4 Questions to Consider when Setting Boundaries
It was Mother’s Day recently and I, like others, work with a lot of parents. I love being a mum. The above photo is from a wonderful day spent with my boys surfing.
Amongst other things, I help people to manage the balance between their personal and professional lives. I see “masks” and internal conflict.
I am often asked how to deal with this conflict? My response is always, “Through clearly defined boundaries.” Boundaries create a sense of empowerment, respect and worth for the things you value most highly. Without them, your day can drift into weeks even months, and the “mouse-wheel” continuum becomes a part of your life. A colleague recently commented that, “As soon as you think you’ve got it under control, the balance shifts again … and again.” Yes, agreed, and that’s why we need to keep asking the questions at different stages and not expect the same answers.
The mistake people make?
They ask the questions ONLY once per year, per term, per job … which is illogical when the natural shift of life means that your priorities change organically. As soon as you notice a shift, prepare to re-balance.
You own your priorities, you can choose which comes first or last. You can discuss these with the other people in your world, (your boss, business partner, work colleagues, spouse, children), who can then support you to make the required changes.
Here are 4 questions to help you:
1) What are your professional priorities? I.e. $, time, career, personal fulfilment?
2) What are your personal priorities? I.e. family, relationships, health, social?
3) What does your home calendar look like, and your partner’s?
4) What are the options if the “wheels fall off” as they inevitably do at some point?
None of the above will solve the problem of shifting balance, what they will do is guide you to identify gaps and consider options in the quiet times.
Whether you have children or not, we all have external demands on our time. Most people aren’t here to work with a second priority to live, living comes first.
Ask yourself and your work colleagues these questions. They will help you to create a workplace of understanding and kindness which is just as important as profitability and increasing revenue. Interestingly, they usually go hand in hand with success.