Deciding what you want to do with your time can be hard. It requires commitment and forethought that many of us get overwhelmed by. The problem is, if you don’t prioritise what you want to do with your time, someone else will have something for you to do with it before long, and you might not like it.
As business blog Harvard Business Review points out, one of the classic examples of where we see this idea manifest is the workplace. If you don’t draw clear lines in the sand and let your employer know that you won’t be working on your off days, you’ll quickly wind up overworked and undersatisfied. That’s great if you want to be the go-getter that moves up in the company; less so if you have other priorities that you’re not willing to stand up for. HBR describes what this looks like with a woman named Jin-Yung, whose story sounds familiar for plenty of us:
Jin-Yung had never really negotiated with her manager. She would simply say yes even if it threw her life into temporary turmoil, as it often did. She had given unknowable hours to executing every request and task, diligently delivering them in neat and complete packages, no matter the sacrifice.
The site goes on to explain how Jin-Yung put up specific boundaries with her employer and stuck with them. Of course, many employees don’t have to come up with a plan like this, as they have set office hours, or an hourly schedule. However, you can still decide when you’re available, or that you won’t work extra hours. It might mean your boss is unhappy, but if you have different priorities than keeping your boss happy, it’s up to you to stick to them.