If you do not set boundaries for yourself, no one else will do it for you. What is important to you should be your top priority. You need to set parameters or put limits in place for your time, energy and activities. This needs to be done for your home, work, and community commitments.
I was in a coaching session the other day working with someone I have known for several years. She is a wonderful person who is a very dedicated leader in her career. Because of her strong commitment, sometimes she struggles defining boundaries between work and home responsibilities. She is known for doing what ever it takes to get the work done. Everyone can count on her to follow through and ensure the task is not only completed, but also completed with the highest standards in place. This is a great trait to have, but it is not good when everyone else goes home to their families and you are always the one staying late (and missing your family) to get the job done.
You know the story; sometimes organizations over use their valuable employees because they know they can count on them and that the job will get done. Organizations sometimes take advantage of these outstanding employees because it is easier to overload them then it is to follow up with employees who don’t have good work ethics.
Some people wait for others to protect their boundaries for them like their boss, peers, or spouse. Most of the time this does not happen. It is up to you to ask yourself these questions about your boundaries:
- How am I doing?
- Where can I improve?
- What can I let go of?
- What do I need to stop doing?
- What should I delegate to others?
- Have I communicated and shared my boundaries with others?
Having clear boundaries and non-negotiable parameters provides you with the clarity you need to live your version of a balanced life. A clear boundary is what protects your time for what is important to you.
What do you want to protect? Do you have clear boundaries in place?