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Whatever Works for You
Have you ever heard your self saying this to someone while making plans? Or had someone else say it to you and finding that you have no schedule to consult, no idea what really does work for you?
One of the first things that you can do to manage your time more effectively is to draw some boundaries. It seems so simple, but like many other things that seem obvious, it took me a long time to “get it”.
IS YOU’RE BUSINESS A BUSINESS… OR AN OPTIONAL WAY TO SPEND YOUR TIME?
I always thought I was a NO person, as opposed to one of those YES people who can turn no one away who asks anything of them.
But it occurred to me that if something came up, especially concerning my kids, I NEVER thought to make arrangements around my work schedule – I was not treating my business as a business, I was treating it as an optional way to spend my time.
The first thought through my head and next words out of my mouth where always… “What ever works for you is fine with me, the words – I have to work – never escaped my lips”. Why? Because I had somehow construed “working for myself” to mean that I don’t “have to work” if it is inconvenient for someone else.
Inside my head, I was thinking, I can always adjust something and work around it, even if it is a little hectic.
Adding to it, I now realize that some of the “must do’s” that came up where actually things that I could have said no to.
I realized that I was making my decisions based on a few core assumptions.
·that everyone else had something more important to do than I did
· that it would be extremely rude for me to ask them to work with my schedule
·Changing plans once they where made was not an option
This resulted in many very stressful situations… not good for me and not good for my family.
START WITH ONE GROUND RULE – MAYBE TWO :0)
One day during the summer holidays when the “Mom the Chauffer” load was especially large, I decided that this could not go on. I started with one basic ground rule for the kids. If they needed to go somewhere during summer holidays, my “drive to town” time is 3:00, because this is the time that I need to have my orders in to go out on the mail truck for that day. The other one was that they must plan ahead and let me know at least 24 hours in advance when ever possible.
This saved enormous stress due to last minute requests for rides, late hours at night packing to be ready for morning and juggling of my schedule to try to accommodate everyone.
The amazing realization that I made was that all along, all I had to do was ask. It was that simple.
SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE
The next step for me was to change a plan. I can’t believe that at one time it never would have occurred to me to do it.
I had promised my daughter that I would take her and a friend to the show, afterwards her friend was staying over night and I had to drive her home in the morning (breaking rule #1 but I had no orders and as I said, you have to weigh the situation).
As luck would have it, an order came through, there would be no way I could get it out the next day and keep the schedule. So I merely asked if it was a problem for us to move the plans to the next evening. My daughter was ok with it, she called her friend, they where ok with it. I got my order out, we went to the show and I drove her friend home the next day.
Look at the example and see how it may fit into your own habits and method of cooperation.
Weigh the variables and see if there is something you can improve on in setting your own boundaries. In this example, if it had been a problem for my daughter or her friend, I would have delayed the parcel as it wasn’t behind schedule.
As it worked out, what could have been stressful and a delay for my customer worked, I was happy and the girls where happy.
YOUR AT A GLANCE MAP TO PEACEFUL LIVING
An example of the loose boundary system that I used in these examples are
PEOPLE ALWAYS COME FIRST
Does this mean that you need to constantly let your kids or other people down?
Of course not. It will become a problem only if it is not done in moderation, always keeping balance in mind, and respect for everyone’s needs, just don’t forget to include yourself!
Take stock of your situation, create fair boundaries, and stick to them.
Don’t be afraid to ask, you will be pleasantly surprised at how often other people will be quite happy to accommodate you. You will be more productive, happier and less stressed out.
There will always be times when it will be necessary to bend your rules and be there for someone else. You can expect that and be accommodating, just don’t make it a habit in situations where it is not necessary. Ask yourself what is important in the big picture.
Respect your time and you will find that others will respect it too.
Janice Ferrante is the Queen of KAOS. You can learn more about how to Conquer KAOS and take CONTROL by visiting her website at http://www.queen-of-kaos.com. Also be sure to sign up for her free ezine containing more practical tips, articles and resources at http://www.queen-of-kaos.com/qoktipssub.html .
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