Boundaries help you use your time more effectively. They are often challenging to set, however, and maintaining them is also a stretch for many!
In our previous post we examined some of the advantages of setting strong boundaries between work and home. Today I want to explore the flip side of the coin.
Strong Boundaries Between Work and Home-Some Potential Problems
- Untended Problems Might Escalate: If demands can’t be successfully delegated problems can escalate – ultimately consuming even more time in the long run.
- Reduced Creativity and Flexibility: Maintaining rigid distinctions between work and home activities may discourage creative solutions that enrich both areas of your life.
- Fewer Opportunities for Informal Sharing and Delegation of Responsibilities: Regimenting roles and maintaining strict boundaries may curtail potential cooperative enterprises.
Boundaries: Which Option Works the Best for You?
After exploring the pro’s and con’s of the boundaries you are considering, it’s important to dig down and weigh the practical considerations.
Take all the time you need to sort out the specifics. What can wait? What needs to be delegated? Answering these questions helps you prioritize and clarify lines of responsibility.
List those who will be affected by the new boundaries and discuss specific roles with everyone involved. For example:
- Under what circumstances will you take work home? And are you willing to accept added responsibilities at work if you can fulfill them at home?
- If you aren’t self-employed, what back-up support will your employer provide during a family emergency (such as your mother falling and breaking her hip)?
- Who can flex the most in an emergency, you or your partner?
Putting Your New Boundaries Into Play
Here are some guidelines to consider as you set about implementing your new boundaries:
- Everyone benefits when roles are clarified before commitments are made. After you have weighed pros and cons, consult with everyone who will be affected. Encourage them to explore their areas of enthusiasm and misgiving on their own, and then to bridge back to you.
- Scan the horizon. Identifying what conflicts might suddenly arise helps you weigh the implications of each boundary and its long-range effect upon you.
- Plan and share. Developing contingency plans lessens the possibility of straining relations in the heat of the moment. Write down your plan, share it, and provide everyone with a copy of what has been agreed to.
- Review and revise. Schedule regular times to review and revise your agreements as needed. Although some terms may not be negotiable, everyone benefits from updating commitments that are flexible. Such responsiveness helps maintain morale and ensure willing participation.
When you have clear boundaries your reward is heightened productivity, improved communications and effective backup plans. Ultimately, your boundaries direct your energies and shape your life. Put these skills to work, and you will automatically maintain more positive control over your time.
So, what’s your next step?
For starters, you can learn more about the gifts of energy, time and meaning that my unique, Heart-Based Time Management™ System offers and begin your transformational time journey by signing up for my FREE Finding Time Success Kit.