Set Boundaries to Protect Your Work Time


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Attending meetings that regularly run over or being inundated with requests of your time by your employees can lead to frustration. What’s more, all this can cause you to miss out on valuable time at home with your family when you’re having to play catch up. Here are some ways you can set boundaries within your workplace to protect your time.

1. Meeting Availability
The first and most important boundary to set is your meeting availability. This might take some adjusting if everyone is used to you always making yourself available for meetings. Block out certain parts of your daily schedule that you dedicate to meeting times.
Create your meeting schedule around what best suits your daily personal schedule such as around commute times or if you need to pick children up from school. There are times when you can’t reschedule a meeting to happen during your meeting times. At this point, you’ll need to determine if calling out of the meeting will benefit you in the long run and increase your overall workplace benefits, such as if a meeting will cause you to lose sleep.

2. Set Boundaries About Meeting Length
Meetings that regularly run over schedule can cost you in the long run. For example, just a few meetings every week that run over by just 15 minutes can cost you an hour of your workweek. There are a few things you can do to set some boundaries to keep meetings on schedule.

First, if these are meetings that you run, send out a calendar invite with the exact meeting times and a prefilled agenda for what you’ll be discussing. Secondly, book your meetings close together so that you’ll have a reason to end a meeting on time. Lastly, the best thing you can do is start the meeting with your time expectation, such as telling everyone that you need to end the meeting by a certain time.

3. Keep Your Time At Work Focused
One of the best things you can do for time management is to keep yourself focused an on-task at work. This day and age, there are many distractions that can get you off course and have to make up for it later. A good strategy is to use a block schedule.

A block schedule means your group tasks together. For example, a block of time is set apart for all your meetings and then the next block of time is set aside for checking and replying to emails. This keeps your brain more focused versus jumping around from task to task. If you’re able to, physically close your door during times you need to quietly work. Also, make sure to turn off your phone or put it somewhere where you won’t be distracted by personal texts or social media.

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