Are you spreading yourself too thin, just to butter someone else’s toast? It could be a sign that you’re having trouble setting boundaries, and other people’s demands are getting in the way of your goals.
We all like to be needed. It feels good to be the one that helps everyone out. But there’s a sinister underbelly to being too nice. Do too much for everyone else and you end up too busy to reach your own goals.
It’s ok to be helpful, as long as being helpful isn’t getting in the way of being successful. We all need boundaries.
Setting boundaries is a leadership skill.
You can’t lead when you’re so focused on what everyone else considers urgent that you don’t have time or space to think about what’s important. Leaders decide which way to go, then confidently guide the team in that direction.
If you’re constantly responding to requests from other people, then you are following their lead, not the other way round.
If you don’t set strong boundaries, your business will suffer.
It’s Monday. You’re planning to spend the morning working on a new marketing strategy. You get to your desk charged up and ready to go. Then the phone rings. It’s a client. You pick up the phone – it could be important. It’s not and someone else on the team could easily handle it. But you solve their problem yourself, and by the time you hang up a half hour has passed.
It’s another 15 minutes before you’re back at your desk after stepping out to update the staff person who should have handled the call in the first place. No you’re 45 minutes behind on your marketing plan. Guess you’ll have to push back those sales calls – maybe you can fit them in tomorrow. And that’s when your friend Suzy pops in to ask if you’ve got time for coffee. She’s going through a tough divorce, so you say yes. Three hours later, you’re back at the office, the day’s almost done and you haven’t even started on that marketing plan. Never mind made a single sales call.
Get the picture…
5 tips for setting boundaries in your business.
Here are just a few of the techniques we teach in the Life in Harmony and Business in Harmony boot camps that are available free to all “Succeed” community members:
- Do you have set “work hours” when you politely tell friends you’re working and unavailable for phone chats, lunch dates or shopping trips?
- If you work from home, have you agreed on signals with your family that let them know mom’s working and shouldn’t be disturbed unless it’s an emergency?
- Did you make sure everyone agrees on what an emergency is – and that it’s not Johnny pulled my hair?
- Does your staff know when to let you focus and when it’s ok to interrupt you?
- Do you schedule time for yourself to focus on important projects?
Head over to our Facebook page and share your favourite tricks to make sure your goals get priority. How do you remind friends, family or co-workers that your time is important too?