Protecting Your Time

Protecting Your Time

Put more stringent measures into place to protect your time, and there will be immediate pushback from your partners, colleagues, collaborators, clients, and peers.

“Who do you think you are? Do you think your time is more valuable than mine?”

“Does this mean we can’t have three-hour conversations sorting out all the details of our next event?”

“I never knew you took your time and boundaries so seriously. Has this always been a concern for you?”

What your colleagues don’t appreciate is that you’re looking to create a workable, sustainable schedule for yourself. And by the time you’ve established a tenable plan, your productivity isn’t going to suffer. It’s going to increase. The people around you are the ones that are ultimately going to benefit from you setting more rails around your time.

You know yourself better than anyone else. That also means you are more qualified to devise a plan and stack the deck in your favor than anyone else. No one else can tell you how to live. They may have helpful suggestions, but at the end of the day you’ve got to make up your mind for yourself.

If you want to achieve next level productivity, then it’s all about setting yourself layers behind the frontlines. It’s about batch processing your email, returning texts when it best suits you, selectively ignoring communication as you see fit. It’s about delegating tasks and activity that are below your paygrade and handing off tasks to other capable people.

God forbid you might get a book written if you had an hour to spare in your day.

Fundamentally, most people aren’t going to be onboard with you opting to protect your time, and that may well be one of the greatest challenges you’ll face in setting up a moat around your castle.

But it must be done. You can’t get to where you want to go in life if you’re distractable, interruptible, contactable at all hours of the day. Someone will always be there to add to your to-do list.

Certainly, take on anything that’s aligned with your goals. But do it on your own terms. Choose when you return communication. Don’t let someone else tell you how it’s supposed to work. You make the rules.

Serving Others

Serving Others

It can be difficult.

To be sure, a life of servitude can be more rewarding and fulfilling than a life dedicated to personal gratification. It can be a beautiful exchange.

But it’s also where boundaries go to die.

The moment you choose to let others in and find a way to meet their needs, there’s always the chance you’ll be taken advantage of. And like a donkey chasing a carrot, there might be intangible, ineffable incentives that keep stringing you along.

It might be weeks, months, or even years before you realize you’ve been had. The greater the investment, the greater the chance you’ll be steered by loss aversion. None of us like to feel like we’ve been duped. So, instead of acknowledging our mistakes, we’ll justify and rationalize our choices.

What’s often missing from this conversation is this:

You can only give out of your overflow. If you are exhausted, burnt out, and drained, how can you give to others? You can’t.

Before you can serve others well, you’ve got to become a master at serving yourself. Yes, it might seem selfish. It might even appear that way to those on the outside looking in. But it’s not selfish to care for yourself. If there is no you, there is no you to give.

Put yourself first and invest in your growth. You’ll be far more resourceful, and of more value to others when you’ve woodshedded and conquered yourself.

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