No matter how small, businesses benefit from boundaries and will be different for all types of business, whether you work from home or work away. Many of us are all things in our business from doing our day job to admin, marketing, dealing with enquiries and clients. More often than not, many of these tasks get done after our ‘day’ job extending our work day considerably. Think about the areas where you feel you need to create some structure. If you are doing your admin on a Saturday morning, factor them in for Friday morning or afternoon. If you need time to work on your business, perhaps factor in a day each month to focus instead of hurried moments here and there.
- What are your priorities other than work to bring in an income?
- What is important to you outside of work life, spending time with your family, keeping those meal times uninterrupted?
- Are you honouring your hobbies and leisure time, for something as simple as having an hour for TV time or self care?
Professional relationships within your business benefit from boundaries too and are dependent on what your business type is. With the technology available 24/7 it is easy for a [potential] client to ping an email or message while it is fresh in their minds. What are your hours of operation? What will happen with calls/enquiries/messages outside of your work hours? Have you got messaging responses, email responses ready? Perhaps on your website, social spaces, contracts, email signature. The same applies to the scope of work. Does your agreement set out what you will do and when? How will those ‘extras’ be treated? And not forgetting agreements when working with other businesses.
“When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.” ~ Brené Brown.
Once you have clear boundaries, you have a framework from which to operate weekly. When your work, business related activities, client expectations are factored in, you avoid burnout creeping in, and your priorities suffer less. Of course, as with all things in business, your boundaries may need to change as your business or personal life changes.