In my line of work I am blessed with opportunities to engage with many talented people. Many are in leadership positions, while others are individual contributors. Most struggle at one point or another with managing time, or many refer to it as “overwhelm”. As I mentioned to you in previous posts, we live in a world of do more with less – saying NO is not the accepted response in some business and corporate cultures. By saying YES to everything, we set ourselves and our teams for failure. No wonder so many can’t get a handle on personal and professional schedules. Inserting boundaries (or as I like to call them, little road blocks) into daily routines may help you get a handle on things, and help you and your team become masters of “overwhelm”.
So, what do some of these boundaries look like? I’m not referring to the boundaries we put up to form the silos that stifle a productive work environment, but ones to help us manage our time, our teams, our “overwhelm”. Boundaries need to be very specific and with purpose – making sure those affected by them understand the reason behind them. These boundaries or little road blocks might look something like these:
- Specific office hours to meet with team members or clients
- Specific times to check and respond to email and phone messages
- Delegate meeting attendance (This also builds trust with those you delegate to)
- Really disconnecting on a day-off or vacation
Be sure to gauge and test the impact of your boundaries from time to time to make sure they are actually working. You may need to adjust or change them from time to time as your environment changes. By setting boundaries, you are in a sense, saying NO to help you and others manage the environment around you.
As always, I welcome your comments, and ideas around this topic of NO.