.Boundaries. I've been thinking a lot about these lately.
Sometimes, boundaries are needed with our clients -- as in, "please call the studio number for questions, rather than my personal cell phone", or with our family members -- as in, "I'll be happy to help you once I finish what I'm doing".
But other times -- and I've been realizing this more and more -- the BIGGEST boundaries I need to set are with MYSELF. I'm the queen of talking myself into more work, and I'm also the queen of minimizing how much time I think that "just one little extra" task will take.
So, in these first days of 2022, I'm deciding to try to turn this around. And you are my accountability partners, if you want to join me. It's going to be the year of "time-for-us-too".
I am constantly on the hunt for that perfect planner and journal that will keep me on schedule and mindful. I haven't found it yet. But with the help of a couple of my good friends, in our daily text chat, we've brainstormed about this topic A LOT, and through our conversations, we've come up with some ideas that I think might help me (and maybe you too).
If you are interested in joining me on this journey, you can download the printables I made below.
Here's how I'm going to use them:
My biggest challenge is making space for all the things on my ever-growing to-do list - while still stopping work when I need to stop. My strategy for 2022 is going to be to keep a running list of urgent and long-term tasks, and then, each day pull out the things that are the priority and slot them into the time blocks in my day. It helps me to see what I'm doing more clearly, when I put it in writing -- even the non-changing things, like my regular teaching hours. You can use the boxes in the printable sheet here in any way that works for you. I plan to label the boxes by the time of day -- early morning, morning, after lunch, afternoon, evening, and night. Then, I will write down what I plan to do in each segment, with ultimate goal of not letting work bleed into time I have designated for home, family time, or myself. Some days, I might use the boxes for 6 different tasks, and set a timer of 30 minutes for each to see what I can get done.
LET IT GO
Have you ever had a difficult conversation with a student's parent, a colleague, or a random stranger that makes your blood pressure rise or your heart race just thinking about it? You know the one -- it is an issue you resolved, but not without stress, and now you just keep thinking about it, getting annoyed, thinking about it more, getting more bothered, and then spiraling until you cannot focus? This Let It Go sheet is made for those moments! For me, I've learned that writing things out is cathartic and the key to taking back my power from the things I cannot change. Bonus -- you can rip it up when you're done writing.
I learn so much from the ideas of others, and my friend was the inspiration for this next tool. She often tries to see the flip side of something that is bothering her and re-frames it to be a positive or helpful thing. An example of this would be taking a thought like "I have NO time to answer all of these emails about trial classes, I'm swamped as it is!" and reframing it to "It is amazing that we have so much interest in our new program". Maybe by taking a step back and seeing it in this new way, we can remove some of the stress of a situation and work to find a solution.
I am not an expert at this by any means -- I'm sharing these ideas with you in the hopes that my fresh start might inspire one in you too, in any way that is helpful and works for you.
Do you have an idea that has really been working for you? Please share it in the comments!
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