Time management tips only succeed if you establish effective boundaries. After all, boundaries protect and promote your plans and priorities! Yet many dread drawing the line. Do you create “last resort” boundaries that trigger resentment and guilt? If so, you can now learn which approaches are doomed to failure. And by following 3 smart strategies, you can experience more success with boundaries than you ever dreamed possible!
The pitfalls of “last resort” boundaries
If you resist setting boundaries, you may only speak up when your back is against the wall. This generates a vicious cycle. By not clearly communicating the parameters in which you function with ease, you fail to alert people when they are stepping into the “danger zone”. You will more likely express anger or frustration that could have been avoided. You and others may end up feeling guilty, resentful, or both.
Often this ups the ante, making the issue of boundaries still more charged. You may even conclude that boundaries are “too hot to handle”. Nothing is farther from the truth! You can emerge from this destructive, self-fulfilling prophecy using the simplest of steps.
- Identify Your Ideal EnvironmentSet aside concerns over other people’s demands for a moment. This is a time to develop some expertise about what fuels your personal success. Under what circumstances do you think clearly, communicate easily and rebound from setbacks? Envision the factors that support your peak effectiveness, and make a note of each one. How often do you work within this circle of success? How often would you like to? Formulate boundaries that protect that circle and keep you securely within it!
- Champion Your Comfort Zone. It is your responsibility to consistently initiate boundaries that support this environment, according to your needs. Don’t settle for weak boundaries that fail to fully protect your productivity and peace of mind. This is a particularly insidious trap for those who feel guilty setting a boundary in the first place.Create a mantra to affirm that you owe it to yourself to feel your best and do your best.
- Set the Stage for Success with Small, Simple Steps!Set small, reasonable boundaries, early and often. A proactive approach lets you select the ideal time to experiment. Keep the stakes genuine but low, and allow a generous learning curve for yourself and for others. New patterns take time to become established. Once they take root, they can develop into new and exciting opportunities! So allow your process to unfold, and enjoy how embracing boundaries becomes fundamental to your most successful relationships.
Related: Finding Time Boundary Template© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.