We scrap, scramble, and sway to keep our world in order (and we’re damn good at it)…
But somehow, someway, work always seems to find a way into our home…
On the couch, in the bedroom, right in the middle of the Mad Men finale!
Women have more freedom than ever before–and that freedom’s GROWING. We use it to create the family, home, income, & life WE want.
It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we don’t have to divide our days, our emotions, our entire lives right down the middle…this ain’t the 1950’s. So if you’re sacrificing quality time at home for, ugh, another work-scramble…
There are REAL, EVERYDAY boundaries you can put up to get more work done (and give you time start L.I.V.I.N).Women have more freedom than ever before–and that freedom’s GROWING.Click To Tweet
This blog’s about making your home feel like a home again…(and your work to feel like less of a stress). You just need two little answers to start building boundaries in your world.
Here’s how Real People get Real Freedom….
The 2 Questions to Ask When Developing a Work-Home Boundary
- Will this bring me joy?
- Is this going to create Direct Results?
If you can’t tie a direct result to something, you don’t have to do it right away…
More times than not–you’re better off saving that grind for a time when you can give it the right amount of attention (and heart).
If you’re half-assing your way through a project…just to get it done…you need to create some boundaries.
And if you find yourself half-momming your way through a meal, a blanket fort, a bedtime story…these boundaries are Doubly Important.
Let’s kick this off with a simple, easy boundary…If you can’t tie a direct result to something, you don’t have to do it right away…Click To Tweet
1. CHECK YOUR EMAIL…TWICE-TIMES
If you truly want to 10x your day…consider 2x-ing your inbox first.
I only check my email about 2x Daily because my mentor once asked me…
“How often do you walk outside and check your mailbox?”
“Once a day…if that,” I responded.
“That’s how often you should check your email,” he said.
It made sense immediately. If I’m trying to finish a project…and I’m constantly getting distracted by all the autoresponders, random emails, and client questions–I’m not going to get very much done.
Carve out a couple times a day to respond to (and browse) your emails. Somedays there’s not very much to respond to…
So that tab in your browser…yes, the Gmail one…that can be closed!
If a client has a RUSH project or hits a wall with someone else they hired, I’m ready to take that on–and they know How and When to reach me about it. If you want your clients to respect your contact hours–you actually have to follow your schedule.
And they’ll understand because they most likely follow a similar rule!
Don’t think you have to respond to an email within 5 minutes of them sending it…this isn’t Corporate America…
That’s why you need a RULE & TIME designated for emergencies…and it wouldn’t hurt to find one of The Most Coveted VAs on The Planet (YOU make my world go ‘round, J).
2. SOCIAL MEDIA…can be such a B-Word
I know some people that spend literal HOURS on Social Media each day…it’s crazy.
But I totally get it…
It’s WAY too easy to get lost in Social Media. That’s what us personal branders and Mompreneurs are all about. We’re damn good getting people to notice us! And a lot of our best marketing and leads come from it…
But there’s a clear-cut Boundary to be had when you’re trading work time for just browsing hundreds of profile pics and newsfeeds…
If you’ve ever found yourself half-assing or half-momming anything in your life–it’s time to take those hours back…
Then GIRL–you need to test your Debbie Levels.If you’ve ever found yourself half-assing or half-momming anything in your life–it’s time to take those hours back...Click To Tweet
The Debbie Brandanowitz Theory
The next time you’re catching up on EVERYTHING some chick named Debbie Brandanowitz did over the weekend, ask yourself…
- Do I even know this gal?
- Do I even care?
- Does this social media stalking help…anyone?
If you answered YES to ANY of these questions, you need a Social Media Boundary…badly.
Here are some of the Social Media Boundaries myself (and my family) use…
- Delete Social Apps that AREN’T a mobile necessity.
- Turn off notifications for Social Media–it’s ain’t that important.
- Use the SelfControl App or Pomodoro Timer–(found them on This Killer Tech Blog)
- Work offline, from time to time.
- Only use Social Media that actually helps you connect with people.
There are A LOT of Debbie Brandanowitz’ in the world…and you don’t need to know everything there is to know about them.
When you worry more about your side of the Boundary–you can start to Like your life a lot more!
3. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
One of the most important boundaries to build at work…is with your clients.
You want to be this full-service, over-delivering, amazing Mompreneur…and sometimes that let’s your clients into your life a LITTLE TOO MUCH.
There needs to be a clear boundary between what’s acceptable as a professional…and what’s acceptable as a true friend or family member. Some clients blur those lines–and it’s our fault when we aren’t clear about our intentions…
Sounds kind of like dating, right?
*If you aren’t already working clients you REALLY want to work with, check out this post about Firing TROUBLE Clients (without feeling guilty).
It covers everything from the Graceful Breakup to the Ideal Client Portrait (which is an entrepreneur’s ultimate boundary).
If you dread talking to (or working with) a particular client…you might not be working with the right people…
Hopefully you never get to the point where you need to breakup with a client, but it does happen!
When clients start invading your home–your family time and Netflixery–it’s gone too far. You work should NEVER make your time at home a suffer, a strain, or a stress
And if it is–there’s a boundary you can create to fix that! The basic idea? Here’s a little section of the post…
If a work-relationship doesn’t pan out, that’s not the client’s fault. They’re going to hire somebody, somewhere, somehow.
You don’t have to take EVERY job–and perhaps you shouldn’t.
Before even looking (or talking) to a new client, you need to draft an Ideal Client Portrait (ICP). This helps outline the kind of client you actually WANT to work with….
Want to Keep Reading? CLICK HERE…
4. YOUR SCHEDULE CAN BE AN EPIC BOUNDARY
Setting up a work schedule that works for you (and TRULY following it).
Entrepreneurs have WAY MORE freedom in their schedule than the average nine-to-fiver…but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a routine.
Here’s one way I’ve tightened up my schedule…
I keep VERY specific hours.
For instance, I almost never take meetings with clients on Mondays and Fridays. If I did that, I’d be in meetings all week long, and I can’t use those days to…
- Get my blogs outlined (and give feedback on projects)
- Plan for the future of my company (and get those balls rolling)
- Host creative-collab sessions with my team (and lead with inspiration)
- OR devote the Proper Prep for my client meetings, calls, and presentations
I’ve found that many of my clients are operating in (somewhat) similar ways too…they organize their work-weeks based on what helps them create the BEST and MOST content possible. For me, keeping these days open helps me give my team better direction (and we all get more done).
But this also doubles up the middle of my week…Thursdays are like back-to-back-to-back meetings. The only reason I’m able to handle that is because I spent Monday crunching numbers and drafting projects.
It doesn’t matter what work you do–selling quilts or writing blogs–if your schedule doesn’t help you do MORE…you aren’t getting the most from your time.
When you’re running a business or cultivating a personal brand, just figure out what simplifies your week the most. Ask yourself…
- How (and why) do I want to begin my week?
- What days do I have the most time?
- What is my MOST productive day?
- How (and why) do I want my week to end?
At the beginning of the week, I’m telling everyone what to do–and giving them realistic time to complete the tasks.
At the end of the week, I’m giving feedback on the work that got done. That way my people know their work is getting a fair look (and they get better when they see what edits and adjustments I’ve made).
I can’t think of a better way to start and finish my week than with CREATIVE slam sessions.
That’s the way I organize my week–what can you do to make your work more enjoyable?
5. NOTIFICATIONS KIND OF SUCK
The FIRST thing I do when I leave the office…
I unlock my phone, open my email app, and turn my Gmail notifications OFF.
I don’t want to get flooded with emails all night. And I don’t want to stare at them all weekend either. I used to get mad about it…like someone was intruding my night or my weekend with an email or demand. But it isn’t the emailers fault! It’s yours for letting it distract you that way….
We live in a world now where people are working whenever they want—and just because they’re emailing me at 7pm doesn’t mean I have to be on their schedule as well…
FOR ME. I do better if I don’t even see those emails coming through…cause then I’ll want to Delete The Worry (as my Dad would say) before I can get back to whatever I was doing.
It’s OKAY to unplug, unwind, and not take your office with you EVERYWHERE. If you’re on top of your game (and obligations) this won’t be a worry…
And that’s the BIG point of this blog!
What works for you?
6. USE YOUR PHONE… LESS?
When we moved to this new office, I got an office phone…like with cords and everything.
My outbound calls are all from this now–and any new clients I meet (or sign), I give them my office number. (…don’t forget to update your email signature too)!
I LOVE IT.
Why? Because I really don’t want people texting me ALL the time with work questions. It’s super distracting and…
- Phone & Email are better for work questions & requests
- I want to actually be OFF work, when I tell people I’m OFF work
- Texting your way to a solution is miserable
- I’m better, more focused, and more personal when on the phone
Think about Big Businesses–they give their employees work phones for a reason. As entrepreneurs, your personal cell phone shouldn’t double (entirely) as your work phone too…
If you can’t get a landline (or office away from home)–Have No Fear–here are some other Boundary Hacks…
- Put your phone on Do Not Disturb Mode
- List your hours (and methods) of contact in your email signature AND on your website
- Set up a chat box on your website (learned this one from Favorite Geek)
- Give only select clients you trust (and want to be more involved with) your personal number
OKAY. On to the next Boundary…
7. NO COMPUTERS ON THE HOMEFRONT…
We don’t have a computer at home…
I know it’s kind of weird this day and age, but now that we’ve moved into this new downtown office…I don’t even take my laptop home anymore.
When you know you’re not going to work at home…all night…it’s an AMAZING incentive to…
- Get more work done during the day
- Spend more time with family at night
- Balance your life–and have some fun (like gardening and building blanket forts)
Your home should be a place where you can TRULY relax. Once you set up this boundary in your life (and keep it there), you’ll notice that you can do more with your evenings and nights.Your home should be a place where you can TRULY relax.Click To Tweet
For all you…
- Personal Branders out there–this is how you find the time to do all that interesting and wild stuff that makes your page POP.
- Mompreneurs (y’already know this)–this is how you remember who you’re working for.
- Freelance Students–this is how you prevent let Work from ever taking over your Home.
My hubby and I have moved beyond the work-at-home-hustle into parents to who run their own businesses. Isn’t that our goal? To move from entrepreneurs to CEOs…
I have to have downtime to connect with my family…otherwise somebody like me …
The curse of the high-achiever is that I’m always ON. I’m never OFF and I’ll always be thinking about work. It’s SO important to create a divide.
Even Tornadoes take a little breaks to rest sometimes…
I know you can too!
8. AND NO PHONES IN THE BEDROOM
I used to charge my phone on the nightstand in my bedroom–or use it as an alarm.
2 Parents + 2 Charging Phones = A Ceiling That Looks Like The Northern Lights.
Remove the temptation! Stop checking every notification that pops up…
Most of the time it’s probably just a Facebook or Instagram notification that’s keeping you from actually getting a good night’s rest.
Charge your devices in the kitchen–the closet–anywhere that’s outta sight AND mind.Charge your devices in the kitchen–the closet–anywhere that’s outta sight AND mind.Click To Tweet
If I get up in the middle of the night (pregnant or not, sometime’s you just gotta go, you know?)…all those teeny-tiny notifications can turn into BIG distractions. And if they do manage to get your attention…before you know it, you’re…
- Lost in an app looking at this and that…
- Watching Nick Jonas fail a guitar solo…
- Wondering what Josh Hartnett is up to…
- Worried about North Korea…
…and you have no idea how you’re going to get back to sleep!
When the sun rises, I don’t want to start my day on work stuff–notifications and BRIGHT screens. Because that’s what I’ve designed my WEEKDAYS to handle.
This Boundary allows you to trade that time for…
- Making your trademark breakfast
- Getting everyone ready for school and success
- Praying, meditating, centering my world…
…AND then (and only then) am I going to start my work day!
Take back the night. Have a GREAT every-morning. Feed your family (and your souls).
Build Better Boundaries.