Setting boundaries

Why it’s a crucial skill for community leaders

Taylor Harrington
Groove With Us
4 min readSep 26, 2022


Professional community builders are often building community outside work hours. Whether it’s hosting a game night, arranging a meet up, or planning a group trip with friends or family, we’re community builders at our core; now it’s just formally in our job titles.

In the last year of being a professional community leader and living in New York City, I’ve learned the importance of creating boundaries to protect and replenish my energy. It’s not sustainable to be a hostess, gatherer, or facilitator around the clock. I love the work I do and I love building community outside of work. In order to do that in a healthy way, I needed to reorganize my life a bit. Here are three ways I did it:

1. The “No Plans Monday” Rule

When I moved to NYC in 2021, I realized how easy it was to fill up my calendar with activities, seeing friends and trying new things. I was over-scheduled, and with the amount of interacting I did as a community builder during the work day, I was exhausted by the time I was hanging out with friends after work. I had hit my limit: my empathy tank was empty. I needed something to change.

So, I started a no-plans on Monday rule. I realized if I create space for myself every Monday night, I could set myself up for success the rest of the week. Whether it’s making time to do laundry, create a to-do list, mail a package, go for a walk outside, or read, Monday night is time just for me. I’ve committed to myself that the only exceptions would be travel, a family member or close friend’s birthday, or a once-in-a-lifetime concert. Now, many of my friends know about my no plans Monday rule and totally respect it. I’ve missed out on some fun plans on Mondays because of this rule, but it’s totally worth it and necessary.

2. Scheduling “Me Time” on the calendar

I have a very colorful, beautifully labeled, busy Google calendar. I’ve learned the hard way, if I don’t block off time to be alone on my calendar, I won’t prioritize it. So, I have “Me Time 🧘‍♀️ 🛀 📖 ” labeled on my calendar twice every week in addition to Monday nights. I can move it to a different day if needed, but I can’t delete it. That’s my rule! This means at least 3 nights every week, I’m resting and replenishing. I can use this time to do similar activities I mentioned on Monday but allow myself to branch out more beyond my apartment, like going to a museum (the Museum of the Dog was a fun outing once!), checking out a park I’ve never been to, going shopping to treat myself to a new candle, etc.

3. Logging off from work completely

I’m a community person at my core. It’s hard at 5pm to think, “I’m going to stop thinking about our members” just because it’s 5pm. Empathy doesn’t disappear at a certain hour. And, in the same breath, it’s really important to take the necessary steps to take a step away from the work.

One way I do this is by setting a reminder on Slack to remind me to log off at 4:50pm each day. It’s a gift to my future self. Sometimes I’m shocked when I get that notification, “It’s already 4:50?!” and seeing it gives me the extra burst to say, “How can I put a bow on what I’m working on in the next 10 minutes or so?”

Another way I do this is by logging out of my computer at the end of the day. I use my work computer for personal use as well, so when I’m done with work I log out of the work account and put in my password to log into the personal one. On the personal account, I’m not logged into my work email, Slack, etc. I also keep work accounts off my phone.

And, yes, I’m still figuring it out

I created these boundaries to protect and replenish my energy. They aren’t perfect. I’m still learning through doing. And, yes, sometimes I log back onto my work computer account even though I told myself I wouldn’t.

I’m sharing these because I think it shows the real humanness of being a community leader inside and outside of work. In order to show up for others, we must be showing up for ourselves. And, sometimes it takes overdoing it to realize the boundaries we need to set in place.

Looking for more Groovy Content? Check these out:

  1. Let our Welcome Crew Volunteer Program Begin
  2. How to Self-Water 🌱
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Taylor Harrington
Groove With Us

Head of Community @ Groove 💃🏼🕺🏼 Love bringing people together ✨ Curious about the future of work, community, & online learning 🤔 Board game player + reader