Do you think your time is valuable? In fact, your time is your most valuable asset. That’s why so many people want it. Setting boundaries may be difficult when relationships are already long-established. It’s important to know where you draw the line, so others in your life don’t take advantage. It’s not surprising that your co-workers, loved ones, and neighbors may take offense when you set new boundaries that inconvenience or annoy them. Do you take family calls at dinner? Are you willing to drop everything to help a loved one, no matter how inconvenient? You may be an enabler. When you change the rules, you will get pushback. You don’t have to worry about what others think.
Here’s an example where setting boundaries keeps you sane
Do you have conflicts like this? Recently, a new colleague wanted to schedule conference calls at 9:30 pm on a Friday, and 8:30 pm on a Sunday. In order to have a balanced and happy life, I made a deal with myself not to work after 5 pm unless there was an emergency. I don’t take routine work calls on weekend evenings, either. This work boundary gives me time for serenity, peace, recharging, and (gasp) taking care of myself. Taking care of myself may mean getting chores at home done or practicing the piano, or even weeding the garden. I said no to the weekend calls, and we got the work done during work hours.
Time is valuable in so many ways
You’ve heard the phrase time is money. Well, that may refer to work. But time is valuable for emotional reasons, too. If you give away any free time you have, you lose the resource you need for creativity and growth. Even if you feel obligations to others and have the habit of giving your all, you can begin to set little boundaries that can begin to free head and emotional space for healthy relationships, and for personal satisfaction.