I have been thinking a lot about boundaries lately. Personal boundaries, business boundaries, and how much time I give to those that don’t necessarily fuel me in the way I wish to be fuelled. In this digital age, we find ourselves constantly giving, always responding, and never switching off. It can be exhausting being ‘’there’’ all the time. Always ready to tackle the next task, speak to the next client, or take that next call. As women, we don’t like to switch off, say no or set boundaries. We find ourselves always on the go, present and there.
We are constantly saying yes to things that we probably should have said no to and it can be hard to discern between what you should be saying yes to and what you should be saying no to as a woman in business. We aim to please, we strive for constant success and we want to thrive 24/7, but doing it all can be tough on your personal life, health, mental health, and your business.
Set office hours and stick to them
How often do you find yourself answering an email at 9 pm or a client messages you at midnight? All too often? This is when you should consider setting office hours for yourself? We all want to go the extra mile, be the hardest worker in the room and show our clients we care but when answering an email at 9 pm or getting a message from your client at midnight becomes a habit, it’s time to incorporate office hours. Setting proper office hours and trying your utmost to stick to them will take a ton of pressure off you. Make it clear to the client and team as to when you will be online and when you will be offline. You are entitled to personal life, a break, and family time, and by setting office hours will help you with this.
Remove the guilt around saying no or not now
It’s ok to say ‘’no’’ or ‘’not now’’. We live in a society that ingrains beliefs that we should be thriving business owners, have a successful career, be a fantastic wife, amazing mother, and sister, and look amazing while doing it all, which is impossible. We are all human and we need a time out now and then. As a woman in business, you need to know that its ok to not say yes to everything. If you simply do not have time or it does not serve you, then you have every right to say no. Your time is important and you should value it. It can be scary saying no to someone with the possibility of disappointing them but you cannot live a life of making everyone else happy except yourself. Sometimes saying no is a necessary part of the business.
Set schedule boundaries
Setting schedule boundaries could be as simple as not booking appointments or meetings on Mondays, or only taking calls between twelve and three every day? No matter your business, try your best to set schedule boundaries. You do not want to start your Monday by looking at your overloaded schedule for the week that shows absolutely no time for you to take a lunch break. You want to make sure you are enjoying your business and having an overloaded schedule every week is not that.
Learn to step away when you need to
When you find yourself frazzled, unable to concentrate, and trying to stick off everything on your to-do list with no success, it may be time to step away and take a small break. It won’t benefit you to stare at your computer when you can’t even concentrate. Listen to your body and mind when it tells you it needs to rest, reset, and recharge. You cannot do your best work or give 100% of yourself if your mind isn’t completely charged and ready to take on the day or task at hand.
As you start setting boundaries for yourself, remember that nobody else’s sense of peace is more important than your own. Your mental health should be your number one priority. Set business boundaries and personal boundaries to ensure you are getting some time to recharge your batteries and care for yourself.
Okay, I needed NEEDED this article. Fantastic.
Thank you for reminding me that it’s okay to slow down.
I have been working from home and definitely needed this reminder. I have my email and work IM on my phone and learned to mute notifications from both of them after 5 pm. I’ve especially learned the importance of taking breaks and not feeling guilty to take more breaks than normal.
Jam Macmac says
It is during this quarantine that setting boundaries are especially hard. Most of us work from home and it’s hard to draw the line on when to stop working. I agree with all the points being mentioned in this post and I should really practice these all. Saying NO is also a form of self-care.
This is all SO true. I know from first-hand experience how exhausting it is just trying to do it all/be it all. I’ve found it really hard in the past saying no and setting boundaries. I’m currently in a transition period and in my next role I fully intend to be more aware of my own boundaries.
Fantastic post, thanks for sharing! x
Jess | @byjessicalillian
Great points! I’ve struggled with valuing my time and protecting it. I try to avoid committing to things right away and ask to get back with an answer. It usually buys me some time to evaluate if I want to get involved and if I have the time. It’s helped ease my schedule. Thanks for this important conversation.