Life- Protect Your Energy With Boundaries

Life- Protect Your Energy With Boundaries

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How do you feel about your job or life this very moment? Do you enjoy it? Are you fulfilling your passion? Or is it dreary and tough to get out of bed every morning?

In A Perfect World…..

you would jump out of bed happy and energized, ready to tackle the day with ease. Your family would go off to school or work happy, your work clients would love everything you had to say, and you would see the passive income checks come in every day from your side hustle.

Do you desire this perfect world?

Complete perfection is not attainable but that’s not to say you can’t aim for a strong balance between your work life and your personal life. When your life is balanced well, then your energy increases, you feel revitalized, and stressful situations don’t stop you in your tracks.

Complete perfection is not attainable Click to Tweet

According to traditional Chinese medicine, every human body has an energy highway through which all energy flows. This flow of energy affects how we feel, how we think, and also affects our overall health. When there are no energy blockages, life is good and we can have a nearly perfect day. When we experience energy blockages due to stress, injury, trauma, poor diet, or other poor living conditions, our overall physical and mental health suffers dramatically.

If you want a baseline information about chakras check out this book (Click the image below)

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is the key to maintaining your energy’s balance. Your energy is also your spirit or your liveliness and when you take on too much work or deal with people who don’t meld with your business or personal philosophy, you become stressed, which dampens your energy, thus dampening your outlook on life.

Trip Down Memory Lane

Go back to remember why you want to start an online business. No doubt helping people was high on the list of reasons but many entrepreneurs state family and freedom as the primary reasons they wanted to start their online businesses.

Yes, hard work is certainly necessary to make a full time living, but if you are constantly thinking about creating your business, working full-time and have a hard time focusing your attention toward your family members, is it really worth all your effort?

At the end of the day, which will you regret more: losing a few clients/leaving work on time or losing time with your children, spouse, significant other, friends or family?Click to Tweet

Cautionary Tale

Working non-stop and filling your calendar to the max will also lead to burnout and eventually resentment. Even the most dedicated professional take breaks between meetings throughout the day or taking an entire day off.

They also understand the importance of having set work hours and leaving work in the office before spending time with their families. Work is certainly important but if you don’t set boundaries with it, you’ll be ‘on call’ 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If your job is taking away your free time, you will become resentful towards it, which leads you into a bad working relationship because you won’t be able to hear anything objectively.

Every professional needs boundaries to make money while enjoying their freedom yet fends off any resentment or imprisonment their job may try to impose.Click to Tweet

Step 1: Decide What You Really Want

Lifestyle - Protect Your Energy

Close your eyes for a moment and think of your perfect world. If money was no object, where would you live? What kind of online business would you have? What do your weekends look like? Do you travel for work or your business? What activities does your family enjoy? What type of clothes or colors do you wear in this perfect world? Are you living in a house or condo? Do you have pets? What kind of car do you drive?

Your answers should be things that make you happy, really happy. Maybe you take some Caribbean vacations in this perfect world. Maybe you dream of being on the New York Times Bestseller list. Maybe you’re driving an expensive sports car. Or maybe material things aren’t important and you’re dreaming of sunsets on the beach while the kids splash in the waves. There are no right or wrong answers here. This exercise is yours alone and your answers will be very different from your friends or family members. Daydreaming is a way for your unconscious to help you see what’s truly important to you.

However, now that you know what’s important, it’s time to take action so you can turn these daydreams into reality. That’s a pretty daunting task and with the pressures of day to day life it’s easy to lose sight of those dreams.

Step 1: EXERCISE

Your first exercise is to make a vision board to help you stay focused. A vision board is a visual representation of everything that is important to you.

Keep each one (Business and Life) separated by creating different boards. By putting your hopes and dreams onto a board like this you’re able to focus and remember what it is you’re working towards. How depressing to think you’re working just to pay the bills.

Get in the habit of working towards something fun, something that seems out of reach and special so you enjoy it even more. You only have one life to live so experience life instead of watching it pass you by.

When you’re done pasting the photos, find a prominent place to hang your vision board where you will see it daily, such as in your office. If you prefer to create a digital vision board, set it as your screensaver or make a point of looking at it every day when you turn the computer on.

Work won’t seem so dreadful or bothersome if you know you’re working toward a fun goal. Click to Tweet

 

Step 2: Be Honest About What You Don’t Want

Lifestyle - Protect Your Energy

Equally important to knowing what you want out of life is knowing what you DON’T want. Creating balance is all about being honest with yourself and taking on clients, projects, or tasks that will bring you joy, not bring about stress and anger. Think of the yin and yang idea from Chinese philosophy. They are often thought of as two competing forces when in actuality they work together in a complementary way to create balance. Consider the vision board in Step 1 as your yin; now you need to explore what you don’t want, or your yang.

Step two: EXERCISE

Think about your life and what you do.  Ask yourself these questions:

Spend time with family/friends on the weekend?

Clean the house ALL day Saturday?

Work till 7pm or later?

Work on starting an online business?

Staycation or vacation from home?

Exercising?

Healthy eating or eating what you want?

Checking email on your phone?

Eating home around the table or dining out?

What other tasks do you complete every month?

Now go back and analyze which of these things brings you joy and which ones drain you of your energy. Remember, your answers will be different from others. Just because they get joy from a staycation doesn’t mean that has to be a part of your lifestyle. Let them find their own joy. You be selfish and focus on YOU right now.

After you have two lists – what you want and what you don’t want from your life – it’s time to create a plan to bring them into balance with each other. For instance, if you no longer want to clean all day Saturday, then hire a cleaning service.  If you are not getting traction in building your online business, then hire a coach who can expedite the process through their service. There is always a solution to every problem.

Once you know what you want and don’t want, your plan of action will become clear.

Step 3: Set Boundaries With Yourself First

One of the best and easiest ways to set boundaries in your life is leaving  work on time.

Lifestyle - Protect Your EnergyFor example, if you set your hours as 9am-5pm Monday through Friday and you’re busy enough that you only have time for a lunch break, shut down your computer at 5:01pm and start to decompress . No answering emails after dinner.  Enjoy your dinner; enjoy your family or friends; enjoy a hobby. Turn off your work brain before you suffer from burnout.

 

Did you get an awesome brainstorm idea while preparing dinner? Keep a notebook handy or type notes into your phone. You can review those notes tomorrow during business hours.

Step 3: EXERCISE

Not able to keep standard business hours due to family obligations? No worries. Use the time block philosophy where you schedule certain tasks during certain hours of the day. For instance, if you’re working early in the morning while the kids are still sleeping, use that time for writing your book or catching up on emails.

Time blocking can also work to schedule one task for specific days. For example, there’s a popular podcaster who publishes new episodes DAILY and he schedules up to 10 interviews in one day to keep up with this schedule. Plan out a month of meals on the first of each month. If you have a slow day, devote the rest of that day to planning how you going to achieve your next fun goal.

If weekends are sacred family time, tell your family that you’re unplugging each weekend and have them hold you accountable. Your work will still exist without you being plugged in constantly.

Once you set up your work boundaries, it’s time to tell your family/friends and I dare say your boss/colleagues. No, you can’t text me at 11pm and expect an answer. No, I will not answer emails or help you strategize your next step over the weekend. Your boundaries – whatever they may be – will only work if you tell people what they are and you force them to adhere to them.

It’s not enough to say you don’t want to work 60 hours per week. You have to hold yourself accountable to that rule as well.

Set reasonable boundaries on your own time and stick to it.Click to Tweet

 

Step 4: Where Are Your Time Wasters?

Lifestyle - Protect Your EnergyDistractions are a part of life no matter where you work but if your goal is to work fewer hours while maintaining your full time income, then it’s time to identify your distractions and time wasters.

Enforce your business hours with your family and friends. No more phone calls from your bestie when you’re supposed to be working. Tell mom you have limited time for lunch.

Step 4: EXERCISE

Turn off your computer notifications and shut down computer windows you don’t need for work. If you’re focused on work, you don’t need to know what your Facebook friends are doing every two seconds. Likewise, shut down email. Enforce those boundaries you set and check email messages only at certain times during the day.

Your smartphone is likely a distraction so try keeping it out of arm’s reach to avoid checking notifications all the time. Better yet, turn the ringer off while you work for your scheduled block of time. If you’re worried about missing an emergency call from the kids’ school, keep the ringer on but put in your purse or desk draw and use the caller id before answering.

Decluttering your workspace will also work wonders for your psyche and productivity. Clutter is a visual distraction and can sap your energy immediately. Don’t just drop a bunch of papers on the desk; file them immediately, toss in the garbage, or shred them if they contain personal information.

The key here is to set yourself up for success with an atmosphere that makes you happy and calm.

Maybe that’s playing your favorite music in the background, burning a scented candle or meditating for 15 minutes before starting your work. Experiment to find your optimal work atmosphere.

Step 5: Learn to Say No

Lifestyle - Protect Your Energy“No” is a word toddlers learn at a very early age and continue to use as they grow during the teen years but somewhere along the way we turn into adults and all of a sudden we’re people pleasers who lose track of our personal boundaries and can’t say no for fear of disappointing someone or being reprimanded. In a corporate world, people think it is harder to say no because your paycheck depends on you performing certain tasks. That is not true.  You need to set boundaries on what you will do and won’t do.  Consistently doing your boss job and your job is one of those places, where you can strategically learn how to say NO!

“No” is a powerful word in our persona lives as well. How many times have we volunteered for something only to dread it? Even with family members we have a tendency to not want to disappoint so we agree to do things, rearrange our schedules, and then complain when it’s not as exciting or fun as we expected. You are allowed to say no and you don’t have to give an explanation. Enforce those boundaries in your work and personal lives and people will learn to respect those boundaries.

Step 5: EXERCISE

Below is a starting point on what to say NO to:

Tasks you can easily outsource instead

Actions that don’t match your vision

Things that distract and destroy your time

Things that aren’t healthy for your mind and body

Toxic relationships

Take out a piece of paper and write down one of these topics on the top of the paper.  Then list out specific things, task or actions that can fall under that topic.

These are things that you will take action on to say NO or get it off your plate or life.

 

Step 6: Journal Your Findings

Lifestyle - Protect Your EnergyJournaling is a fantastic way to document your hopes and dreams so you can create tangible goals for your life but it’s also a great way to document daily what work or don’t work, time wasters, things to get out of your life, boundaries you put in place. Whatever you track and analyze can always be improved.

Make it a habit to write out your thoughts and feelings regarding your life every day. Include your energy levels, what you did well, and what needs work. If you notice a pattern of low energy levels, for example, try shifting the time you wake up or have dinner to a time when you feel more energized. Be proud of the things that go well; pat yourself on the back and review if there’s a way to create a process for this task so you improve the chances of it going well again.

Analyze what needs help in your life and brainstorm ways to improve those tasks. This journal will be a fluid and ever-changing document to track those changes that work and those that don’t. Much like your vision board, this journal will be different from other people because you have different needs and goals for your life.

Journaling will also help you stick to your boundaries. If, for example, you decide to catch up on work before bedtime, make note of how you’re feeling about this decision and how to better enforce that particular boundary in the future. Notice if there’s a pattern to when or how frequently you break a boundary; maybe that boundary needs to shift or change. Your journal notes will help you determine this.

Step 6: EXERCISE

Have you heard of mind mapping?

This is a similar process to journaling because you’re documenting and mapping out different steps and directions you want to take your life but this is more ‘big picture’ where your journal documents your day to day feelings.

Start with your big picture goal and then break that down into smaller, more doable tasks. You may find that you have different monthly goals, each one building upon the last, which lead you to your ultimate goal.

Once you reach that ultimate goal, it’s time to re-examine your life and figure out a way to leverage it even more.

Refer back to old journals and laugh at the things that you feared.

If you’re growing as a person and learning from your mistakes, chances are these old fears will seem minuscule compared to what you have since accomplished.

Lifestyle - Protect Your Energy

 

Dream big! Nothing is impossible.

 

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Renee Lamb

Renee has over 15+ years of experience in the corporate world. She has had management roles in HR, international healthcare and project management. But the role she loves the most is Job Exit Strategist for her own company, Renee M. Lamb, LLC. Renee is not only passionate for, (well maybe obsessed) being an advocate for helping professionals to gain freedom and wealth via entrepreneurship. She believes her role is to give them wings so they can soar to greater heights on their entrepreneurship journey. She does this by her coaching programs and courses.

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