Do your work habits need guardrails?

Copy of Year End Giving What's Ahead in 2021


I thought I was so good at them. 

Truly, I did. 

And in many ways, I am. 

  • I know how to say no to projects that don’t feel aligned. 
  • I know how to take care of myself in [most] relationships.  
  • I know how not to take on responsibilities that belong to someone else.
  • I know how to limit my time with people who are negative or don’t share similar values. 

What, apparently, I don’t know how to do well, is safeguard time on my calendar.

Maybe it’s a deeply ingrained service mindset. 

Regardless, I frequently find myself saying, “Yes, I can meet at that time!” when I very clearly have the time blocked off for myself to work on a project. 

The impact is not lost on me. 

It creates a domino effect in which: 

  • I’m working at odd hours to get tasks completed
  • I feel overwhelmed because project work is hanging over my head
  • I have less time for rest and recreational pursuits. (If you read last week’s post you know how I feel about rest!) 

I have to remind myself that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Behavior change takes time. I became skilled at setting the boundaries above over time, not overnight. 

Houses have fences, office buildings have walls, and highways have dividing lines. All serve as physical and visual boundaries that help us and others stay in our respective lanes. 

Some of my work habits need a few more guardrails, apparently.

I am confident, however, that through self-awareness and relentless focus on my monthly/quarterly/annual goals, I’ll continue to get better at protecting time on my calendar and staying on track. 

(A new whiteboard to keep it all front and center has also been invaluable!) 

How about you? Where could you set stronger boundaries to support your goals?

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