Most of us are giving, caring, and compassionate individuals. We like to say “yes” when we can. We want to help. We want others’ to appreciate the resources we have to offer.
But when does giving your time away cross the line into self-sabotage?
Here are some examples of how I’ve sabotaged myself:
1. Over the last ten days, I have had six complimentary Discovery Sessions with prospective clients. When I schedule these sessions, I let the participants know that the appointment will run for about 30 minutes. Guess how many of them have only taken 30 minutes? One! Yes, one! I’ve let these conversations run closer to 60 minutes. Yikes! The prospective clients have been very appreciative of the extra time, but with those six sessions alone, I’ve diverted two and a half hours that I could have used elsewhere.
2. Conversations with family, friends, and colleagues have also consumed a fair amount of time I had allocated differently. However, when a family member, friend, or colleague calls and says, “do you have a few minutes?” I always say, “yes.” I also know it’s not going to be “a few minutes,” it’s going to be 30. Last week, these calls accounted for six hours of my time. I love my family, friends, and colleagues, and I like to feel needed and respected, but at what cost?
3. Giving back is important to me. For that reason, I’ve volunteered to host a Mastermind group for Rena-Fi. I believe in the work they are doing and want to help; however, over the last couple of weeks I’ve spent upwards of seven hours (including the on-line portion of the group itself) on this non-paid activity when I only planned on three.
I could probably name another three to four situations over the last couple of weeks where I have given my time away at the cost of my to-do list.
What’s the right balance? I’m not sure.
What I do know is that what I’m doing isn’t working. I’ve been super-stressed lately because I am not getting things done in a timely fashion (like this post, which was on my schedule for yesterday).
I speak to my client incessantly about boundaries and how to use them with others, but my problem is that I’m not using them with myself.
Thoughts from the Universe?
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