Best of Both Worlds podcast: Quiet Quitting, Beautiful Boundaries, and Fall Fun

“Quiet quitting” is quite the hot topic these days. That may be because of the phrase’s ambiguity. It seems the most popular definition is doing the bare minimum at work. You don’t actually want to quit, but you do want to coast.

But some folks have other definitions, such as drawing stricter lines around what you will and won’t do…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. (Indeed, Sarah talks about her own career journey over the past few years and how she’s been figuring out what makes sense to spend time on and what doesn’t, while maintaining excellence in patient care.)

So, in this week’s episode of Best of Both Worlds, Sarah and I brainstorm some other alliterative phrases that might better get at this concept: Beautiful boundaries? Powerful Prioritization?

And then, since we’re into alliteration, we talk about Fall Fun. I recently posted my Fall Fun list on the blog and though Sarah does not get a traditional autumn down in Florida, she is leaning full into the pumpkin spice. There may even be boots (but fashionable, not functional as those of us up north will soon be experiencing all winter…)

In the Q&A a listener writes in about how to deal with all those little tasks that stack up. She might need Rule #8 from Tranquility by Tuesday (batch the little things)!

Please give the episode a listen, and as always, we appreciate ratings and reviews.

6 thoughts on “Best of Both Worlds podcast: Quiet Quitting, Beautiful Boundaries, and Fall Fun

  1. I too had been giving lots of thought to this notion of “quiet quitting” and came up with the idea of LOUD LIVING. In fact, your blog landed in my inbox about a minute after posting the below on LinkedIn!

    Loud Living means doing your work, doing it well, and (for the most part) enjoying what you’re doing.

    Loud Living means knowing that life and work can and should coexist, and even complement each other. But, here’s the real key to Loud Living: not shying away from saying that you have a life outside of work.

    Have to drop off your kids at school? Let’s meet after that. Going to take a nature walk in the middle of the day? See you when you’re back at your desk, feeling invigorated. Going to soak up the last days of summer with the family? Pop on your out-of-office to make sure you can enjoy it to the fullest while anything urgent is handled by a colleague.

    I’ve been practicing Loud Living for years, trying to set it as the cultural norm for my team to embrace the best of both worlds. When someone first joins Felicity, they say it’s a bit of a culture shock to find us talking so openly about all we’ve got on the go (work and life) as we plan and collaborate. They’re simply not accustomed to “admitting” to having commitments outside of work.

    Even before this new term “quiet quitting” was coined, I’d sensed an undercurrent of people pushing back against the idea of being a slave to your job by secretly sneaking time away during the workday.

    So what can you do to Live Loud? Next time you’re taking time away — be it for a few minutes or for a few weeks — dare to SAY SO. Only when we take pride in Loud Living will it go from being a simmering undercurrent, to become the tidal wave of change we need.

      1. I love this too!! Luckily my workplace is really open about life commitments and interests outside of work. And I have a boss who has always expanded it beyond kids—pretty much everyone has people in their lives they need to care for at some point or another.

  2. This was mentioned a bit in the episode, but I also had the thought that there are times we are just trying to get through due to personal circumstances that we might not be seen as going above and beyond. Returning from maternity leave was my first thought, but also going through a divorce, moving, illness/pain (especially when you can’t just bow out of work for an extended period) or the illness of a loved one, and on and on and on. Even things that might seem minor to someone else, or positive (training for a marathon or planning a wedding), can impact work. We’re humans, not robots. I also think women tend to expect more of themselves and feel they need to prove themselves, especially if they have kids, whereas a man might just shrug and say “I’m doing what I can right now.” In some cases the argument could be made that one person’s coasting is still superior to another person’s going above and beyond (not that comparison is always useful or necessary).

  3. I agree with what Caitlin said above. That was especially the case for me coming out of my maternity leaves. I wouldn’t say I was ‘quiet quitting’ – I was still performing well and getting good performance reviews/etc. But in my mind, I knew work was not the #1 priority. Some people can be challenged in multiple areas of their life and stay afloat but for me, something has to give when I’m really challenged in one area. I’ve been telling coworkers that I finally feel like I am coming out of the fog of early parenting and am ready to take on more. That’s not to say having almost-2 and 4.5you kids is a walk in the park, but I feel more ready to do things like travel and present at conferences. I really wasn’t ready to do those things when my kids were younger. I guess one upside of the pandemic is that I didn’t have to say no to things – we couldn’t travel and there were no conferences. But it’s been nice to be in the position to say yes more in the last 6 months. I’ve traveled for work 3 times this year and have 3 more trips this year which is more than I’ve traveled for work since becoming a mom.

    I do have some issues w/ this concept of ‘quiet quitting’ because for most of us, that work has to be done by someone. So if you are kind of slacking off and seeing how little you can do and still avoid getting fired, someone else is suffering on your behalf… Maybe there are circumstances where if you don’t do something, it just goes undone and it’s fine. But in my line of work, that isn’t the case – a question has to be answered/someone has to say yes to the client call/write the white paper/etc. I was very open with my boss and colleagues before I had kids and said I was not open to travel unless it was really really essential and the sales people know that, too. I’m all about setting boundaries, which I think is the goal of this quiet quitting movement – I’d just rather it be done more directly versus what comes off as a bit passive aggressive?

    1. @Lisa – I think the ambiguity is why it’s gotten discussed so much. And I also agree that there is a huge difference between making your colleagues pick up all your slack and setting healthy boundaries. There are also times in our personal lives where our performance won’t necessarily be A+ for us. The good news is that, given the bell curve in any given workplace/industry, one person’s B- may very well be the equivalent of someone else’s A+…

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