You know I never thought I would write this post. Once upon a time I had this dreamy idea that in order to create my perfect work-life balance I would do my own thing. I would harness my passion, I would use my skills and I would work with other people to help them thrive. Brilliant. No more worries about mixing work and life because I was in control so I could balance them both.
And for years this has worked brilliantly, however, in recent months my balance has been challenged. I’m still passionate about what I do and I still help people thrive, but I’ve been challenged because two of my priorities have required more of me than usual, and that requirement has tested my boundaries. I can’t lie and say it’s been plain sailing (it really hasn’t!) but being clear on my priorities and knowing my boundaries has made it so much easier. Easier to be confident in my decisions, easier to be calm about the future and easier to maintain the work life balance I have created.
So let’s start with priorities, they seem so obvious don’t they? And I’m sure you’re pretty on top of your business priorities, but have you spent the time to work out what your personal priorities are? Like what they really are? When you are working for yourself or running your own business the work-life line is often very blurred. And don’t get me wrong, I think that’s one of the wonderful things about being your own boss; you can get to the school assemblies and catch up later, or take a walk on a sunny morning and put in an extra hour in the late afternoon when surprise, surpise it’s raining again. BUT knowing your priorities makes it so much simpler to work out when that blurry line needs to come into focus again.
Which brings us nicely to boundaries. Once you know your priorities then boundaries become easier to set. Common boundaries people set are around time and travel. Time boundaries might be working hours of the day ie your earliest start time or latest laptop shut time, or they might be total hours for the week, or max number of evenings spent working. Travel boundaries could be total number of nights away from home, total hours driving per week or duration of your longest away-from-home stint.
Time and travel might not be important to you in which case of course you don’t need to set those boundaries but do set some boundaries because when life happens and your personal priorities are needing your time and energy, your boundaries are the things that might just save your balance and as a result yourself and your business!
So here we go, let’s set some together..grab a pen & paper ….
What are ten important things in your life? Write them down now … Go!
Now pick the top three… and bingo you have your three priorities.
Now, with those in mind, what boundaries do you need to set to protect those priorities?
Write them down… you might have multiple boundaries for one priority or multiple priorities met by one boundary.
There’s no right or wrong they’re your boundaries, just set them!
Now you have them, stick them up somewhere you will be reminded of them.