Time management tips are lifesavers when your plans plunge into tailspins. As you know, sudden change turns schedules inside out when you least expect it! So keeping these 3 essential boundaries in mind can make all the difference.
How sudden change affects each of us is unique, isn’t it? Perhaps you clam up. Or maybe you broadcast your distress. Either your work or your relationships may suffer, and possibly both. Much really depends on your temperament and your planning habits. So become an expert on yourself! Then, before you need it, identify 3 essential time boundaries to put into place during crises.
Let’s consider two quite common disruptions – sudden illness and job loss. Either can be devastating in the short run, and they may take considerable effort to recover from. Here’s how to get back on your feet as swiftly as possible:
Boundary #1: Schedule plenty of time to process all your feelings.
To honor your feelings and provide yourself with the support you need, take time for yourself. To do so, be quite firm with friends or family members. With all good intentions, it may be difficult for them to see you upset or struggling.
Consider the private interlude you create to express and let go of feelings of sadness, fear and anger as a needed time out. Venting in a safe setting helps rinse away pent-up feelings. This leaves you feeling clearer and more able to plan.
Boundary #2: Don’t allow your time to be taken up by others’ unwanted advice and assistance. In addition, ask for timely, specific support you do need.
You know yourself better than anyone else. You can graciously acknowledge others’ wishes to help without depleting your energy going down paths that don’t lead where you need to go.
At the same time, if concerned friends, family or coworkers can lighten your load, let them know. Often there are concrete tasks that others can perform without intruding on your personal space. Your time is energy, so conserve it as much as you can.
Boundary #3: Refuse to spend your time judging yourself, even if your choices contributed to your current situation.
Maybe you will need to let others’ comments roll off your back. Perhaps you are your own worst critic! Befriending your lessons and allowing yourself your humanity is one of the most powerful ways you enhance your resilience. Set aside time daily to treat yourself with compassion. Promise yourself that you will learn from your current condition. And take whatever small steps are necessary to remain autonomous in ways that matter to you.
Healthy boundaries, like strong roots, nourish and stabilize you in stormy times. They help you take the time you need to regain your equilibrium. As you start to spring back, your capacity to enjoy and appreciate others will return. So give yourself permission to simplify your life. Keep the essentials in place, and take the time to get back on track. Once you regain your balance and momentum, you may well discover that your current setback strengthened you in profound and long-lasting ways.© Copyright 2012 Paula Eder, Ph.D.