Sunday, September 24, 2006

Your Life - Your Rules

“Stand up for something or else you will fall for everything!”

Have you ever checked into a hotel or maybe onto a plane or had any other experience where you came up against a guideline? A clerk may respond “I am sorry sir, that’s not our company policy!” I often want to reply back with some glib remark about “accepting company policies is against our company policy”, nonetheless they serve a function. They set standard operating agreements for doing business. If you know these in advance it is easy to adjust your behaviour to fit in.

I had a great dentist, he has subsequently retired. He booked 30-minute appointments and if you were more than 5 minutes late you would arrive at his reception and immediately have a new appointment booked. He wouldn’t see you. I did this once and from that point on I was always a few minutes early. The result! My dentist was never, never, never late. He also had the most amazing work life balance. At the end of the day he always got out the door when he had planned. It was magic to watch.

What rules do you have in place that will push back against the torrent of stuff we can get absorbed in on a daily basis?

  • Do you work weekends?
  • What time do you finish work?
  • If you work with your partner when do you stop talking about work?
  • Do you fly business class?
  • Do you work Fridays?
  • Do you go to bed with arguments unresolved?

What are your operating agreements and what are your personal (company) policies? It doesn’t matter what rules you create. What matters is that you create boundaries for behaviour. Governing principles that allow you to say no to the little things in life and yes to the big things.

When you feel out of control and like life is pushing you around – push back!