You Need More Boundaries In Your Life

Jake Wells

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We all need more boundaries in our lives. But we often resist them. Why? Because boundaries are restrictive.

The good news is that boundaries do not have to feel restrictive.

Boundaries are rules you set in place for yourself to get work done. You don't play football on a basketball court or have a swim meet on a tennis court. Each sport has different rules and requirements. To play one of these sports, you must make a decision since you can't participate in both at the same time. You need boundaries to get your work done and to live a better life. Boundaries are how you finish your work. Chaos doesn't build bridges or buildings; you need governance to accomplish these endeavors. Why is your work any different?

Choose to focus on the positives from setting boundaries:

• • finishing your work,

• • being more productive,

• • feeling less overwhelmed,

• • and boosting your energy.

If you feel there are negatives with the dividing lines you put in place, remember that you’re the one who sets boundaries. You also have the power to change them.

Just don't change a boundary mid-project.

Change the rules after you've shipped something.

Boundaries And Social Media

"Being a good writer is 3% talent and 97% not being distracted by the Internet." — Anonymous

This statement applies for pretty much anything you want to do, not just writing. Social media is the candy of the Internet: instant, easily accessible, and often brings instant pleasure. Social media is also an amazing way to spread a message, share a story, stay in touch with friends, or even meet new friends. Social media can also lead to taking too many breaks, becoming unawarene of how much time we spend online, getting addicted to instant gratification, or possibly all of the above. This powerful technology has to be used in moderation or you’ll become an unsupervised kid in a candy store.

Establish specific boundaries for when you use social media. A time limit should be set and a method should be chosen for how you’re going to keep track of your social media usage. There are browser plugins such as Stayfocusd for Google Chrome that monitor how much you’re using certain websites, then locks you out altogether when you reach your self-imposed time limit.

It’s essential to set up guardrails in case you fall asleep at the wheel. You'll have times where you drift. This is completely normal. The question is, what do you have in place to get back on track? Personal accountability is best—not just online, but also someone in person who will ask tough questions and kick your butt when needed.

Here are some options for setting boundaries with social media:

• •Uninstall social media apps on your phone.

• •Only use the platforms you enjoy. You don't need to be everywhere.

• •Delegate social media to someone else and have them manage it.

• •Use a buffering application to schedule updates.

• •Only use social media during certain events, like when waiting in line.

• •Talk to your spouse and set social media boundaries at home.

Remember, you have the option to not use social media. Twitter, Facebook and other platforms are just the newest version of chatting around the water cooler. You are not required to use these tools, especially when it stops you from doing your most important work. Great messages still spread. If you tell someone an amazing story and they retell the story, that is what social media is doing in a defined space.

Statistics say it takes around two months for a habit to become automatic, so give yourself a couple of months to discover your social media boundaries. Again, trial and error will be required. Over time, you'll find what works best for you. Don't aim for perfection; aim to improve.

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