And still I did it. I answered the phone. As soon as I did, I regretted it. It was one of my colleagues from the US. One of the demanding ones, one of those working directly with the customer and therefore always eager to give the customer not only what they want, but as soon as they ask for it.
It became a short and rushed phone call which ended with me promising to look into his request later in the evening. When I finally rang the door bell I didn't feel at all as present as I want to be when I meet my kids after a work day.
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Other times colleagues called me in the evening. It could still be office hours for them, but for me it could be "putting my children to bed and reading them a story" time.
When I talked to my mentor about how to handle this, she gave the obvious answer:
"Don't answer when it is not suitable for you."
Now I can look back at this and wonder why I didn´t figure that out sooner. That I cannot rely on others taking my needs into consideration.
Looking after me is my job. It cannot be delegated.
This is many years ago by now, but I came to think about it when I read your answers to my survey about time. These are some of your answers to the question:
When it comes to managing your time, what is the single biggest challenge that you've been struggling with?
- When my time gets booked by others
- Not planned tasks and expectations coming from others to my life
- Say no to others
- To not say "no" sometimes
- Say no
- My own ambition
- Some times my professional work makes it difficult to do other activities, either from not having the hours, not being in the right place or just being so demanding that there isn't enough energy for other things.
- Prioritizing my own needs like I prioritize responsibilities towards others
Today I have a lot of ways to deal with expectations and demands, both from others and from myself. And so do you! Here are some of your answers to the question:
When it comes to managing your time, what is your best tip?
- Set your own expectations and targets. Do not let pride or principles or others do that for you. Make sure you yourself can answer the question Why.
- Proritize the things that you want to do. Wait with the have-to's, they will still be there anyway.
- Fråga mig själv: Vad är det värsta som kan hända om jag inte gör detta? = Ask myself: What is the worst that can happen if I do not do this?
- Go offline from work
- Remember at the end, nothing matters.
- Say no
- Don't care what everyone else thinks, it's your life we are talking about.
If you want to hear more about "Holistic Time Management" I am happy to inform you that I will give a seminar on June 16 in Kungälv. Mark the date in your calendar - I hope to see you there!
The seminar - and my coming book - will be in Swedish. If you would like to learn more about Holistic Time Management in English, please let me know.