Practices That Will Help You Set Boundaries and Protect Your Time

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Making a career for yourself in any area of business lends itself to caring about the amount of money you make in each period, especially if you are the party responsible for turning ideas into tangible profits. Rightfully so, if you are running your own startup or overseeing something like the sales department, your entire livelihood hinges on your job performance. That’s a weighty responsibility to be sure. This is why people go to great lengths to protect their money at all costs – great amounts of it do not come easily. All these characteristics highlight the value of money. However, there may be another limited-quantity item that is equally as, if not more, valuable. Time. Yet, it does not seem people are as willing to protect their hours and minutes in the same way they do their paycheck. Marcia Wieder, the CEO and Founder of Dream University, spoke words of encouragement to anyone who finds themselves in a similar position, “It’s how we spend our time here and now, that really matters. If you are fed up with the way you have come to interact with time, change it.”

As a simple idea, this is a wonderful thing to strive for. But the limited scope of these words does not offer concrete suggestions for how to better spend one’s time. To counter this, we’ve gathered the thoughts and opinions of a few business experts to identify practices that will set boundaries and protect time.

Intentional planning

It might seem counterintuitive to dedicate a significant amount of time to scheduling out a specific window of time. But the freedom and mental focus one can gain from doing so is an advantage worth discussing. Take a second to review some of the days when you felt as if your productivity was lacking. There is a solid change: much of this came from not knowing which task to pursue next. This is where planning comes into play. By telling yourself ahead of time what you’re going to be doing and when, you can seamlessly move from one task to the next without getting sidetracked. CloudForecast is a business providing simple AWS cost monitoring. Their CEO and Co-Founder, Tony Chan, proposes this approach.

“I’m willing to guarantee that anyone who does not keep a detailed calendar of their work-life has missed something important on more than one occasion. Obviously, no one wants this to happen. Nor do they want to waste precious time finding the next assignment tackle which is why intentionally planning out your week or day is helpful.”

Stick to personal rules

Staying on top of what happens each day is a task, to say the least. But when you add in outside factors, it becomes even more to handle. Random opportunities with friends, demanding work situations, and even a simple lack of awareness, can contribute to mismanaging time in a way that brings about repercussions further down the road. This can be something like loss of sleep or worse, missing a critical meeting. No person wants to bring additional stress to their already trying professional life because of something they had complete control over. Personal guidelines can be a method for going about this. Provided those guidelines are more than just hopeful ideals and they become a lifestyle. 8 Sheep Organics specializes in organic pregnancy products. Their Co-Founder, Dawn Kendall, believes holding to those personal guidelines can make a noticeable difference in time management.

“Every person is unique and with that comes individual needs for making the most of whatever time is available to them. For example, some people have social batteries with far greater capacity than others. Or some social batteries take longer to ‘recharge’ than others. Whatever the case, knowing yourself in this regard and creating rules to accommodate this is vital. So, if that means you never do anything outside the home on Wednesdays, so be it.”

Is it necessary?

One of the most well-known qualities of the working world is the time given to tasks or activities that do not seem to hold any lasting impact or value. For example, it would be surprising to find that a single person reading this piece has never sat through a meeting that was either pointless entirely, or had nothing to do with them personally or professionally. Not only is this an incredibly frustrating experience to be part of, but it is also a definitive misuse of time. Therefore, pushing to uncover whether a meeting or appointment is needed seems beneficial. Karl Hughes is the CEO of Draft.dev, a brand offering technical marketing content for software startups. He advises everyone to diligently guard their time in this manner.

“There’s really no reason to sugarcoat this – don’t waste your time in meetings that don’t involve you. I’ve seen so many companies kill off their productivity and continue to gather their employees for one reason or another and all it did was harm their potential. Even if you aren’t that high up the proverbial totem pole, pushing to maintain productivity is always commendable.”

Establish priorities

Like it or not, there is a limited number of working hours in a day, and you will never be able to accomplish or be responsible for as much as you might like to. That means some things will have to fall by the wayside, by choice, or simply because of the demands that have arisen from the current situation. These circumstances should not dictate which of these items do not receive priority attention. Instead, take the time to recognize and harness the agency you must make the most of the time available. Royal Moon is a business providing full-spectrum CBD oil. Their CEO, Brandon Sunny, considers this train of thought astute and suggests as much.

“I think so many people forget that they are in control of their days, not the other way around. You don’t have to wait around for something to happen and then play reactionary catch-up. In fact, doing this will just set you far behind the eight ball professionally. Alternatively, you could avoid the eight ball entirely by choosing what items you’re going to prioritize throughout your day. From there, your days should start to feel productive and open simultaneously.”

Setting boundaries and protecting your time will always be an ongoing battle. It is not something that has a one-time solution. But it is an amazingly valuable pursuit. Speaker and author Tony Robbins highlighted this, “Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!”