Watch out for encroachment fouls

Time is precious. Personal time is even more so. Successful people consider time to be the most precious and limited resource there is. Do you protect it? Or do you allow others to encroach upon it?

Well I don't know about you, but people have been encroaching upon my free time. I have been watching some football and hearing lineman called for encroachment penalties. So the other day I called one of my clients on an encroachment penalty. I got a call at 10:00 Saturday night for something that was not an emergency.

Then I started noticing encroachment fouls all over the place. Some people at work calling me on the weekend or evening- for something that could have waited. Clients returning my call on Sunday afternoon. And me answering the phone. The Unitarian Universalist church I go to wanting me to do more and more stuff. And me feeling obligated somehow. The hour service going an hour and 15 minutes- for no good reason. And me sitting there.

The next thing I know my "day off" is over and I didn't get do any of the things I wanted or even needed to do. They encroached, I allowed it.

So I figure it is time to start seeing and calling encroachment fouls. Anyone want to join me? That will be 5 yards for encroachment.

This requires setting parameters. Parameters provide definition for relationships. My friend calls them "rules of engagement." Setting parameters requires defining what you want the relationship to be and then caring enough about the relationship (and yourself) to set them- as they happen. They are most effective when addressed in the present.

So next time there is an encroachment. Throw the penalty flag. It says, "That is not part of what I want our relationship to be." Then remind them what your relationship is regarding that.

Yeah it is hard. People will think you are intense. Some will get their feelings hurt. But whose life is it anyway? If you don't take charge of it- someone else will.

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