Sunday, September 28, 2008

Define Your Boundaries

Define Your Boundaries

By: Joseph Norman

“I draw circles and sacred boundaries about me; fewer and fewer climb with me up higher and higher mountains. I am building a mountain chain out of ever-holier mountains.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

In order to truly achieve at a high level and find fulfillment, you need to define your personal boundaries and create a disciplined environment for success.

First, what is a boundary? I’m not necessarily talking about mental restrictions or limiting belief systems, but rather your personal system for managing physical settings and social interactions.

Some people need quiet time while others consistently desire to be social. Many people can share a space effectively while others need to have defined separations so they can rule their own territory. That being said, high achievers tend to have a well thought out structure to their lives and they discipline themselves according to that defined system.

When you look at the world’s greatest businesses, what is it that you see? To name a few things, you discover rules of engagement, unique physical settings, key metrics, and management and employee manuals. All of these things define a mode of operation which has been time tested to work for that particular organization. Why not take this set of principles and apply them to your own life?

In your living space, do you have boundaries? If you have roommates or children, it is easy to let things flood into all parts of the apartment or house. So, define your territory and hold others accountable! Let them know your space and define the experience you want them to have in it. Where I live and work I desire to maintain a calm, positive energy and I want people to feel a complete comfort to fully express themselves.

Another area where you need definite boundaries is with your schedule. Don’t let people commandeer your time! Define your priorities and let people know how they can properly secure some of your time. For example, a few successful businesspeople I know define when they will answer emails and return phone calls. They communicate their schedule and discipline themselves to it. This helps them limit distractions and achieve more!

Your challenge this week is to define a few of the boundaries in your life:

What is your personal space?

What are the “rules of engagement” in that space?

How will you communicate them to people that enter your space?

Where do you work and where do you live?

Are they different spaces? Even if they are under the same roof, they should be separate spaces with defined rules in order to create a balance.

What does your daily agenda look like?

Do you have defined times and places to do the things that are important to you?

Are you letting people hijack your time and take advantage of you?

Define your boundaries and take control of your life. If you treat yourself right then others will do the same!