Yesterday my call with my lovely, bubbly, kind and caring friend started with her in tears.
Why? Because she was frustrated and cross with HERSELF.
As the sniffles subsided her story came out. She was angry and disappointed with herself as she had so much to do and was going to miss some deadlines and let people down. This was a pattern she’d seen so many times and she so desperately wanted it to stop.
DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP
Digging deeper I heard how she had planned her time and scheduled her week and had been happy – no PROUD – of her preparation and then:
- Someone changed a deadline
- She remembered something she’d missed
- A friend’s birthday had to be celebrated
- Another friend arranged a catchup
- She had the unexpected chance to spend the day with her husband
All of a sudden her careful planning was out the window, albeit with a lot of nice things. All she could focus on though was what she’d forgotten and the fact that she would be late with her work and would let people down as a result. In her eyes she was a dreadful person who couldn’t organise herself and kept letting others down.
Getting stuck here she started to beat up on herself and couldn’t see a way forward. This is a sure fire way of giving your self-esteem a kicking!
Yes she was going to miss deadlines but she had also dropped everything to see friends and to meet a changed deadline. This situation had been created by her not policing her boundaries (if she even had them in place in the first instance).
A deadline had been arbitrarily changed without consultation or consideration of her existing plans. She had accepted invites to spend time with friends during what was her working day. Then her husband was going on a day trip and asked her to go with him and….she almost turned him down as she was now feeling so far behind with her work.
WORKING FROM HOME
Anyone who works from home will probably recognise this situation. When you are your own task master friends and family can often assume that you are available to them at times you consider to be your working hours.
There’s a clue here YOU ARE YOUR OWN TASK MASTER – ACT LIKE IT!
During the call we assessed my friends working preferences and she told me that the mornings are a great time for her, she’s “on fire” then and she likes to get planned on a Sunday ready for the week ahead. However, she tends to have an energy slump in the afternoon so this is a great time for her to take it easy and meet up with friends. Adding this in with the option of evenings and weekends gives her plenty of availability but still within her working preferences.
PUTTING YOURSELF FIRST
Long term you HAVE to do this or you end up in tears and berating yourself, just as my friend did. You’ll be chasing deadlines and other people’s expectations that you’ll never be able to meet. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had this conversation in my coaching room.
If you don’t know what works well for you and if you don’t stick to that for at least 80% of the time you WILL come unstuck.
Chances are that you’ll end up telling yourself how rubbish you are, how you simply aren’t able to plan your time and manage your own hours. It’s time to STEP UP and manage your commitments in a way that is fair to YOU.
YOU CAN DO THIS!