and focus on deep work?

7. What would happen if your team adopted a quiet time policy—no interruptions a couple mornings each week?

8. If your team was going to try a version of zzzMail, what hours would you block off—and how would you deal with different roles and time zones?

9. You want to set boundaries, but you also want to be responsive and accessible. How do you strike a balance between the two?

10. Who are the engaged workaholics in your life, and what motivates them to make time for life beyond work?