Boundaries is not only for those family members of friends that may think “Oh, he or she is home I can call and she’ll pick up” or “I can go by and have some coffee”. Boundaries are for yourself too. What?
Make your time more effective. Set a working schedule, honor it and educate others on what that schedule means for you. If I am working and a friend calls I send them a text letting them know that I am working and that I will be calling them at an specific time. Or if I need to make a doctors appointment I won’t schedule during those hours.
When I am working on an specific project I don’t just jump into another project and so on. Have time frames for different projects. Or don’t start one thing before finishing the one you are working on at the moment. I have been guilty of this and what I’ve noticed is a pile of unfinished products and the feeling of un-productivity. Procrastination takes over. Most creatives have to make time for marketing, designing, marketing, making, blogging, email (inbox), taking courses to keep up to date on your business, events/conferences, and the list can go on.
Here are some tips:
- Make a list of all the items you must get done.
- Next to each item put a day of the week when it must get done.
- Grab all the Monday items and put times on each one of them.
- Repeat with the other items for the rest of the week.
- Hire help. You don’t have to do it all.
Not everything must be done daily. Some tasks can be done on Mondays, others on Tuesdays. If you blog twice a week you don’t have to have blogging as a task every day of the week. Another great example is sending a newsletter, if you send it once a week or twice a month, it doesn’t have to be on your everyday list. Inbox is a big one too. What is the best time for you to look over your inbox? I take a look at it during the early hours in the morning, but don’t answer anything until mid day. I can have lunch and clear my inbox. Unless I am having lunch with my husband or a friend (to catch up), all my attention is on them. Then, my inbox time gets pushed for the night time when the girls are in bed. Prioritize!
Do the same for everything you feel must get done for your business. Remember to leave time for yourself. Everyone needs time to unwind and recharge.
Clear some items out of your list if needed. Make changes everywhere possible. Hire help for those items that someone else can do. Start small. My daughters are old enough to help out around the house and I can focus on designing, making or content creation. If there is an event that someone else can go and represent the business and free you up to work on another task that you are more passionate about or only you can do, then take advantage of it and make it happen. See? Freeing you up and making time for what matters most.
This is a topic I am still working on. Sometimes I have to remind myself that working from home doesn’t mean I can go run errands all day long. Things “non” work related will get done after working hours, my set working hours. If I honor them everyone will end up honoring them as well.
Have you ever been interrupted by family members or friends that don’t get your working schedule? How do you create boundaries?