3 Business Boundaries to Create ASAP.
Having better boundaries while running a business is a struggle many CEOs and business owners face.
As someone who wants everyone around me happy and people to like me, sometimes it's hard saying no.
You start saying "yes" to projects out of your scope of expertise and saying "yes" to random requests from your clients, and once all of those things stack up, it can be hard to fulfill your commitments.
The older I get, the more I realize if I don't put myself first, it affects everything around me. When I get too stressed, overwhelmed, or overworked, I can't perform to the best of my ability or fully be there to support my team. That's why I knew it was time to put myself first and speak up about what was best for me.
I have three types of boundaries that are crucial to set for yourself to be your best boss.
Many of us struggle with honoring boundaries for others, but this starts with respecting our boundaries.
Some examples of this would be having a bedtime or a set time you turn off your computer and wind down.
It sounds like, "Oh, this is just an evening routine," but this is one of the most straightforward boundaries we can establish. Don't feel pressure to respond to things after your "work hours" are over. Most things can wait until the next workday to address, so don't feel like because someone has messaged you, it needs to be dealt with immediately.
Set time limits on our apps like slack so you won't get notifications all night. This will help you to separate your work and personal life and allow you not constantly to be checking your phone, waiting for updates.
Remember to include self-care boundaries as well. Don't forget to block off time for yourself, whether that means you like getting in a workout, having time to eat and relax, meditating, reading, or any other guilty pleasure.
Another thing that has helped me is turning my phone on "do not disturb" after the workday. Then I don't feel the pressure of wanting to check notifications or stay in that work mindset. You need time to unwind and chill every day because you work hard, and you deserve it!
Friends and Family Boundaries.
One of my biggest boundaries for my friends and family is not contacting me past 8 pm. I started putting my phone down at certain times to ensure I would not just be on my phone talking with friends or family until the late hours of the night, which would impact getting up early to go to the gym before my workday began.
I have found that most calls I get after 8 pm are not urgent and are more related to catching up. We could easily do this during the day, and then it's not imposing on my morning or evening routine.
You may get a call from a friend at 2 pm on Friday asking you to hang out later that day, but you haven't rested during the week. Often we feel obligated to buck up and go anyways because we want to please everyone. There may be a few exceptions to this, but we need to prioritize ourselves and the boundaries we set. Maybe you tell your friends, "Hey if you want to make plans, I need to know a week in advance so I can make sure I can plan with my schedule." This is a simple boundary we find ourselves dismissing to please others, but we have to know what's best for us and stick to a routine that keeps us rested and productive.
Another important boundary is to set expectations for the way people talk to you. I'm not going to lie; this has been hard for me throughout my life. I want people to like me, but people often start walking all over me.
Don't let people disrespect you. If someone is constantly giving you an attitude or if you have people who aren't necessarily disrespectful but they take advantage of you, create a boundary for your emotional needs. Be clear that during certain hours your focus needs to be on work. Specific problems for friends or family can take a lot of time and attention to help them work through. To be there for them, make sure it's a time when you can fully listen to them without feeling rushed to get back to work or scatterbrained after your conversation.
How do they get in touch with you, and when can they get in touch with you? Be clear on what platforms they can contact you on and what times you are available. Pick times that fit your schedule while considering your personal and emotional boundaries.
Make sure to outline your programs. If you identify what your program entails, your clients are going to understand what they'll get out of your process fully. Be detailed so the client can decide if this program will be a good fit for them. This will help you weed out those who won't benefit from your product and prevent people from asking off-the-wall questions that don't relate to your company.
These boundaries create a domino effect. If you allow your boundaries to slip up, they will affect your boundaries with your clients, friends, and emotions.
Setting boundaries and sticking to them can be very difficult at times, but it will always be in our best interest. We don't put these boundaries to be rude or dismissive of others, but rather to make sure we can always show up as the best version of ourselves. This could be work-related for our employees or personal for our friends and family. Once you get into a routine of sticking to this process, you will see that your days will feel better, and you will begin to have more time in your day to enjoy the little things.
We can show up as a different version of ourselves when we are being taken care of, and this is the version of you everyone in your life wants to see.
If someone doesn't respect the boundaries, they're probably not a client or friend you would want in the first place. It is not selfish to take care of yourself, and when you do, everyone will be able to see the transformation and be so happy for you!
Stick to it, and don't give up; it is worth it!