Become a better leader by setting clear boundaries

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You become a better leader by setting clear boundaries, because then you choose to focus on what is most important right now. 

To work with your team and your leadership is a little bit like running a marathon. You have to be able to keep up in a good and steady pace, and don’t add too many sprints here and there to wear you out. Because then you will not last all the way.

As a leader, there are always many people seeking your attention. Many times, it is a lack of clear boundaries that make us feel like we work all the time but get nothing done. We feel tired and we get a feeling of not being enough. 

For ambitious leaders and managers it can be very demanding to do a good job, when your attention is being called upon from left and right. You want to please everyone. 

To set clear boundaries to be able to focus and do a good job as a manager and leader, is therefore very important. 

Here are some common ways of setting boundaries that you could think about as a leader:

1. Set boundaries for your time

The phone rings all the time, new emails keep falling in, the bookings fill up the calendar and in the evenings other activities might be booked in.

If that is the way your days look, you are probably not prioritizing yourself.

When you take control over your time and set clear boundaries for what is allowed to take your time, you actively prioritize what you want to do and what is most important for you right now.

Every email, phone call or meeting cannot be top priority.

It is good to schedule certain times during the day when you read emails or make phone calls. Block time slots in your calendar when you have focus time and work.

Question the length of the meetings you are being called to. Do they have to take 60 minutes? Can we hold the meeting in 30 minutes instead?

2. Limit how you use social media

Do notices pop up all the time on your phone or smart watch? How many times are you checking Facebook, Instagram or the news for updates?

Plan pauses during the work day where you allow yourself to check news and social media. But take control over the notices, instead of letting the notices control you.

3. Set off time for yourself

Set off time for yourself where you limit what is allowed to disturb you and take your attention. It can be times in the day when you work out and are not available for anyone, perhaps take a walk or sit down to meditate.

Set off time that is just for yourself and that you use to charge your batteries. During that time, nothing else is allowed to disturb you.

Your job as a manager and leader is a marathon, not a 100-meter race. If you run sprints all days you will run out. You might perform for the moment, but it is impossible to perform well during your whole marathon.

So be clear on setting boundaries as a leader, and both you as a manager and your team will feel and perform better.

Do you want to increase your team's performance?

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