As entrepreneurs, it can often feel like we are working 24/7 in our businesses. Because there are always things that need to get done, customers to call, paperwork to complete, strategies to implement, and business to develop.
So, if you aren’t creating good boundaries for yourself around yourself and your business, things can quickly become stressful and overwhelming.
What do I mean about establishing good boundaries?
Well, for example, I spoke with a client this week who is working with me because he’d like to get more clients and grow his business. In prior meetings, we had talked about some strategies that he was going to implement that would help him reach his goals. When I asked him this week how it was going he said, “Well, pretty good, but I’m having a hard time finding the time to start the ideas we spoke about.” “Really”, I said, “What seems to be in the way of starting the projects”? “There are just a lot of interruptions in my schedule”, he answered.
We then looked at his schedule and what was happening and it was clear that he wasn’t exercising strong boundaries with himself or other people. For example, because he is an entrepreneur and has a more flexible schedule than when he was working a corporate job, he was finding himself doing things during the day, like taking the dog to the vet, or taking and picking up his laundry, or setting routine doctor and dentist appointments in the middle of the day. He also has several friends who consistently call him during work hours to talk about sports and other topics-that while fun and interesting, were not helping him get more clients and make more money.
Here are some thoughts about where you might begin setting some boundaries:
1-Develop a weekly work schedule that works for you-and stick to it. In other words, don’t work 24/7, or 50 or 60 hours a week. It’s not good for you, your health or your family and probably your business! Set a schedule for yourself, share it with your family and friends, let them know this is when you will be working and you’d prefer not to be interrupted with things that can wait until after your working hours. Stay firm to this. At the end of work period, pack up and go home. End it. Period.
2-Plan routine doctor and dentist appointments at the beginning or end of the day. That way, you won’t have to interrupt the middle of your day. See if your doctor or dentist has extended evening hours-many do.
3-Plan to run your errands on the way into work or on the way home, not in the middle of the day.
4-Make sure your family and friends understand your working hours. Any friend or family member that you have, who calls you at work and chats on and on, needs to be told gently but firmly, that you have work to do and you would hope they can honor that and call you at other times outside your working hours.
5-Be diligent about saying “no”. No to committees, boards, volunteer work, groups etc. that will become “time sucks” and not bring you more clients or make you more money.
Developing good boundaries takes practice and consistent attention. Where or with whom are you feeling stressed, overwhelmed and often times angry with? These areas (or people) can be good indications of a boundary violation for you and it’s up to you to first recognize it and work to change it or modify it in a way that works for you.
|Mandy works with talented, high energy self employed professionals and very small businesses who struggle to market their business effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. Mandy’s client’s receive proven, specific information on what they need to do to get more clients and grow their business. As a result, those who coach with Mandy increase their business, get more clients and make more money, faster and easier than they ever would have on their own. .Sign up for her free Cd “7 Productivity Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs” right down below.