Do you remember the 80s movie Gremlins? There were a bunch of rules to help keep these monsters under control, one of which was ‘never EVER feed them after midnight’. As you may recall, someone did and, in typical 80’s movie fashion, havoc ensued. While you might be able to stay sane through a midnight snack, we all have scheduling issues that can make our lives better or worse.
Don’t forget – you can set boundaries
In order to keep havoc to a minimum, know that it’s okay to schedule boundaries. This can help you maintain a schedule that works for YOU, and protect time for the things you love.
I was at a meeting last week and a committee chair was complaining that people were showing up late to a monthly conference call. One woman bravely raised her hand and said ‘The calls are scheduled for 8:30, and that is exactly when I am dropping my daughter off at school. If we could start the call at 8:45 I could always be on time.’ People were happy to accommodate her – and as an added bonus, they actually decided the call could still end at the same time, saving everyone 15 minutes!
Take control of your day to take control of your life
I also worked with an executive coaching client a couple of years ago who said she had a hard time with the fact that her day always seemed to start and end with meetings. She functioned much better throughout the day if she had an hour to get centered and organized at the beginning and end of each day. So she put it on her calendar! She communicated this clearly to her staff that this time was off limits, and in this way she was able to take more control of her day at the office.
In general, being clear with your workplace about when you are and are not available, either in person, via text or email, can really help you create a schedule that works for you. It’s okay to do this at home as well! I tell my girls that when I am working I won’t respond to texts or calls that aren’t an emergency. And since I work from home, there are also clear boundaries and rules for when I am in my home office, most of which center on the idea ‘pretend I’m not here’.
At work you could also schedule office hours, meeting-free days, planned walking breaks, and other things to help you make the most of your days. At home, a lot of our boundaries revolve around limits on technology and consistent routines both morning and night.
You get what you tolerate
Are there boundaries that you could set in your schedule that would make your life work better for YOU? Well, speak up! You are the one who knows what you need, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Okay, gotta run. Off to have a midnight snack!