What to Do If Your Boss Calls All the Time

by Alyssa Longobucco


Getty ImagesGetty ImagesYou can't remember the last time your boss didn't need something on a Saturday. The job's good, but you're burning out. Reclaim your life with these three tips.

Check your signals: You might think you have zero power over your boss, but actually, we teach others how to interact with us in subtle ways we don't even realize, says clinical psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You. Answering your boss's email and calls at night and on days off sends a message that you're OK with your time being her time. Sure, you want to show you're indispensable, but remember: She already knows it, or she wouldn't rely on you so much.

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Set a new course: Obviously you can't just start blowing off your boss's cries for help: Every incoming message you try to ignore will only amp up your fears of letting her down, Lombardo says. Plus, she will think you're flaking. So tell her you'll be unavailable, but in a way that makes it clear you're not abandoning her. For instance, schedule Friday morning check-ins and say, "I'll be hard to reach this weekend, so what can I do for you today to make sure we're in great shape until Monday?"

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Stick to it: When business hours end, it's up to you to ensure you get chill-out time. Let your boss know you'll check messages once a day, and set up out-of-office replies saying you'll respond to emergencies ASAP, but otherwise, Monday. And don't break your own rules or you'll undo your groundwork. Check in, reply only if vital, then walk away--preferably outdoors: Exercising in nature eases stress, so you can get back in the head space of being off duty.

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