Oct 232019
 

Greetings!

I work with clients every week to help them maximize their time.  We talk about strategies and practices they can use to to get their work and obligations done easily and quickly.  And even then, they often come back and ask, how do I make it workhow do I preserve my timehow do I make sure other people respect the time boundaries I’ve set?

If you are chalk-full of time management strategies and still feel overworked and overwhelmed, here are three ideas that may help you gain more control. They include: philosophypolicies and party line.

ONE

Let’s talk about your time philosophy.   How do you view your time? What do you want from your time?  How do you want to spend your time?  These questions help you form your time philosophy.   My time philosophy is, “I’m better when I’m rested, focused and clear”.

Here are others I’ve heard:

  • I make the most of my time,
  • My work time and home time don’t overlap,
  • I make time for me every day,
  • I have the freedom to choose how I spend my time,
  • The perfect is the enemy of the good,
  • To waste time is to waste life.

Without a time philosophy, my calendar can quickly grow gangly and out of control, and I can find myself facing busier days, working longer hours, and quickly feeling tired and burned-out.  As you can imagine, that way of working doesn’t support my coaching client work, where I’m at my best when I’m fresh, focused and completely present.

What is your time philosophy?

TWO

Once you have a philosophy, you can craft your time policies. Your time policies are the decisions you make about how you’ll use your time, what boundaries you’ll set, and what you will and will not agree to.

One policy I’ve had for over 15 years, is that I don’t work on Fridays. When my kids were little, I took Fridays to volunteer in their classrooms. Today, I use it to attend my favorite weekly writing group.  By honoring this policy I’m able to focus on, and attend to, the important task that doesn’t always get my attention during the week– writing.  On Friday, no work, just writing.  If someone wants to schedule a meeting on Friday, I offer other days that I’m available to meet.  When you take control and honor your policies, you’ll find you have enough time to focus on what’s important.

More policy examples my clients have set:

  • I don’t schedule meetings before 9 or after 4pm,
  • I turn my computer off until the kids are in bed,
  • Never open my email before planning the day.

What policies could you set around your time?

THREE

So now that you have a philosophy and policies around your time, let’s focus on the party line.  The party line is a sentence you repeat so often it rolls off your tongue easily and effortlessly.

My party line is, if it’s not on the calendar it’s not going to happen. Here are some other examples of party lines that I have heard from clients:

  • Every agenda needs to have an objective,
  • Before we meet we need to know the outcome,
  • We only meet if everyone is present,
  • We never double book our meetings.

What is your party line?

Maximizing your time with a time philosophy, policies and a party line gives you back control of your time and how you use it.

If you’d like more strategies to help maximize your time, download my special publication The Myths of Time Management HERE.  And, if you enter Coupon Code MYTHBONUS you’ll get it for free for a limited time!  😉

Enjoy!

Apr 192016
 

 

Picture this. Your boss asks you to work late but you promised your son you’d be at his soccer game that evening.  You say yes to your boss and walk away with a pit in your stomach.   As you walk back to your office thoughts like ”why didn’t I just say no…what’s my son going to think…why is it so hard for me to honor my boundaries?” stream through your head.

This is never an easy situation.

Saying NO to someone (no matter who it is) is never easy.  But it is “easier” when you have clear, healthy boundaries.

Boundaries are like an invisible fence.  This invisible fence keeps in what you do want in your life — things like hard work, family, health, trust, happiness, commitment.   At the same time, this special fence keeps outthose things you don’t want in your life – things like stress, disappointment, overwhelm, struggle, heaviness.

The problem is that most of us don’t have this fence because we haven’t established strong, clear, healthy boundaries.

In my experience clients start out in one of three boundary categories: No Boundaries, Squishy Boundaries or Rigid Boundaries.

No Boundaries.  This category somewhat speaks for itself.  But it’s safe to say that people who fall into this category suffer greatly because they don’t know how to say NO and their focus is typically on pleasing other people at the expense of their own peace of mind.  People with no boundaries often feel and appear like the victim.

Squishy Boundaries. People with Squishy boundaries are inconsistent with maintaining their boundaries.  Whether or not they enforce a particular boundary depends on their mood, the situation, or the person challenging their boundary. People with Squishy boundaries often merge with other people’s boundaries and because of this they are easily manipulated.

Common statements from clients with squishy boundaries sound like:

** I feel like people take advantage of me,

** I feel guilty for saying “NO”,

** My time is often highjacked by other people,

** My choices are often dictated by what others want,

** I often feel like the victim,

** I often feel anxious or afraid.

Rigid Boundaries.  With rigid boundaries there is no grey area.  There is only black and white.  I like to think of rigid boundaries as barriers because they don’t allow for connection — they keep people out, and prevent closeness and developing relationships.  Rigid boundaries are created from a place of fear and/or control.

Comments from clients with rigid boundaries sound like:

** I feel confined,

** I am unclear about why they are setting a boundary in the first place,

** I feel in “control” but not in a healthy way,

** I feel isolated,

** I feel angry (again, because they’re not sure why they are sticking to a particular rigid boundary).

The goal when I’m working with clients one on one or presenting a workshop on boundaries is to move clients away from boundaries that keep them stuck to more flexible boundaries that allow them freedom and choice.

Flexible Boundaries When a person has flexible boundaries it doesn’t mean that they change with the wind.  It simply means they are set with love, intention and self awareness, and that they get to choose what to let in or what to block out.  They are at choice.   These are the strongest healthiest boundaries.

Now, listen to what clients with clear, well-thought-out, flexible boundaries often say:

**I live with intention,

**People respect me more (ironically),

**I know what’s important to me and I honor that,

**People know they can count on me,

**I feel at peace,

**I feel comfortable with myself and my choices.

What a difference!

So what do you choose?  Do you choose the struggle of living without boundaries?  Or do you choose the power of taking control of your choices and of yourself?

And, remember, the strongest and healthiest boundaries are set from love not fear.

Stay tuned for my next newsletter where we’ll explore boundary types and areas to look at when setting your boundaries.

And, check out this free download of questions to help you determine where you might need stronger, healthier boundaries in your life.   You can access it here:  http://www.encompass-coaching.com/OrderCreatingBoundaries

Good luck & have fun playing with these concepts.

Erin

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