Life as I IMAGINED: When I first started working for myself, I had this vision of what my workday would be like and how my ideal clients and I would mesh. I envisioned waking up bright and early in the morning, partaking in some meditation and a work out, followed by a super smoothie while waking up the kids with pancakes. After dropping them off at school I'd start my workday at about 10:00am with reading emails, creating digital & creative strategies for my clients and delivering on time with no hiccups to deal with.
Real Life THEN: Hitting snooze a dozen times until I realize we've got 30 minutes to get to school, scarfing down 2 cups of coffee, 3 bowls of lucky charms for the kiddos, all while checking and responding to emails of "URGENT" tasks I needed to do. My afternoon consisted of creating revision after revision of work, no lunch, countless calls and working via my iphone when away from my computer all day until my eyes couldn't take it anymore (at 12:00AM).
Real Life NOW: I'm more than halfway there with my dream vision. How you ask? I've learned to set boundaries, thank god because I seriously had none. I didn't realize this until I decided to buck it up and invest in a business coach. Which I must add, she is one amazing gal, and if you're considering someone to help you get your business/life in tact you should check her out, Britt Bolnick, I'll be sure to include her info below as well.
Why did I decide to go this route? First off, I thought I was a failure because I needed a business coach. But I soon learnt that even business coaches have their own business coach! You need accountability and you need someone to nudge you when you're feeling defeated. For me, helping others create, dream and put their ideas into action is a piece of cake. But when it came to my own business, it really wasn't coming easy to me. I couldn't figure out how to get my day exactly how I wanted it. I couldn't say no to clients because in my eyes if I said no I was a disappointment and that (I thought) would lead to me losing that client. I also realized I wasn’t working with the type of people I had originally designed in my mind. I was taking any client that came my way because I needed the money, I wasn't taking care of myself the way I wanted because work had to be done and I was leaving my own self-care for last. I soon realized I was blocking everything I actually desired by allowing these things to keep running my life and my business. Once I started to set boundaries everything started to fall into place. I no longer positioned myself as a multitasker, multitasking isn't productive. Don't get me wrong, it happens and sometimes you have to multitask but the key is to really focus on what you're doing and give it 100% to establish the outcome you’re envisioning.
Keeping Focused and Set Your Boundaries
- Wake up with the intention your day is going to run exactly how you plan.
- Don’t check your mail until you are fully focused on taking action.
- Review your list of to-do’s and set a timer for each one.
- Let your clients know you are only available between the hours of X and Y.
- Take breaks, things CAN wait!
- Don't overbook yourself! Give yourself realistic timelines.
- Say no! If you don't want to do something or you can't it's ok to politely say no but give an alternative. That means offering another service OR referring them to someone else.
- Understand every part of your business, this way when you're ready you can bring in your own crew to help you out.
- Keep organized! Read this post on some of my favorite productivity tools.
- Rock your flexibility! Take full advantage of your free time!
*Britt Bolnick, In Arms Coaching: Bad-Ass business coaching for leaders and visionaries. Check her out here >